Let's all pull up our camp chairs around the fire and tell our scariest health care stories: the friend who couldn't afford her thyroid medication and permanently damaged her eyes; the friend who needed a hip replacement and got caught in the dreaded catch-22 world of pre-existing conditions; the vigilant friend who called out her over-billing pharmacy when she mysteriously hit her insurance limit. I bet you've got scarier stories. I hope it's not your own.
Or we could just take some burning logs from the fire, march down to DC, storm Congress and demand action. They are currently stalled, off Obama's timetable for reform, trying to figure out how to pay for healthcare. The entitled, pork-barreling, bridge-to-nowhere Congress has suddenly become a born-again, bean-counting, bottom-lining model of fiscal responsibility.
Being in Massachusetts home of both marriage equality and health care, I swear I don't feel that thrumming bass note of healthcare worry here in the Commonhealth. We have all read the deleterious effects of stress. The cost of not worrying about what will become of you when you get sick is never factored into health care costs and it's priceless.
I am not a doctor; I don't even play one on TV, but I've got an idea to finance health care. My plan is full of empathy, if you will pardon the expression. It does not involve taxing the poor victimized rich. They have suffered enough. It does not involve making people bid fond, tearful farewells to their family doctor of eighty years. Who are those people? It does not involve doing your own plastic surgery. A woman did and you can see the terrible results on Youtube.
Forty years ago one very popular head-shop t-shirt read, "War is not healthy for children and other living things." It was supposedly drawn by some adorable child of a hippie. It was a bit cloying. But I thought of that shirt the other day as I listened to more squawking balking about the near one trillion dollar cost of health care reform. This from those who never thought twice (or accurately) about the three trillion dollar cost of the Iraq War.
We are now in two wars. My health care RX? First, quit giving the warlords free Viagra. Get the water running in Afghanistan and Iraq. Dump Paxil and estrogen into the water system and leave. The money we save will finance an amazing US health care system. It will be the envy of Canada.