You may have read the story of Bart, the
cat whose owner found him in a puddle of blood, hit by a car and (according to
him) obviously dead. Bart’s owner was so distraught, he couldn’t stand the
thought of burying him, so he asked neighbor to dig a shallow grave. Five days
later, Bart showed up, wounded and hungry, having clawed his way out of his
grave. Endnote: Bart lost an eye and had some other damage but the vets say he’ll
live out another of his lives comfortably.
The metaphor to Obamacare is pretty
low-hanging fruit, but I’ll pick it anyway.

The President’s healthcare program was a healthy cat,
run down in the streets by special interest groups specifically to make it
ineffective. Presidents since Herbert Hoover had all tried to bring a sensible National Healthcare program to the
American people and all such attempts
had died in the street in a puddle of blood.
President Obama was determined not to be among them
and, in desperation to get something
passed and in the hope that this something
could later be improved, he allowed the only feature that could make it work to
be legislated away. That feature was the so called Public Option—a parallel
form of healthcare available to everyone that put the insurance companies and
middlemen out of this very expensive equation.
Obama’s healthcare cat now lay in the street in a
puddle of blood and Republicans promptly buried it, sure that it was dead.
The Patient Protection and Affordable
Care Act clawed its way out of that grave and is with us today.
Twenty million Americans previously without
it currently have healthcare. All stories are local and my friend Paul, from
Chicago, saw his premium drop from $1,300 to $500 per month. It works. It works
badly compared to its original intent and it’s lost an eye, but it works and
struggled home to meow at the back door for millions in 28 states that allow
some form of Obamacare or Medicare expansion.
The cat may not be out of the bag, but
it’s certainly clawed its way out of the grave. The day may yet come when a
Public Option is demanded that will change both the costs and the methods by
which Americans receive healthcare.
But such a comprehensive reform may need
nine lives. In the meantime, here’s the update
on Bart the cat.