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Archive for Sunday, October 4, 2009

A modest proposal for health care reform

October 4, 2009

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Whereas the country is tumbling in a catastrophic crisis, whereas people are dying like flies in the streets and the economy has crashed and the sky is about to fall down utterly in our laps, whereas universal health care is a right and a hallmark of civilization, whereas we need to “get something done” before the next congressional recess and nap time and whereas haste is of the essence and the time for thoughtful deliberation is past, herewith follows abridged circumlocutions and subterfuges from S.CON.RES.000, Sponsor Sen. Bogus, provisionally entitled Some-Kind-of-Health-Care Bill. Regulations apply to all citizens — except for elected politicians and members of public service unions, who will retain gold-plated coverage and privileges unavailable to ordinary Americans, hereinafter referred to as the “Little People.”

Section I. Mandatory Free Choice Health Insurance. All Americans are hereby required to purchase health insurance according to specifications deemed best for them by their benign and omniscient government. Those who fail to comply will be fined. Those who can’t afford insurance will be subsidized, premiums to be paid by the Rats in the Barn, also known as “the Taxpayers.”

Subsection A. If you like the insurance you have, you can keep it. Fine. It’s a free country. Go ahead, gum up the works by thinking only of yourself. Just remember, you will pay. You will be ostracized, vilified, and forced to sit in the cheap seats at sporting events. (See Afterthought 4,934, Retributions and Public Humiliations).

Section II. Preservation of the Status Quo. Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, no proposed change specified by Some-Kind-of-Health-Care Bill will in any way alter or undermine the prerogatives of Special Interests or affect the equilibrium of the status quo, according to the provisions of the Anti-Boat Rocking Act.

Subsection A: Tort Reform. Whereas malpractice insurance contributes to skyrocketing health care costs, lawyers are requested to please, please be reasonable and limit their pursuit of frivolous lawsuits against doctors. Addendum: Whereas the lawyers’ lobby represents a significant source of campaign funds, lawyers shall receive compensation equal to fees forfeited by such self-restraint.

Subsection B: Insurance Reform. Private insurance companies (henceforth officially designated “Greedy,” “Villainous,” and “Rapacious”) will join U.S. Pharmaceutical, U.S. Auto, U.S. Bank and Financial, U.S. Footwear and Bagel and other businesses protected by the Federal Corporate Welfare Umbrella. Greedy and Villainous insurance companies will provide coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, including terminal illnesses and those diagnosed with de facto moribundity. Any loss of obscene profits will be repaid by the windfall from Mandatory Coverage of the Uninsured.

Subsection C: Agricultural Reform and Obesity Option. In order to protect the endangered agricultural oligopoly and encourage overproduction, subsidies for grains that can be converted into high fructose syrups and junk food stuffs will be increased.

Lower insurance rates for those who lead healthy lives are prohibited. (That would be a form of discrimination against people who can’t control their appetites.) Those who elect the Obesity Option are guaranteed the right to overeat. The extra cost of their health care will be born by those who practice moderation and take responsibility for their lives.

Full Employment Act: Jobless citizens are hereby offered employment as fact checkers, file keepers and compliance overseers at the offices of the newly formed Universal Health Care Enforcement Board. Employees will qualify for lifetime tenure after their first hour on the job. Benefits to include taxpayer-funded pensions and protection against firing due to incompetence. Two months paid vacation, six weeks spa leave.

Provision 1. No New Taxes. Government initiatives are for the good of the people. Money required to fund them are not “taxes,” but “benefits.” To help pay for this bill, fees will be assessed on everything remotely connected to medicine and will be designated “contributions.” Increased costs will be passed on to the “Little People” or paid for by eliminating services. Expensive surgeries and therapies will be replaced by painkillers, placebos, nostrums and various forms of Alternative Medicine. (See Article 546, Witchdoctors, Sorcerers and Exorcists.) Anyway, money is no object, since the government can print up a trillion new dollars in a matter of hours.

Doctors are responsible for familiarizing themselves with Federal Guidelines for applications of Band Aids, proper use of tongue depressors, etc. A government inspector will be present to monitor all meetings between doctors and patients. Pitfalls and inconsistencies of this and other bills have been classified as “Top Secret” or obfuscated to frustrate second-guessing by nosy trouble-makers.

Bean counters are advised to address concerns to the Department of Unintended Consequences, temporarily closed due to inadequate funding. As a cost-saving measure and to prevent the sowing of more factually accurate misinformation about the effects of this bill on the Federal Deficit, it is recommend that the Congressional Budget Office be shut down or ignored.

Have a nice day — or else.

Comments

devobrun 4 years, 6 months ago

Merrill, competition between private capital ventures and the U.S. government does not represent a fair playing field.

The government will loose.

Most argue that the government will push out private insurance, but I don't. I think that government-based health insurance will further complete the demise of state and federal governments.

California is bankrupt. The federal government is not far behind. Further increase in liability transferred to the government will result in an entity that is not viable.

Social security, health care, welfare, military, regulatory entities, and increased funding of science are sapping our government dry. None of these things are proving fecund. In time, our government will fail and all this discussion of health care plans and private options will be laughably left behind.

The end is near. The U.S. government will declare bankruptcy. Creditors will receive little. Our government will declare that all existing laws except the constitution are moot. We will have to start over.

Buy gold now.

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 6 months ago

In the meantime:

Smart Medical Insurance Improves Our Quality of Life, Our Wallets and our expendable cash availability! Yes more for birthdays,Christmas vacations or investments.

National Health Insurance does not remove competition from the actual health care industry. It will be alive and well. Profits will be based on customer service and clinic performance based on the clients experience. This is my perception of competition.

How many of the vocal minority out there supporting the most expensive medical insurance in the world are employees and/or shareholders?

How many are receiving corrupt campaign dollars?

Some of our reps on all sides of the aisle say “Let's slow down a bit”. I say consumers have been waiting for more than 60 years for fiscal responsible medical insurance how much slower can it go?

What could possibly be more american? Providing americans with the choice of National Health Insurance. HR 676 is the only equitable approach that includes all of us.

Shouldn't taxpayers have the choice of Medicare Insurance For All? Absolutely!

HR 676 would cover every person for all necessary medical care including: long term care such that cancer demands prescription drugs hospital surgical outpatient services primary and preventive care emergency services dental mental health home health physical therapy rehabilitation (including for substance abuse) vision care hearing services including hearing aids chiropractic durable medical equipment palliative care long term care.

A family of four making the median income of $56,200 would pay about $2,700 in payroll tax for all health care costs.

HR 676 ends deductibles and co-payments. HR 676 would save hundreds of billions annually by eliminating the high overhead and profits of the private health insurance industry and HMOs.

National Health Insurance for All http://www.healthcare-now.org/

Doctors for Single Payer http://www.pnhp.org/

Unions for HR 676 http://unionsforsinglepayerhr676.org/union_endorsers

Organizations and Government Bodies Endorsing HR 676 http://www.pnhp.org/action/organizations_and_government_bodies_endorsing_hr_676.php

Health Care In the USA http://www.dollarsandsense.org/healthcare.html

Consumer Reports On Health Care http://blogs.consumerreports.org/health/health_reform/

National Health Insurance does not remove competition from the actual health care industry. It will be alive and well. Profits will be based on customer service and clinic performance based on the clients experience. This is my perception of competition.

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