No matter what the plan, you will not be able to choose which golf course your doctor plays on
A health care expert who has asked to remain anonymous has agreed to provide answers to some pressing questions on the subject of national health care.
By mistake I turned off the news for five minutes. Where are we now with regard to health care?
Congress right now is debating health care legislation. One path leads to higher costs, the other leads to higher premiums. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose wisely.
Can the government actually work out a plan?
If we work together, we should be able to forge a workable compromise that is acceptable to both the health care lobby AND the members of Congress who represent them.
What exactly is "national health care"?
National health care is something that everyone wants but that we agree we cannot have. So instead, we are settling for "affordable health care," which is in the same category as "more money for education," "reducing the military budget," "paying off our national debt" and other fantasies that we enjoy talking about when we get together with friends.
So what are we doing?
We are currently coming up with a plan that SOUNDS like national health care, so we don't have to constantly feel inferior to countries like Canada and Sweden.
Suppose I like my health care plan?
If you are happy with your bad, terrible health care plan, nothing will change. Apparently there are some people who enjoy crappy health insurance. I haven't met any of these people, but they're probably rich or mentally insane. Whoever they are, they don't want cheaper health care, because it represents a loss of status. They're always bragging about their expensive doctors; they can't start going to country clubs and society dinners and talk about how they got a prostate exam from the medical equivalent of the DMV.
So what is the new proposed plan?
If you don't have health insurance, you will be guaranteed access to affordable health care.
You want to run that by me in English?
In advertising, words like "access" and "affordable" are called "weasel words," because they are slippery, sneaky and don't mean anything. But still, even a vaguely worded plan is better than what the Republicans want, which is to give Americans the "choice" to pay for health care they can't afford to begin with.
What is the Republican plan?
If Republicans had their way, not only would there be no national health care, they'd privatize other things, like the police, fire and water departments. Then if your house caught on fire, you'd call the fire department and they might say, "Sorry, you haven't kept up with your premiums." Or the firemen might say you were behind in your water payments and wouldn't turn on the hose. Either way, your house would burn down.
What about a single payer plan?
A single payer plan is reasonable, workable and would cover everyone in the United States. As such it has no chance of being passed in this or any lifetime.
Why is it so difficult to get a national health care plan?
Because deep down, we don't want one. We eat too much and we eat too little. We laze around and we over-exercise. We cure ourselves with prescription drugs and we kill ourselves with prescription drugs. Taking care of our health is not the American dream. It's the Canadian dream. When it comes to wretched excess, we're still number one.
So what will happen if the country gets really healthy?
The economy as we know it will cease to exist.
If we get national health care, does that mean the country is headed for socialism?
Are you kidding? This is the most capitalistic nation on the face of the earth. This country wouldn't be headed for socialism if Karl Marx sang about proletarian revolution on American Idol. National health care will never cancel national wealth care.
John Marshall enjoys talking to automated voice prompts whenever he has an important question for his health insurance provider. His music/comedy website, Tyrannosaurus Rocks, currently is reviewing two rare and unreleased CD's from America's biggest pop star. Try to guess who it is.