The monster behind the mask

Halloween takes on a new meaning as we face a monster of lies and deceit.

The Baucus health care reform "plan" is finding its way to daylight just as the Halloween holiday approaches.  It would appear that the timing for this monster is appropriate, as it lurks toward us disguised behind a mask of compassion, caring and fiscal responsibility. 

On the surface, the mask assures us that this reform is necessary to save our country from economic ruin.  But, under the mask, we find that they will cut $400 B from Medicare funding and paying the bill for this insurance reform starts immediately after signing, but the insurance doesn't take affect until 2013.  What happens to these monies?  The mask also knows that the plan calls for savings from mandatory physician payments that were approved by Congress in 2003, but have been blocked, by the very same entity, every year since.  The mask has no plans to "un-block" these cuts, but on paper it helps to sell the program.

The mask then advises us that doctors across the country are behind this reform movement and he parades them out in front of the White House to prove it.  But, a sinister laugh erupts from behind the mask as the truth lies hidden behind the façade.  These doctors don't actually represent the feelings of most of the medical professionals in this country.  The fact is, in a recent survey, 45% of doctors polled would consider closing their practice if this reform bill passes!  A guttural cry echoes from behind the mask.  "These fools are buying it" he thinks to himself.

The mask professes that absolutely nothing in this reform bill "requires" Americans to drop their current health care policies.  This time, the mask is right:  There are no mandates for citizens to be forced to drop their current policies.  The mask, however, chuckles again knowing full well that the penalties, fines and taxes that are "forced" upon employers and those receiving high-benefit insurance coverage will result in massive coverage drops to avoid those fees.  This disturbing factoid never seems to find the light of day behind the menacing mask.

The mask never flinches as it tells us that we can trust it.  He'd never do anything that would cause us harm or jeopardize our way of life.  Underneath the disturbing veneer the mask shrieks, knowing full well that even it doesn't know what will be in the final reform bill.  In reality, he doesn't care what's in the bill.  The mask knows that its only job now is to sell the plan, not to get bogged down with trying to explain it.

Once the bill has been signed (make no mistake, the mask will stop at nothing to accomplish this), then the mask-the façade of comfort and compassion-can be removed, for then it will be too late to push the monster back into the dark cave from whence it came.

This Halloween, Americans will be treated to the most sinister-the most evil of all conceptual monsters:  A monster of lies and deceit.  A stealthy approach...a shadowy advance...impending horror, all disguised as a wholesome apple; all the while hiding the sharp razor blade inside.