Health Care Reform, Reenacted in Verse by Christina Severin

This article is more than 14 years old.

Gather round ye young and old, and I’ll tell you a grand tale
It’s been at least a score since the story began, but it never does get stale

I can see you all are tired, and I know it’s getting late
So, let me skip the boring stuff and go straight to ‘ole Chapter 58

‘Tis true it’s a little scary, hold your children fast and near
But if you listen ‘til the story’s end, I promise you won’t feel fear

There’s a little bit for everyone, young and old alike
Yes, there’s even something here for your little tyke

Folks were working hard to find a way to cover all
But making everyone happy proved a task forever tall

There were business folks ’round a table, and hot debate on the hill:
Who’s in, for how much, and when — and wait, who will balance the till?

They heard the tales of hardship from the faith group and Health Care for All
Who do so much for so many, and for help we can always call

In the end a leader was chosen, we call him good King Jon
His Connector board is da bomb with a dynamite theme song

Senator Travaligni and Speaker DiMasi had one big to-do
But their wives patched it over with some beef and cheese fondue

We all held hands together as we plunged to the great beyond
Not knowing how it’d turn out, some praying in verse and in song

In the end there was a signing, some jumped up and down for joy
For the law was passed, a new era born, and the people they called out, “Oh boy!”

Commonwealth Care, Commonwealth Choice — these words can be confusing
But if you use your Roadmap to Coverage, you’ll never find it bemusing

They say we’ve all got to do our part and have some skin in the game
But not everyone’s got it to give, and let’s face it — the expression’s kinda lame

For the youngest among us, don’t fear or fret, the grown-ups thought of you:
We pushed the income limit to make room for more bambinos too!

I wish we could keep the moms there, too, but instead we’re forced to mutter
Medicaid’s great when you have it, but it churns you out like butter

As we move forward, let’s remember our values, for it’s the people it’s all about
It took 18 years to get us here, though our shared future some might still doubt

Leading to our success has been a commitment to consensus
For this we thank the Connector board, which has never broken in the trenches

Going forward the big question is, can we afford it year after year?
I hope you have the special sauce ‘cause my costs are running in high gear.

Quality is bound to get better with coverage that’s robust and true
With bells, whistles, and pharmacy — I deserve it, and the Connector says so do you

There’s lots of pools — the small, the non, and the one to cover the gaps
Two’ve been merged, the other’s being purged; I sure hope this bird can flap

Yes, yes, it’s true, there remain open questions that badly need address
Like will there be enough docs who will work for a shilling or less?

For the common good it’s well understood that coverage is quite divine
That will be the spirit and intent for writing Chapter 59Christina Severin is executive director of Network Health, a health plan with more than 110,000 low- and moderate-income members with state-subsidized health insurance across Massachusetts.

This program aired on May 16, 2007. The audio for this program is not available.