Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Healthcare Reform Circus

The Disease Management Care Blog spouse doesn’t understand why her husband likes to go to the circus. Well, it’s the Technicolor noisy 3-D spectacle of it all: the elephants, trapeze artists, the ringmaster’s bombast, the army of silly clowns, grimacing tigers, brazen horse-riding Cossacks plus the children of all ages whooping it up while they wave their overpriced battery-powered blinking plastic batons.

Plus, as an added bonus, who else but the DMCB would use this year’s version of The Greatest Show On Earth as a link-laden metaphor for the Big Top of healthcare reform?

In General: compared to previous years, this show was skinnied down: the arena seemed cavernous compared what was happening on the floor: fewer acts with fewer actors. It seemed the economy was sucking some of the air out of the theatrics. It reminded the DMCB of $1.5 trillion worth of air.

The Clowns: the DMCB may have been touchy thanks to the sugar-based caloric density in the surrounding miasma, but it thinks the jesters sported a rather snooty European French-accented persona. This is what we aspire to? What's more, the clowns were clearly responsible for filling the ‘empty’ parts of the show with distracting feel-good silliness while the real work went on outside of the spotlight.

The Elephants: good grief, they are huge. There may have only been ten of them but when they appeared, there was no looking away. Like the uninsured. And one of them, well, did what elephants are known to do while they’re stomping about. A warning perhaps?

The Trapeze Artists: success of Le Cirque du Soleil has clearly prompted a disruptively innovative change from the old fashioned airborne aerial acrobatics to a more flowing crowd-pleasing style of eye candy. Behold the new style of policy making.

The Guy Being Shot Out of the Canon: Absent. Just like the Republicans. ‘Nuff said.

Dogs Chasing Frisbees: quick, nimble, never giving up and often unwilling to let it go. Reminds the DMCB of the healthcare blogs.

Motorcycles: that’s right, a metal caged sphere of death filled with up to seven (seven!) noisy high-speed choppers that miraculously failed to crash into each other. The DMCB doesn’t know how they did it, but it has come to appreciate the how the physics of centripetal force can be altered to make things go up when they common sense says they should go down.

The Tigers: what magnificent beasts. It was quite the sight to see them slinking meekly into position, either sitting, laying down, rolling over or leaning back with claws up on command from the trainer. The DMCB, however, remembers the days when a rifle toting guard was discreetly posted just outside the ring. That may not be such a bad idea even today.

The Horses: and at full gallop too. When they and their riders were stampeding across the floor, it seemed there was no stopping them. But, as persons in the front rows quickly discerned, the horses’ trajectory was not inevitable.

The Ringmaster: The appearance and style were eerily similar.

The $16 Dollar Seats: Considerably cheaper than the seats down below and probably far less than the ‘celebrity’ guests who got to ride around in festooned carts right in the middle of the show. While the righteous DMCB is thinks it’s a crime to deny equal access to first-dollar coverage of the best circus view available for everyone, the DMCB is sad to report that the likelihood of getting the spouse into clown wagon next year is remote. In the coming year, the DMCB will seek movement across the stages of change and aggressively attempt to modify her noncompliance.

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