Healthcare and throw pillows

Mississippi humorist Jerry Clower spun tales of good ‘ol boys and their adventures in a family way – no profanity, no toilet humor – nothing like that. One of my favorites is the one about his hero Marcel Ledbetter and friends that went coon hunting one night. They had one treed, but could not get a shot at it so Marcel decided to climb up the tree and either knock the coon down or get it in position for a shot. When he got up there, it wasn’t a coon – it was an angry bobcat that would have none of Marcel’s proddings. The two went at it mightily, and finally Marcel shouted down to Billy Joe to shoot the thing. Billy Joe said he couldn’t get a clear shot and might hit Marcel. But Marcel said “Billy Joe, shoot on up here amongst us – one of us has got to have some relief”.

The House’s passage of the new health care bill is something of a shot amongst the chaos of the whole issue. It is far from perfect or even acceptable to the Senate, but it is a second iteration. Actually, it is the third. The first model was Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA). Love it or hate it, it was a good start. The solution to refining the issue should have been the implementation of the act, then adjust and improve as time passed. That didn’t happen because of the complete intractable opposition by the GOP. Whether or not any changes were proposed by either party but met with resistance by the Obama administration is unknown to me, but I am not aware that anything was attempted during the implementation of the act. In any case, the current bill will move to the Senate (where it’s DOA) along with all the controversial issues to be resolved – preexisting conditions, states’ options on Medicaid expansion, the abolition of mandates, higher costs to older folks, and on and on. A showstopper is the uncertainty of costs which the insurance companies must know in setting their future plans and costs. As the Senate has been developing its own version of health care, we all wait to see what that will be. This will take time – as it appropriately should – but the longer it takes, the less the insurance companies will know how to craft their plans. Still, the issue is in motion, and if the Senate can arrive at a compromise plan, the country will benefit. That’s assuming the House accepts the Senate’s bill, which is anything but certain. Partisan opposition must take a back seat in the resolution of this vital issue. I think that our Senators Warner and Kaine have worked across the aisle enough to realize that some cooperation is necessary to get a bill that will improve the current situation. I trust them to do the right thing. If only Trump weren’t such an egotistical braggart wanting quick big wins, it might be easier for the Democrats to work with the GOP.

I was cogitating this issue this morning while returning from the early walk with Lily, getting the papers. Upon climbing the steps to the porch, I noted that the bench there could not be sat upon. It was filled side to side with throw pillows. New tags on some. This made me focus on a question more difficult to resolve than health care – what is it with women and throw pillows? I have discussed this with male friends who say exactly the same thing. Couches, sofas, beds, love seats – everything sittable in the house is covered with throw pillows. You have to toss some of them on the floor to sit on anything. But the wives and decorators all delight in the colorful addition to the comfortable ambience of the rooms. Never mind the reduced utility of sitting – it looks really pretty. And we know who runs the show. Bob McNally told a most illustrative story about a fellow who had a live-aboard boat and got married. While the marriage was just fine, the guy complained that he couldn’t get the boat up on plane anymore because the wife had so many #!!#&# throw pillows. Perhaps the ladies are born with a special chromosome or DNA squiggle that drives them to crave throw pillows. Unlike an opposition political party, we must tiptoe carefully about opposing this issue. Be warned, lads.

Editorial by Marion Dongieux

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