A lot of us manage to get our words published in one venue or another. But there are a relative handful of people whose work humbles and sometimes even shames the rest of us who presume to call ourselves writers. My personal favorites among contemporary writers are Paul Theroux, Maureen Dowd, Roger Angell, Dick Cavett and Rick Reilly, although there are many more.
Lately, I’ve come to admire the wonderfully irreverent work of Joel Stein, who is a regular columnist for TIME magazine. The subject of his piece in the current issue is health care reform and, in it, Stein opines that he would be a perfect choice to serve on one of Sarah Palin’s “death panels.”
“ … you need me on your death panel precisely because, unlike politicians and doctors, I can admit that we already have death panels; they just prefer to go by the name insurance companies. Some people get rejected by the death panels because of pre-existing conditions, lifetime spending caps, or drug co-payments they can’t afford. Others die because they are freelancers and don’t have insurance, so they don’t go to doctors. Others might not get the coverage they need because they wrote a column that called insurance companies death panels.”
Funny, eh? But he’s also right.