By Ronald E. Bachman
(With thanks to E.A. Poe’s, “The Raven”)
Once upon a weekday dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
My youthful brain was being fair, to learn about ObamaCare,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my bedroom door,
“Tis some visitor,” I thought, “Tapping at my bedroom door –
Only this and nothing more.”
Then a Spirit came over me, as I dreamed of liberty,
Could I keep my Doctor Seuss, my baseball cap, my Mother Goose?
And with my needs could I be sure, that my doctor would have a cure
For complex ills and dangers waiting? Are we advancing or abating?
Will I see their dedication? … good doctors, nurses or litigation?
My hope encouraged began to soar, reform is here forevermore.
And then a sudden thought of terror, as I read my surgeon’s letter.
He was leaving his profession for, he said, he’d learned his lesson.
He’s had his practice now cut back, by forms and unknown bureaucrats.
My cancer treatments were with him, and now my hope is looking grim,
The promises of access there, was no more than a whiff of air,
There must be someone to implore, there’s darkness here and nothing more.
But presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
I called out for the One that hears, but no one came to allay my fears,
The fact is that we were napping, while they plotted and were mapping
A future no one could see; they did not read what was to be.
They had no right to alter fate with promises and no debate,
The pols just laughed when I implored, “I cannot stand this anymore!”
They said, “It’s law. It may be strange. Your parents voted for Hope and Change.
You’ll have to wait for a doctor’s care, but now you know we all must share.
You have insurance that is enough, to give you more would be too much.
We’d have to think and compromise, when all we do is analyze.
We have our plans and committee papers; we are, of course, the good law makers.
We may have promised benefits galore, but you’ll get this and nothing more.”
But, I said, this is our land. And have we not the right to stand?
My health and life are not your choice, in America we once had a voice.
I want the right to pick and choose, I want to win and not to lose.
I want the freedoms of before, I want the care we can afford.
My brain awoke requesting more. But was it real or was it lore?
The truth we know is at the core: We must accept what’s now in store.
A raven foreshadows what is to be, standing there in front of me,
That ghastly bird from death’s cold shore, ’twas he who tapped upon my door.
Standing there in front of me, he let me know I was not free,
He spoke of troubles yet to come, and how there’s hope for only some.
The word the raven did outpour, that felled my high hopes to the floor.
When I asked, “Can it be as before?” the bird just said, “Nevermore.”
Startled at the promises broken, by reply so aptly spoken,
I was shocked to learn the truth, that change did happen in that booth,
Election day had really mattered, for in that moment liberty was shattered.
It sounded good when they said they wanted more and to be fed,
To get more stuff they thought was free, and now it is affecting me.
Oh Lord, have mercy on their soul. You gave us rights, they lost control,
The pols now tell me from above that it is they that I must love.
For unlike life that was before, we now must wait Forevermore.
Ronald E. Bachman FSA, MAAA, is a Senior Fellow at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, an independent, state-focused think tank that proposes practical, market-oriented approaches to public policy to improve the lives of Georgians. Nothing written here is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the Foundation or the Center for Health Transformation or as an attempt to aid or hinder the passage of any bill before the U.S. Congress or the Georgia Legislature.
© Georgia Public Policy Foundation (December 14, 2012). Permission to reprint in whole or in part is hereby granted, provided the author and his affiliations are cited.
The Foundation’s Criminal Justice Initiative pushed the problems to the forefront, proposed practical solutions, brought in leaders from other states to share examples, and created this nonpartisan opportunity. (At the signing of the 2012 Criminal Justice Reform bill.)