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Eat Right and Exercise in Futility

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The crisis in our current health care crisis has finally reached the crisis point. We must now take the issue firmly by the shoulders as one would a willful child, and, in the words of Pliny the Elder, punch its stupid face in. Let us summarize where we stand as a nation - last. No industrialized government spends more money to provide fewer medical services to its citizenry than ours. The lack of readily available doctors, dentists and health practitioners for the vast majority of Americans stinks on ice, and the ice will be added to your bill.

In a few hours, or days, or maybe never, the bill death marching through Congress will become a frail and unworkable law. The only impact it will have on health care is if thousands of copies are sent to municipal governments, soaked in bleach, and used to wipe down dirty syringes collected from needle exchanges. But if that's the case, then why waste the ink?

The dismal state of our health system wouldn't even be an issue if not for that perennial thorn in the American eye - foreigners. Other countries address national health issues in ways that imply they care whether their populations live or die. If you sneeze on a public street in France, the police are obliged to wipe your nose and give you a hot whiskey. The British National Health Service provides every citizen free monthly check-ups every six days, and at birth Japanese babies are infused with medical-nanobots giving them permanent immunity from all illnesses and a completely justified sense of cultural superiority. All of this flies in the face of American self-reliance.

How the so-called public option even made it into the original wording of the bill is a mystery, possibly even evidence of terrorist infiltration at the highest levels of the Government Printing Office. Maybe it was just there to see if anyone was paying attention. Whatever the reason, the public option never stood an albino's chance in Tanzania of making it past both houses. The same goes for that early-admission to Medicare jazz. Who in this culture of youth-cultists would prematurely lump in with the over 65-set just to save a few bucks on surgery or medicine?

The American tradition of public health care is one of not interfering with nature, fortified with Dr. Franklin's rhyming advice about fructiphobic doctors and the deadly perils of sleeping in. We are also home to Christian Science, whose reliance on prayer over medicine has time and again transformed a simple infection into a miraculous fatality. In crafting our new health care policy, congress seems bent on embracing these home-grown approaches, with a respectful nod to the Inuit practice of empowering the ill and elderly to fend for themselves equipped with a ration of water and a blanket. Passage of a bill combining these doctrines may at last set us on the path to real national health coverage, if it can forge a truce between Joe Lieberman and unfathomable torrent of angry voices screaming in his head. Maybe then we can put this placebic compromise behind us and start again from scratch.