Tuesday, September 16, 2008

READ: The "C" Words

Cancer.  When I meet people through work they are typically middle aged overweight white guys exploiting the latest scheme to make money off of government funded healthcare programs.  But today I met someone different.  Her name is Dr. Chang and she is a radiation oncologist - in short, she treats cancer with radiation.  She described her work at the radiation center - patient assessment, care planning and then actual treatment - emphasizing the importance of empathy and making the cancer patients feel well informed, cared for, and.. hopeful.  That, in combination with her intelligent yet humble, sweet voice was so disarming and inspiring.  At some point it hit me - this woman encounters so much suffering and pain - and helps heal much of it - and you could never tell.  

Change.  In another meeting, 2 lobbyists from a prominent DC law firm discussed the legislative outlook for healthcare.  One point they made put the election in a whole new light for me:  every company in healthcare that depends on government funding should pray for McCain to win the election.  Why?  There is no better way to guarantee the status quo - and no disruptive healthcare reform happening - than by having one party control of the Congress and the other one in the White House.  Here's a perfect example of how that pans out in practice.  Conversely, put the democrats in charge and suddenly the prospect of laws being passed without a veto makes everyones stomach contract a little.  Taking that little observation a step further - and this is not an opinion but rather a procedural observation - the only way to achieve "change" - is to elect a democrat into the White House.  Similarly, the best way to accomplish paralysis in these critical times, is to have an expanding Democratic majority in the congress - which seems all but certain come November - presided over by a Republican.  Good luck getting anything done in that mad house.

And so, here I am, constructing a case for veto-proof single party rule.  Ugh, I hope I won't have to regret it.

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