September 15, 2009
Health care. We got it. Then there are those unlucky wretches who happen to have pre-existing conditions: obesity, arthritis, diabetes, depression, pregnancy – really anything short of acute head trauma is grounds for disqualification from most American health insurance programs. The remaining few crazy enough to actually provide insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions charge rates just slightly less than the actual medical treatment itself costs. Generally, people with pre-existing conditions are the lepers of the insurance world (and, by the way, leprosy is a pre-existing condition). Why shouldn’t they be? No insurer wants some obese, diabetic, depressed, pregnant chick pissing all over its actuarial tables. That’s no way to make a fast buck. On the other hand, you can’t exactly march all the pre-existing condition cases out to a shallow grave in the woods and pop a cap in the back of their heads either. The bleeding hearts ruined that gambit for Hitler, so there’s no reason to believe they wouldn’t ruin it for Humana too. If Hitler had succeeded, however, his master race would have dressed up German actuarial tables nicely. Imagine what a nation of ruddy-cheeked Aryan Übermenschen would do for health insurers’ profits – especially if they were somehow conned into believing that their health insurance premiums weren’t artificially inflated. Attractive an idea as it may seem, using genocide to fleece up the gene pool is not without its problems. There’s corpse disposal, grieving relatives, and all the lost revenue for the health care industry. More importantly, if you start offing the old and the sick and the feeble-minded, where do you draw the line? Genetic purification is a sticky moral wicket to say the least. Do you start with the coma patients? People on respirators? Dialysis machines? Asthma nebulizers? If you really think about it, old people in general put a huge strain on the health care system. Maybe if you instituted an age limit … sort of like Logan’s Run? You could start modestly at first – maybe say that anyone over the age of 65 gets sent to the woods for “renewal.” If you’re worried about the Rolling Stones, don’t sweat it; they’re English. England loves it some old people. Case in point: Benny Hill. Here in America we’re into youth. We like hairless genitals; smooth skin; svelte, glistening physiques; brash confidence; inexperience and ignorance. People over the age of 65 are sorely lacking in all these qualities (at least let’s pray the Sun City spa isn’t overbooked for Brazilian waxes), so why should we let them drag down the finest health care system in the world? Make no mistake, insurance companies and their greedy shareholders are not driving up the cost of health care; old people are. Old people and the chronically ill are driving this country toward bankruptcy, and the only two choices are Obama’s death panels or spending even more on health insurance and crippling our already fragile economy. There is no other way … well, except for the health care systems in Japan, Italy, Canada, France, Germany, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Maybe some Congress members should put in a few long-distance phone calls. Maybe somehow we could come up with a health care plan that covers all Americans for two-thirds of the cost we pay right now – like France. Maybe America could spend some of that extra money on things like drug abuse – which, depending on your health plan, is probably a pre-existing condition. Until then, those with chemical dependencies have to get support and treatment where they can. Fortunately there are organizations like the Palmer Drug Abuse Program, which provides free support for teenagers dealing with chemical dependency. Tonight at Antone’s the Mother Truckers are playing a benefit concert for the Palmer Drug Abuse Program. $10 gets you into the show and gives you an opportunity to help out local youth and, in a broader sense, the overly expensive but ailing American health care system. Remember: It’s either your charity or Obama’s death panels. There is no other way.