Ow! An Ode To Obamacare


With apologies to “Howl” author Allen Ginsberg.

Part I

I saw the vast majority of three generations destroyed by madness, cursing unethical betrayed Spitting at frozen screens teasing 404 error waiting for the dusk of peak hours Onesie-clad hipsters sipping hot chocolate little marshmallows bobbing blinking hashtags in a sea of brown

debra saunders 2

Who opened cancellation notices all hollow-eyed and bitter sat up spewing the PolitiFact-tested rhetoric of 2010 word wars that promised nothing unfair to anyone rural or citified, and all that jazz

Who intoned: What happened to you if you like your stinking doctor or if you like your bourgeois health plan with its specialists doing important research at Stanford?

Who were expelled from their precious private policies and crazy enough to think those plans covered them

Who cowered when they realized what Obama thinks is affordable, burning old contracts in wastebaskets and contact info for their doctors

Who watched the White House extend final deadlines on employer mandates co-payment caps and heaped scorn as Ted Cruz read “Green Eggs and Ham” the madman of the shutdown who thought he could de-fund the law of the land?

Oh, healthcare.gov, you are not healthy, you poison the messy soup of government — As you run roughshod over icy Pecksniffs moaning for substandard plans not yearning for 10 essential benefits grousing about the inexorable spurt of premiums due

To take what was affordable and make it less affordable but still call it affordable and to care enough to call it care when fewer doctors actually provide care but remember that in the end, it always would be and surely will be an act

With the absolute heart of American health care butchered pulsing blood losing blood and yearning to feed upon itself for another election cycle.

Part II

What sphinx of Beantown and beltways threw away the individual market and left adults yearning for their substandard policies?

Amazon! Connectivity! Drones! Enrollees! Sign-ups are unattainable goalposts! Children have no pre-existing illness! Boys with maternity coverage! Old men scamming Medicare!

Amazon! Amazon! Dependable as Amazon! Amazon efficiency! Amazon the heavy judge of what works.

Able Amazon! Amazon swift mover of goods! Amazon! The boxless soulless warehouse and FedEx of presents! Amazon, whose customers get to buy stuff! Amazon the taker of the card! Amazon outgunned government!

Amazon! You must be a Republican idea with a conservative heritage even if no Republican voted for you.

Amazon! If Obamacare falters, it must be because the wings of the right root against it. Amazon with whom I sit lonely deserted by pharmaceutical companies that will not stay bought! Wondering how do I get even with insurers who don’t want to operate at a loss

Amazon! Amazon! The donkeys shop at Amazon, bray about Amazon, passed a 974-page bill that was supposed to work like Amazon! But you cannot know what is in the bill until you order it from Amazon

When it crumbles a disappointed Obama must propose a system that is the opposite of Amazon! Independent Payment Advisory boards morph into death panels!

EPOs! Covered California! Waiting lists! BadgerCare! Young invincibles!

Insurance death spirals! The sick sign up! The healthy abstain! Premium rates gurgle and spout! They are rising through the roof! On to single payer. There’s only way out is into single payer!

Part III

Healthcare.gov! I’m with you in limbo

Where you’re slower than molasses.

I’m with you in limbo

Where you don’t seem so slow.

I’m with you in limbo

Where you murdered employer-paid health care

I’m with you in limbo

Waiting for the promised $2,500 in savings

I’m with you in limbo

Where men pay for free birth control for the spinsters of Utica

I’m with you in limbo

Where red-state senators calculate how ably they can run from your high costs and denied doctors

I’m with you in limbo

Where you rest responsibility for fixing this mess on the party that never supported it.

I’m with you in limbo

Where not a day goes by when you do not pay homage to Romneycare.

I’m with you in limbo

Where we hug and kiss the United States under talking points The United States that smokes and eats bacon and won’t eat its vegetables

I am with you in limbo

Where 5 million Americans lost private plans so that 1 million could enroll in new exchanges

I’m with you in limbo

Where Organizing for Action lurches forward and angelic life of Julia meanders ahead O praise be to The Law of the Land not the Citizens United Supreme Court O soft money O soft belly O soft power where we dream of a system where speech is not free

I’m with you in limbo

In my dreams you promise more care for more people with more health problems and cheaper and it will be morning in America, which is, I must repeat, a Republican idea.

Email Debra J. Saunders at dsaunders@sfchronicle.com.

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