The Healthcare Plan

Maybe if we go back to the beginning we
Could improve the language, make it simpler,
Arrive at the same critical conclusion
Found on the last pages
More directly, just by taking a few
Shortcuts along the way,
Seizing what may be this last historic opportunity to
Make the point, to address with qualified support
The vast majority of concerns, announce to those
Who watch from just a little distance and a
Damning sense of disapproval, a formula,
A plan that has it all worked out:  a bill that
Will ensure their vote for hours or days to
Come, include a guarantee that cannot be denied,
Ensure a public victory at last, without condition.

We’ve discussed it, worked it out a
Thousand times, that’s not the problem.
It’s putting it on the page so that all can read
Precisely what it means and all the implications,
Emphasize the benefits of the whole
Package, demonstrate the cost-savings,
From start to finish, the projections over
Future years an economic find… without
Allowing a rift to emerge within the party,
Losing needed votes— trying to prevent
A dispute that percolates, permeates the
Debate, aborts the process.  So we
Pour over it line by line, all two thousand pages,
Follow the fast-moving developments,
Complications that arise only to be
Resolved by new additions, concerns that
Are addressed by higher levels of compromise,
Weaving into legislative language, state by state,
As though this all were logical….
Play with the numbers
Going first in one direction, then another to
Reverse revisions, bring into conference a
Final resolution, without anyone being wiser.

We pour over the details, think we’ve got it all locked up,
Find a few subtractions to pass the time….
Then next day we lose it, can’t recall, can’t read
The handwriting, can’t remember what was said,
Contend with doubts, reformulate the pre-existing
Conditions of the problem, emphasize again
The final solution for each member of the House—
We did not make this up, this work, this problem,
This destiny of fate that has us in its grasp.
Do you see?  Do you get it?  Have we made it clear?
Do we have your vote at last???

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