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A Modern Day Fable


A Citizen’s Guide to Understanding the Health Care Situation in a Certain Country Which Will Remain Unnamed


Once upon a time, there was an ant colony where many ants lived.  It was a nice place, but many of the worker ants kept getting sick.  Most of them were unable to get treated because getting treated by the doctor ants was very expensive and only a lucky few had enough money to see the doctor ants.

The workers kept getting sick, but no one would listen, or ants that promised to help were bought off and talked to death by Aristocants – the old, fat, rich ants from both political parties.  Until one day.  One ant finally rose up and listened to the plight of all the worker ants.  She promised to do something about it and gave all the ants hope.  The Republicants said she came from another colony or from another planet.  Most of the ants did not believe that and they voted for her, the lead Democant.  Most of the ants were convinced by her speeches and plans for changing their beloved colony for the better and they voted for her for Queen ant.  She easily won the election by a landslide.  The ants had spoken.


Right away, she went to work and started to change things for the better, reversing much of the damage the previous Queen had done to the ant society.  The times of the previous Queen's rule were still fresh in everyone's minds.


But when the new Queen tried to make all the ants healthy and guarantee that they could see the doctor ants, the Aristocants rose a big fuss.  The Aristocants, who had held power and privileges for many, many years felt threatened so they blocked the new Queen in every way they could.  They spread lies about the health care plans and the ignorant ants among them believed the lies. 

The Queen showed how other neighboring ant colonies both near and far had universal health care for all the ants and how they were healthy.  The Aristocants said that reports of healthy ants are highly exaggerated and besides, only Communants and Socialants (those were the two biggest swear words in the ant colony, yet very few ants actually understood what they meant) want universal health care. The Republicants chipped in and said that universal health care was evil, even though their own religious leader Jesant made sick ants healthy for free.  They did not seem to ever remember that, though, since it was a long time ago and it’s not good for business.

The Aristocants said that things were fine the way they were and if any change should ever happen in the future, it should come very, very slowly, knowing that change would never come, as it would be bogged down in talks.  The Aristocants knew they could keep things the way they were, the way they wanted it.

Eventually the Queen ant buckled under pressure from the Aristocants and ignorant worker ants who believed all the lies.  She felt she needed to compromise with the Republicants, even though they were nearly all voted out of office.  The worker ants and Democants become frustrated at this, since she had said change was coming.  They felt they were being sold out again.

These ants felt helpless and that they had only three options:

Hope the Queen ant would be firm to her morals and the promises she made to get there and bring about a health care system like the ones that work in the other ant colonies, but she seemed to be caught in the spell of the Aristocants and did not seem to be listening to the worker ants any more.

Revolt. But no one could remember a revolt in their lifetime, even though their own ant colony was founded on a revolution.

So it seemed they only real choice they had was to listen to the Aristocants and not change anything, because after all, it had gotten them this far.  Meanwhile worker ants kept getting sick and dying.




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