THOLOS OF ATHENA

Thursday, October 15, 2009

LET'S MAKE HAPPY (& HAVE HEALTH CARE, TOO!)

Okay, I'm going out on a limb, here. My good liberal friends tell me you can't reason with people who treat facts like the plague, who rank our President alongside the anti-Christ. But. . .gosh darn it, somehow, I just feel a grudging respect for those brave souls who have planted their sabers for a principle: to stand as one against government-funded health care.

Yes, you heard me correctly. I believe the raging minions have a right to be heard. They're Americans, too, God bless 'em. Including the ones with guns strapped to their legs. Why, they don't mean any harm. They're just marching to a different drummer, that's all.

So, this goes out to you, all you townhall protesters—you ”teabaggers,” “Birthers,” and “Glenn Beckers,” whoever you are. Wherever you came from. Listen, I'm not half the man you are. If I were lying in bed in pain and somebody offered me free cancer treatments or an open-heart surgery, why I'd chuck my pride and take the charity so fast it'd make your head fly. That's how lily-livered I am!

But not you, not the Birthers and Beckers. You've taken a stand, by golly, even if it's to your own detriment. Don't we usually equate that with heroism? Most of you are just an illness away from utter ruin. Half the foreclosures are the result of sky-rocketing medical bills. Yet, you Patriots (even some who are on Medicare!) are willing to stand up and say, “No! I will not take one thin dime of your filthy government money! Not even to save my own children if they should fall ill!” Now, that, my friends, is bravery!

Show me one banker, one measly CEO, who would have done that during the bailout!

So, in the interest of fair play, in the spirit of Obama, who seems to want nothing more than for everyone to just make nice and try to get along (he did win the Nobel Prize, after all), I offer this modest compromise. Please, hear me out:

First. I agree with my friends on the right: no one should be forced to carry health insurance. I call this the “Survival of the Fittest” Option. If you get sick and die, well, that's the breaks. Like Grampa used to say: “Some days it's chicken, and some days it's feathers.”

Second. The Public Option should be available. After all, a clear majority supports it, don't they? Around 72%. Assuming we're still a democracy, assuming Congress and the President haven't been bought off by the insurance corporations, the majority should win, right? At least that's what I was taught in fifth grade Civics class. Well, we'll see.

Third. Now, get this: Those fine Americans who still believe in free and unfettered private enterprise will be allowed to sign a waiver, stating their intention to refuse all government assistance. That's right—with a stroke of the pen, you can kick those stinking government boys out of your lives forever!

And it will be business as usual for the health insurance companies! Their doors will remain open! You teabaggers, Beckers, and others, will be allowed to purchase all the insurance you can afford.

Now, let's be clear on this. Let's be fair. Signing this waiver would be a one-time option. You can't come back later and change your mind. Make no mistake—the Devil will tempt you. When you see all those crazed liberals getting free checkups and free colonoscopies, you may be tempted to back-slide on some of your hard-won principles. Don't succumb! Think how unfair that would be to the insurance companies for whom you fought the good fight—not just the CEO's struggling to maintain a minimum level of prosperity in these hard times, but--dear God!--think of your hard-working agent, the one who looked out for you through thick and thin, through all the price increases and rising deductibles; the times you may have been justly denied coverage; the good—dare I say it?--family friend, who sent you all those birthday and Christmas cards through the years. You owe him something.

(And, of course, by signing the waiver, you also agree that you will no longer require the services of public schools or libraries, you'll haul your own trash to the dump, and should any emergency calls issue from your home, they will not be answered by police or fire departments.)

There, you see? Everyone wins! I believe this plan is workable and fair to all parties concerned. A few may sicken and die, but at least, it will be their choice!

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