Roger L. Simon

Should I read the new healthcare bill or finish Remembrance of Things Past?

I understand the healthcare bill, in its current iteration, runs 1990 pp. That’s a lot of pp., even for an Evelyn Woods graduate, which I’m not, and, to be honest, I never did finish Remembrance of Things Past. I want to be a good citizen, but if I ever get the extra time, I suspects I’ll choose Proust’s epic, which probably contains more information about health (among many other things), over Pelosi’s. Somehow the French masterpiece seems “more considered” and the first volumes, which were assigned in my college comp lit class, were pretty damn good.

And I think that’s the point. Healthcare needs improvement. What doesn’t? But what’s the rush? At present it is far from a catastrophe. The law of unintended consequences tells us a precipitous move may only make things worse. Why not move step by step? I am enough of a pragmatist to follow that where it may lead, even to a single-payer plan, even though I strongly doubt that would happen. But the current method seems so driven by politics it’s no wonder the public seems about to throw up. But the backers of this bill don’t seem to care. They are so locked in their own ideology they seem unwilling to test it. A gradual approach could, of course, reach their desired result, if it proves to be correct. But I suspect many of the people behind this distrust their own ideas. They don’t really believe themselves. They are only interested in power.

As for Proust, at this moment the collection of Remembrance of Things Past is number 672,039 on Amazon. I’m thinking of buying it and kicking it up a few notches. It’s either that or the Pelosi bill. Which do you think is more nourishing?