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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
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Author:  Larry Simoneaux
Bio: Larry Simoneaux
Date:  August 30, 2009
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Topic category:  Other/General

Small steps.

Watching the latest iteration of the long-running fiasco known as “Health Care Reform” has made me wish for something.

Since a deadly plague that would infect only the charlatans, quacks, tricksters, crooks, connivers, cronies and reprobates (aka: politicians) inhabiting the island of insanity surrounded by reality known as D.C. (my thanks to Fred Reed for that one) seems the stuff of dreams, I’ll settle for a bit less.

Somewhere in this nation, there has to be a “reset” button and I wish that someone would push it and move this entire health care debate back to square one.

Do I think that the system needs work?

Uh, do vampires wear dark capes?

That’s a given. Just ask anyone who’s been hit with the bill for any major medical procedure.

Just ask anyone who’s been told that the insurance policy that they’ve been paying on for years doesn’t cover the treatment they need.

Just ask any employer who’s being squeezed by the recession, taxes, rules, costs, overseas prices or whatever, if they can afford to kick in for a medical plan to cover their employees.

Just ask any doctor who’s trying to dot all the “i’s” and cross all the “t’s” required to get paid for a procedure that took less time to do than the paperwork involved.

And so on, and so on.

Unfortunately, what’s now playing out in D.C. won’t cut it because no matter who “wins” the current battle, the long term outcome will basically be that both sides will continue lobbing verbal bombs until they likely come to blows.

On that last, from what I’ve seen in the news, we’re not far from there at all.

So. I’m for finding that reset button and getting the politicians to start over. To take their time and do something for the nation instead of for a party.

Yeah. I know. And unicorns will dance on my lawn tomorrow.

But I’d still like them to give it a try because, as a nation, we’ve already shown that we’re capable of tackling huge challenges in a rational way.

Once, we even decided to go to the moon.

That was an undertaking of the first water, but we did it. We did it by solving the problems involved - and there were many - in steps.

What we didn’t do was cobble together a program or a rocket designed by people who weren’t “rocket scientists,” that wasn’t understood by those doing the launching or those going for the ride, that had a launch date only a few weeks away, and that promised to further bankrupt us (if such is possible) as a nation.

You see, there’s this old saying about eating elephants.

Specifically, it’s the answer to the question of how do you eat an elephant.

The answer is: “One bite at a time.”

We went to the moon in a series of steps. We sent our first astronauts for a quick ride up and down. Then, we moved on to orbital missions. From there, we went to larger rockets, bigger capsules, longer missions, and more complex tasks.

We kept taking small bites - checking our progress and fixing problems - until we actually went to the moon but, even then, we didn’t land. We flew around it.

We kept at it until, one day in 1969, we landed.

Ask me, we should take the same tack here.

Almost everyone agrees that something needs to be done. Unfortunately, one side wants to “light the fires, kick the tires, and shove off” while the other seems content to have us just “stay on the pad.”

Not good since trying to eat this whole thing in one sitting - with half of the people having it shoved down their throats - isn’t going to work any better than just watching any hope of any reform go down in flames by doing, basically, nothing.

So we start over. We pick a problem, find a fix, figure a way to pay for it, explain the fix to everyone, then find the politicians with the guts to do it. Then we move to the next problem, and the next one, until we get to something that isn’t perfect but works.

The thing is, this would require leadership and, unfortunately, from what I’m seeing, the “leadership locker” in both parties is empty just now.

And that, gentle reader, is what’s truly sad...and more than a bit frightening.

Larry Simoneaux

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Biography - Larry Simoneaux

Larry Simoneaux is a regular columnist for The Everett Herald in Washington state. He is a retired ship driver for the US Navy and NOAA.

Read other commentaries by Larry Simoneaux.

Copyright © 2009 by Larry Simoneaux
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