Health care: sparrows and cardboard boxes

Birds. Sparrows feeding in a park, ca 1920-1950. Theodor Horydczak (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.)

Several years ago I sat next to a Frenchman on a flight from Paris to Washington DC. He stated that his country considered access to health care a human right and asked why my country didn’t provide it to its citizens.

Two years ago we got a watered-down version officially known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Now we have people kneeling in the street in front of the Supreme Court Building praying that the ACA will be overturned.

Which reminds me of one of my very favorite quotes about the American polity from commenter Davis X Machina at Balloon Juice–it’s now enshrined in the Lexicon:

“The salient fact of American politics is that there are fifty to seventy million voters each of who will volunteer to live, with his family, in a cardboard box under an overpass, and cook sparrows on an old curtain rod, if someone would only guarantee that the black, gay, Hispanic, liberal, whatever, in the next box over doesn’t even have a curtain rod, or a sparrow to put on it.”

Or health care either.