Friday, March 25, 2011

Health Reform: A Tale of A Period and A Semicolon

No matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period.

If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what. Period.

Under our proposals, if you like your doctor, you keep your doctor. If you like your current insurance, you keep that insurance. Period. End of story.

If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep it. Period. No one can take it away

Statements by President Barack Obama, 2009 and 2010

You might call this my period piece. It concerns President Obama’s repeated use of the word “period” to defend his health plan. He uses “period” to back his promise that Americans will be able to keep their doctor and their current plan.

Positive Provisions and Negative Consequences

Unfortunately, because of a combination of otherwise positive provisions in the health reform law assuring coverage and protection of benefits, for:

• all children;

• young people up to 26 under their parents’ health plans;

• those with pre-existing illnesses;

• those whose policies cannot be cancelled when they exceed a certain dollar limit or while they are ill;

• seniors who fall into the “donut hole;”

premiums are rising; insurers are pulling out of markets; businesses are dropping coverage altogether; patients are losing their doctors associated with dropped health plans; corporations are ceasing to pay for drug benefits for retirees; and millions of Americans may lose their current plans and doctors and be forced to choose among government-endorsed health plans with government-approved physicians; please note in this awkward overlong sentence, I inserted eleven semi-colons before arriving at the final period.

The Grammarian and the Surgeon

This overly generous use of semicolons brings to mind the tale of the grammarian who developed colon cancer. He thought his life would end in a period. But a surgeon operated, removed the colon cancer, and now the grammarian lives with a semi-colon.


The moral of this tale is two-fold:

1) If you like your doctor and your health plan, you may not be able to keep them. Period.

2) If you regard cost as a health care cancer, relax; your government will provide an alternative. Semicolon.

Periods and semicolons.
It's a health plan pair-a-dots.

Period. End of story.

No comments: