The left, right, and health care reform poetry

Into the valley of health reform
Bestrode the one hundred senators.
Comprehensivists to the left,
Incrementalists to the right.
Squarely in the middle sat the arcane,
Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine.

Bespoke the comprehensivists.
It must be done all at once.
Evoked the incrementalists.
No, it must be done one at a time.

Bespoke the comprehensivists.
We simply cannot wait any longer.
Evoked the incrementalists,
Why not,you’ve waited a century already.

Bespoke the comprehensivists.
It must be done right now.
Evoked the incrementalists.
No, it must be done right.

Bespoke the comprehensivists.
It must be done now or never.
Evoked the incrementalists.
No, now or never is forever.

Bespoke the comprehensivists.
It must contain federal mandates.
Evoked the incrementalists.
No, not like socialist states.

Bespoke the comprehensivists.
It must have a public option.
Evoked the incrementalists.
No, that means federal co-option.

Bespoke the comprehensivists.
Tax the private side to pay for it all.
Evoked the incrementalists,
No, it would be the middle class you tax.

They labored and negotiated
and reacted to the polls,
deep into the day,
and late into the night,
for seven long months.

Both claimed they were voices of reason.
But each feared the next political season.
What would happen in 2010 and 2012?
Would they be put on the political shelve?

What did those public events of August portend,
those tea parties, capital marches, and town halls?
Would their grassroots constituents they offend?
Were they headed for collective political falls?

And so each side labored long and hard
To either muster or stave off sixty votes.
Above all they sought not to be caught off guard,
Before the end of this non-election year,
What they feared was November next year.

Richard Reece is the author of Obama, Doctors, and Health Reform and blogs at medinnovationblog.

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