The abbreviated version of this Ballad appeared in today’s Washington Post’s Healthcare Rx panel. This original version was too long for the site, so I’m posting here in Health Populi for those of you die-hard Beatles and health reform fans…enjoy!


Good morning, good morning. I want to tell you that I find myself in a mash-up this week of health politics and The Beatles….please, please me by indulging me in my recap of President Obama’s speech through the lens of The Beatles, remastered…

Yesterday, I saw him standing there, in the joint session of Congress, where I saw more than one Fool on the Hill. And there was Michelle; in my life, girl, I’ve never seen anyone prettier in pink.
“When I spoke here last winter,” the President began, “this nation was facing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Our financial system was on the verge of collapse,” but he went on… it’s getting better.

For the minority of Americans with rich health plans, baby you’re a rich man. But the President spoke of the misery of the under-insured, whose health plans don’t deliver what they promise. Here, there and everywhere, Americans are denied and declined necessary services, even when they have insurance. For those without insurance, they sing, I can’t buy me love, or health care.

There’s a place, the President envisioned, for Americans who don’t have health insurance. It won’t be long; all I’ve got to do is include a public option. I wanna be your man to solve the health insurance crisis that has been a challenge over two generations of Dingell’s – a long, long, long time coming. Across the universe, “We are the only wealthy nation that allows such hardships for millions of its people.” Even compared to back in the U.S.S.R.

But with a little help from my friends, “we can act even when it’s hard” and “replace acrimony with civility, and gridlock with progress.”

Don’t pass me, or this historic opportunity, by, the President said. There’s not a second time to meet this challenge. Wake up from your golden slumbers.

It was a helter skelter recess. “The time for bickering is over,” so don’t bother me with the lies about death panels, covering illegal aliens, and federal funding for abortion.

Instead, look to the bipartisan health care work done by Orrin Hatch, who funded health insurance for the little child. And I’ve just see a face of John McCain, Obama said, who worked on providing uninsured Americans with low-cost coverage.

We don’t need a revolution. We’ll build on what works and fix what doesn’t, the President insisted. The challenge is bigger than fixing a hole. Perhaps we don’t agree on every little thing, he said, but we agree on 80% of what needs to be done. Yes, we can work it out.

Security, stability, keep what you have any time at all, eight days a week. The American with health insurance wants to hold onto their plan; they say, “I Feel Fine.” For them, we’ll let it be. But for those without access to affordable health care, we must do this, being for the health benefit of Mr. Kite and all Americans.

I will slow the cost of health care, and insure the uninsured. That’s the word. A public plan will bring more competition to local health markets. And for Doctor Robert and all physicians, we’ll work to bring down the cost of malpractice.

“More than four decades ago, this nation stood up for the principle that after a lifetime of hard work, our seniors should not be left to struggle with a pile of medical bills in their later years. That is how Medicare was born. And it remains a sacred trust that must be passed down from one generation to the next, for when I’m sixty four. Your mother should know that she’ll get the benefits she’s been promised.

“You lie,” Rep. Wilson yelled, twice, during the speech. I’m looking through you, Joe Biden was thinking as he shot Wilson a sharp look. Get back. He’s a real nowhere man, Biden was thinking. Nancy Pelosi was thinking, “I’m so tired.”

The Republicans? No reply, until John McCain later censured Wilson on Larry King.

Money (that’s what I want); all you need is love and $900 billion for this health plan. The plan’s costs will not add to the deficit, the President said. But the Republicans worried: beware the Taxman. And the President kept thinking, you never give me your money.

“Many in this country are deeply skeptical” about government. I need you to think for yourself, the President appealed to the American people. It’s time to come together, here and now, to meet history’s test.

All Together Now, the President urged. It’s All Too Much the Republicans yawned. Slow down, they thought in unison, silently humming the March of the Meanies.

Tomorrow never knows. It will be a hard day’s night as Congress reconvenes and negotiates health reform. A long and winding road awaits those legislators who will tackle the hard work of solving the health care crisis. Help!

Good night, hello, Goodbye, and God Bless America.

Health Populi’s Hot Points: Some of us live-and-breathe health care policy for a living. I hope this moment of bringing some of my personal passion for the Beatles (especially this week with the launch of Rock Band and the remastered music) into the health arena made you smile. With all the acrimony surrounding the health reform debate, I needed that!

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