When in doubt, call Bob
It’s time to call Bobby Zimmerman in to deal with the national health care (recent alias: health insurance) legislative initiative.
Bobby Zimmerman of Hibbing, Minn., (longtime alias: Bob Dylan) writes well if you include lyrics and memoirs. He’s a capitalist with moola, an aging wise man who understands cooperation and cooperatives, and he may even know a bit about drugs.
For sure, he knows pertinent questions and the political art of keeping answers vague. Witness this youthful Q & A: “How many roads must a man walk down before you call him a man?” and “The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind.”
Separate news items this year dealt with Bobby Z/D being taken for a suspicious character by a cop and allowing his “Blowin’ in the Wind” to be used in an advertisement.
Long Branch, N.J. Officer Kristie Buble picked up Z/D, scruffily dressed and sans ID, then took him to his hotel, where his manager vouched for him. She hadn’t recognized him, but later said Z/D told her he understood why she needed to check him out.
Whoa, evidence of wisdom! No White House beer summons for these people. So we’ve established Z/D’s cooperation bona fides and wisdom. What about the cooperative part?
Z/D is allowing his 1963 folk anthem to be used in an ad campaign for a 4.5 million membership British co-op called The Cooperative Group, which offers critical illness supplemental insurance coverage, among other things.
Now there’s talk the Obama administration may scuttle the health bill’s public “option” after a conservative uprising. A cooperative might replace it. And Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., compares his health exchange co-op idea to the Associated Press.
I’m familiar with the AP and United Press International, which the AP basically buried. I worked for both as a younger man. One reason UPI declined as a major wire service was that the AP, a co-op, enjoyed tax advantages.
Here I digress to question talk of a level playing field. Democrats prefer the public “option” but may opt for the co-op to get their feet in the door with an anti-insurance industry alternative. Whichever. However, let’s think.
Nevadans should understand the silliness of any notion that the house, over time, won’t stack odds via rules in its own favor. Call feds the casino and call insurance companies card counters. Any doubt about who, in the end, pulls out a blackjack and wins?
The level playing field whopper is as much a canard from the far left as the dufus “death panel” and rationing blather are from the far right. So, too, is the lefties’ claim that savings/efficiencies will cover a majority of health “reform” costs.
But I’m a realist, aware that Democrats have sufficient votes if they keep their ranks disciplined. It won’t surprise me if a public “option” or a co-op is in a health package signed by President Obama later this year.
So call in Z/D. He can write—if not necessarily sing—better than politicos and D.C. hired guns. He proved wiser dealing with a cop than your average Harvard professor. And he knows something about co-ops.
Conservatives may dither at turning to the ’60s anthem writer for help. But later in life Z/D wrote tradition-oriented lyrics. In his memoir he argued for family privacy and against media madness, showing conservative impulses.
I say—tongue firmly planted in cheekiness—that we make Bobby Z/D chief health bill conference committee arbiter. He can’t under-perform our defective elected reps.
And, my friend, he won’t be blowin’ so much hot air downwind.