Friday, September 21, 2007

A Pleasant Daydream

It's March, 2009. 

The inauguration of the new Democratic President is over, as is the installation of the additional 30 new (D)s in the House as well as the 10 brand new Democratic Senators.

The withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq is underway, and the horror stories are being proven wrong as UN and Arab peacekeeping troops move in after serious diplomatic efforts bear fruit.

The President sits down with the new Democratic leadership in Congress to discuss healthcare.

"Remember what I campaigned on for healthcare reform?  All that good stuff about making healthcare insurance affordable for all and leaving the insurers in place?" says the new President.

"Yes, Mr. President." say the leaders. (Hey, this is my daydream here and the next President isn't named 'Clinton' in it!)

"Well," says the President, "I don't want you to pass any of the legislation I proposed in the campaign."

"WHAT?!!" say the shocked Congressional leaders.

"What indeed.  What I want is for Congress to send me a single payer, universal health care bill.  Oh, I'll act suitably uncomfortable with the bill and say all the right things about how I'd prefer you all had gone with my plan - but I'll sign the bill into law."  said the President.

"Well, we certainly have the bills introduced to do just that - the question is, is this what you really want?"  said the Democratic Speaker of the House.

"And now the damn Republicans can't filibuster it to death." said the Democratic Senate Majority Leader.

"Exactly." said the President.  "As to the Speaker's concerns, yes - this is exactly what I want.  I couldn't run on universal health care, the Republicans would have lied and smeared it into extinction and I probably wouldn't be sitting here now either.  This is going to be political theater to be sure, but damn it, Harry Truman wanted to do this back in 1949 and it took until the middle Sixties just to get the elderly into it."

"Yes, sir." said the leaders.

The President continued, "It took us a long, hard slog to get to where we are.  We're doing what the people want by getting out of Iraq, now it's time to continue that by giving the country what it overwhelmingly supports:  single payer universal health care.  We'll do a bit of psycho-theater to get there, but that's what I'd like from Congress.  Do what you need to do to get this passed, and do so with my complete - if a bit undercover -support."

The leaders rose, shook the President's hand and began to leave the Oval Office.  As they left, the Speaker stage-whispered, "About damn time."

The President quietly smiled.

....and then I woke up.....

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