Blogger-SMS | Déjà Vu ~ Times

va: Beware the Spokesman!

“Talk about déjà vu!!!!!” my friend Sondra headlined in her email reporting her belated research on the state of healthcare debates.* She continued: “It was the tobacco boys all over again. Painful! Painful! Our best ’n brightest industry spokesmen—lined up like errant school chums—all prepped by their corporate-ness to the identical party-line. The new chant?—Recission. Recission. Recission. (Unanimous!) And you know what? I actually felt sorry for them—these free-market devotees touting policy and ‘apple-pie’ American business—for I never saw a sadder display of conformism and lackey-loo in all my life (except, of course, for those tobacco boys**). And it set me to thinking. Right there in that hearing-room was the raison d’étre (’scuse the French) of stratospheric compensation pacts. They buy soul.

“And the sweet hush-hush is that for many of our chiefs and semi-chiefs, it’s only half the story. They spend their days eating, drinking, flying, and perking at company expense. So, I ask you: Like who would give up that kind of privilege—that kind of “security” to speak one’s mind; to question the status quo; to question the ethics?

“So what do you think? Can anyone EVER agree to be a spokesman for pay without risking a fracture of soul? And considering the trade-off, how cheap it seems to go—whatever the perks! Sad, sad, SAD!”

* July 27, 2009 hearing at Indiana University Southeast, United States House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations New Albany, IN Field Hearing led by Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., chairman of the said Subcommittee. Spokesmen: Don Hamm President and CEO of Assurant Health, Indianapolis, Indiana; Richard A. Collins, CEO of Golden Rule Insurance Company, a UnitedHealth Group business, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Brian A. Sassi, President and C.E.O., Consumer Business, WellPoint, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana.

**Tobacco boys: