The sky was grey but the scene was electric as the crowd awaited the announcement of the government's newest initiative.
As with all politics, timing is everything, so just as the crowd was starting to get agitated with the long wait, Dr. Bernard Nottage took the stage to thunderous applause.
He informed the delighted audience that "his" government had the solution to all the "challenges" (nobody has problems anymore – just challenges) in the health care industry in The Bahamas. Not only that, the most modern technology will be used and those mean insurance companies, doctors and employers with their dastardly profit motive will be put in their place, once and for all!
Just as he was finishing – to shouts of approval – the familiar sound of Junkanoo music from the Valley Boys started to play in the background. One foot stuck through the curtain, and then another, followed by hands and the curtain was then suddenly drawn completely back to expose the great shuffler himself, Prime Minister Perry Christie.
If the crowd was electric before, they were now on 220 volts as "The PM", as he is affectionately known, made his way to the podium.
And he started his spell binding routine:
My fellow Bahamians, people have been dying in The Bahamas for far too long because of the uncaring doctors and insurance companies. My Government, has provided the best of facilities and equipment to get the job done at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Nassau and the Rand in Freeport. In fact, my brothers and sisters Chapter 231, Section 4 of the Health Services Act already says that "Subject to any rules prescribed by the Minister under section 29, medical and surgical attention and requisites shall be supplied by the Department at the public expense to- (a) such poor and indigent persons as may need and apply for them;…". But, you know, the PLP, my caring government, is going to go one better than that, we are going to create a National Health Insurance Scheme.
The crowd was in a frenzy now because they all know that every government only has the people's interest at heart (yeah right!) and "The PM" was at his shuffling best.
That's right, he screamed, now frothing at the mouth from excitement, we are going to create a National Health Insurance scheme, and on the day it becomes effective, no one else is going to die in The Bahamas! You heard me right, he screamed above the Valley Boys cow bells and goat skin drums, nobody else gun dead again 'cause of we scam (scheme).
There was pandemonium, the crowd was uncontrollable in its joy. Finally, thanks to the great shuffler and the PLP, no more loved ones will suffer the ravages of disease ever again in this island nation (some big word should go in place of island nation, but archipelago is difficult to spell)!
Just then there was a huge clap of thunder which started a deluge of rain waking the audience from its slumber – possibly a harbinger of what is to come with this NHI scam (Scheme).
Shucks – just as all Bahamians were going to live forever because of B.J. and Perry's great NHI Scam (Scheme)!
On a serious note, anyone with a shred of common sense knows that a profit motive is imperative for any business to keep its doors open. But, governments don't have to consider that option as they take the money they spend from its citizens – by force and threat of jail time – if you don't want to pay.
If you haven't done so as yet please log onto the National Coalition for Health Care Reform's website and sign the petition so we can get more information to help the government make an informed decision on this crucial matter.