Two explorers are captured by cannibals. "Death or bongo?" says the chief. "What's bongo?" ask the explorers, but the chief only replies "Death or bongo?" The first explorer chooses bongo, and (without going into the gory details) it's so horrible that the second explorer chooses death.
"Okay," says the chief, "Death! But first... bongo!"
I remembered this old joke when the Census Bureau reported that now more Americans than ever before have no healthcare insurance.
Official estimates by the Census Bureau showing a dramatic spike of 4.3 million in the number of Americans without health insurance in 2009 - to a record 50.7 million.
The jump of 4.3 million uninsured is the largest one-year increase on record and would have been much higher - over 10 million - had there not been a huge expansion of public coverage, primarily Medicaid, to an additional 5.8 million people.
And that is the real bipartisan plan for single-payer healthcare, as more of more of us lose our jobs and houses and sink below the income threshold for Medicaid, and eventually only a thin upper crust remains dependent on private health insurance, which they can easily afford, because they own everything!
"But at least we have Medicaid!" say the millions of formerly middle-class Americans. "Okay," say the chiefs, "And now we cut Medicaid!"