Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Mark Twain and Health Reform

It’s not as bad as it sounds

Mark Twain (1835-1910), speaking of Richard Wagner’s music

Last night I was watching a PBS documentary on Mark Twain by Ken Burns on PBS . I was struck by Twain’s humor, worldliness, pride in America, racial tolerance, and grasp of how grass roots Americans think.

I got to thinking about what he would say about health reform. I went looking for Twain quotes that might apply to health reform and ObamaCare, and I came up with these.

• There’s a million in it!
In our day, it’s more like $3 trillion.

One of the brightest gems of New England weather is the uncertainty of it. Ditto, ObamaCare weather. It’s hot and cold with gusts of wind. But it's not the heat, it's the humility.

• The Child of Calamity!
Otherwise known as unintended consequences, such as 1 in 5 Americans deciding not to have any health plans at all. They have decided they're too costly.

I said I didn’t know. Obama’s stock answer when he learns of an unexpected scandal, “ I didn’t know. I learned it on the news.”

All the modern inconveniences. Such as coping with ACA rules and regulations and unexpectedly high premiums

When angry, count four, when very angry, swear. When very, very angry, vote.

Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits. Individuals in a Democracy are stubborn. They don’t want government mandating what they should do and not do and why and what they should pay and otherwise tinkering with their freedom.

Put all your eggs in one basket and – and watch that basket. The basket is known as the one-size-fits-all basket which contains all the services you or others might theoretically need.

• Noise proves nothing. Often a hen who merely laid an egg cackles as iif she had laid an asteroid.
Obama may have laid an egg, and no amount of cackle or crackle will make it into an omelette.

• Laws are sand, customs are rock.
Culture shapes our health system engine, throwing sand in the gears doesn’t make it run better.

• It is a difference of opinion that makes for horse racing.
And Senate races.

I could do it as easy as falling off a log. ObamaCare is not a log.

• The report of my death is an exaggeration.
So is the death of ObamaCare.

Familiarity breeds contempt and children. And frustrations with

All kings are rapscallions. That goes for politicians, too.

• All I know is that man is a human being – that is good enough for me.
And it is good enough for the uninsured and the middle class.

• When it doubt, tell the truth.
Sometimes that’s hard when you’ve broken your major promises about keeping your doctor and health plan and lowering premiums.

• Be good and you will be lonely; be good and you will be eccentric.
It’s easy to be good when you’re spending other peoples’ money, but you may end up lonely and eccentric.

• I have been reading the morning paper. I do it every morning - well knowing that I shall find in it the usual depravities and basenesses and hypocrisies and cruelties that make up civilization.
Welcome to the health care debate.

• I have had a “call” to literature, of a low order- i.e.humor. It is nothing to be proud of, seriously scribbling to excite the laughter of God’s creatures.
It is sad to say, but there is nothing funny to be said about ObamaCare.

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