Sunday, November 21, 2010

Another Modest Proposal

My very own solution to the health care dilemma ...

One of the most bizarre spectacles I've ever seen in American politics was in the runup to our recent midterm election when crowds of protesters could be seen waving signs demanding "Repeal Healthcare!"

Huh? You mean you don't want any healthcare? No, of course that's not really what they meant. It's just that in our quest for soundbite brevity two words are better than three. What they really meant to say was "Repeal Healthcare Reform."

What? You mean you want healthcare to stay the way it is now? Unaffordable for many, unobtainable for some, easily lost for millions more? You mean insurance companies should continue to drop people as soon as they get sick? You mean people should continue to be required to bankrupt themselves before they can get any public assistance for medical issues?

Well, to be fair, I don't believe that's really what they want either. Mostly what they object to is the idea that they might be required by law to buy health insurance. It doesn't matter that we are already required by law to buy car insurance and required by banks to buy home insurance, and that our employers are required to purchase workers compensation insurance even though medical insurance is optional.

And it doesn't matter that a poll showed that 39% of the voters agreed with the statement, "The government should keep its hands off of Medicare." (True story!) It doesn't even matter that if those voters squinted carefully at their paycheck stubs they would see that they are paying the government for Medicare.

No, all they want is choice. And let's give them the benefit of the doubt and assume this is not just a case of deep pocketed lobbyists managing to influence the electorate to vote against its own interests. No, these people are simply independent. They want to be able to buy insurance if they feel like it, and take their chances if they don't. Or, as many people below a certain income level do already, they might simply continue to report to the nearest emergency room whenever they get sick, relying on the public mandate that assures them of getting healthcare delivered in the most expensive way possible, and letting the rest of us pay for them.

My modest proposal is simply to add a provision allowing people to opt out of healthcare altogether. Don't want to buy coverage? Don't want to be taxed for it either? Fine. Just sign a release and you're on your own. But you don't get to change your mind when you get sick. And don't worry -- there won't be any government "death panels" advising euthenasia. That would be an unnecessary expense. There's already a place for you to go away and die. It's called "the street," and has been successfully tested nationwide for many years.

With this provision in place to remove any objections, the rest of us can proceed to join the other nations of the developed world in enjoying the benefits of assured, reliable medical treatment throughout our lives. The emergency rooms will be empty except for, um, emergencies, hospitals will not be overburdened with treating those who can't pay, and doctors will have time to talk to us again.

Here, I'll make it easy for you. Just clip this out and mail it in:

I, the undersigned, wish to exercise my freedom of choice to opt out of the hateful government mandated socialist Obamacare plan. I promise to purchase my medications __online / __ in Canada / __ in Mexico / __ at Walmart (choose one) or to do without them. I will find my own doctor and make my own arrangements to pay, thank you very much. In the choice between death and taxes my mind is made up.

I further waive my right to coverage under any current medical plan for preexisting conditions prior to the signing of this agreement. I'm mad as hell and I'm not taking it any more.

Signature: _____________________________
Effective Date: _____________

1 comment:

  1. Being unemployed, with a preexisting condition, recovering from a 3rd spinal surgery this year and living in Virginia, home to Eric Cantor, pictured above, I am a "poster child" for the disaster that is US health care. I love your modest proposal. Besides giving those who are perpetually healthy an opportunity to opt out of ALL coverage, it calls them out. Should I send the clipping to Eric?