THE BLOG
03/23/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

The Answer to Health Care Reform

Well, Scott Brown has won the Senate election in Massachusetts, proving once again that, in America, anything is possible if you are extremely good looking and drive a pickup.

Brown's election boggles the mind. His centerfold picture, for example, reminds me of all those beauty queens who lost their crowns because they posed nude for magazines. Strange: If a woman poses nude for a magazine she can't even be a spokesmodel for a beauty pageant, but if a man poses nude he can be a U.S. senator. This means that either: 1) An appalling double-standard governs the career options of former nude models; or 2) All of those former beauty queens could have been senators.

But then, how they could have known? That's the thing about America. Yes, it's the land of opportunity, but often that opportunity is hidden, even when it is right in front of you.

Which brings us to the health care mess.

We seem to have two problems in America right now. One is our economy has been tanked by the housing bubble created by the unregulated banking industry. Thanks to the banks, and their principal enabler -- conservative political ideology -- we have rising unemployment, families with underwater homes, and a nation of increasingly frightened people bundled in a fraying safety net.

The bankers who caused this mess, however, got a huge bailout from Congress, which they quickly paid back, freeing them up to give themselves fat bonus checks. Now the banks are sitting on a mountain of cash, and face no prospect of meaningful regulatory reform.

Congress and the President, meanwhile, don't seem particularly concerned with any of this, and are focused instead on passing health care reform. Which, okay, may not be the biggest priority anymore, but is still important, and would be overwhelmingly popular if there was only a way for pay for it without increasing the already sky-high deficit.

What to do?

Hmmmm. All this money flowing through Wall Street, and no way to pay for health care.

If there were only a way to rein in the banking system while finding the money to pay for . . . Wait a minute! I've got it!

Why can't the banks pay for health care reform?

Wouldn't this kill two birds with one stone? And surely there is a way to do this? Even if the banks can't pay for all of health care, they could pay for as much as they can possibly afford, until they, too, have as little money as the rest of us, and then we go from there.

Making banks pay for critical social reform could also be a form of punishment for Wall Street. You cratered our economy with your unrepentant avarice? Fine, we're going to make you fund a national program to improve the lives of tens of millions of Americans. It seems like fair payback.

Yes, there are a few kinks to be worked out. I have not researched the incomes of banks, and how much could be diverted to a national health care plan. I am only one unpaid blogger on a news aggregator site. I can't be expected to, you know, actually do research and stuff. That's why we have Paul Krugman. But my idea is pointed in the right direction, and every penny collected from the banks would ease the deficit, and rein in an industry that is out of control.

Also, purely as political theater, my plan has merit. Do you think Scott Brown would have been elected if Obama were punishing Wall Street for its economic failures by making it pay for health care? There's just no way.

Finally, say what you want about my thinking, it is better than Obama's, which, according to the news this morning, is that we should gather around the parts of insurance reform that have bipartisan support.

Hello? Is he kidding? Remember those blank pages the Republicans waived at Obama during his speech to Congress? That's their plan. The only plan that has bipartisan support is the plan to do nothing.

Half-baked though my idea may be, it is certainly better than that.