Wednesday, June 17, 2009

One More Thought on Health-Care...

The real debate now is on whether a public option plan will be included in the health-care reform bill (and if it's not, I'm with Howard Dean... we should pass no bill at all, because it isn't worth it to throw a few billion dollar $$ at our current system). Conservatives say the idea of a public system peacefully coexisting with the existing private system sounds crazy to them and cannot work.

But we already have a such a public/private system in place on another level. Schools. Some Republican leaders may even have attended some.

The basic, default system we have for educating kids in America is a public school, funded by tax dollars and available to all children regardless of income or location. In most areas, this system works very well (I would know, I attended several in multiple states up until 7th grade). They are not mandatory, of course. Why? Because our country also has numerous private schools, and many parents choose to spend the extra $$$ to have their children educated there instead. Those parents, however, still pay taxes for public schools. There may be some quiet grumbling about that by some, but for the most part it's a non-issue.

But, as with my previous entry, for some reason we view health-care differently. And that's wrong.

[PS- And that's not even getting into the fact that the presence of a public option will force the private companies to behave like human beings to compete for customers. And that's good for everyone. Unless you like the idea of practices like this continuing forever without accountability or consequence.]

A Thought Exercise

So conservatives claim that they're ideologically opposed to government involvement in health-care because they exist solely as a party of contrarians now they don't believe it is the government's place to provide this service. Okay, fair enough, that's a question of differing political philosophies and I will take it at face value.

But it is an inconsistent philosophy and I will help the GOP out by using my imaginary executive powers to rectify that. In addition to the removal of other public services (libraries, parks, etc), I am hereby dissolving all police and fire departments across the nation, and passing the tax savings back to Americans so that they can go forth and be better consumers. The issue of solving crimes and putting out fires will now be a free-market issue.

Instead of one taxpayer-funded police force, there will now be numerous private security forces opening up in your areas. There will also be companies selling crime insurance, which you can buy (or may be provided, in part, by your employer). When a crime happens to you, you will contact one of these private security forces and they will come to your service. Pricing plans will differ by crime and by area... smaller amounts for minor crimes like a mugging, but a larger fee for big crimes like rape. Don't have insurance? It's okay; you can get security help, and you will simply be billed for it later. Say, around $1,500 for their work catching your car's thief (remember, refusing to pay this bill may damage your credit score). Do have insurance? Well, be careful, it may be difficult to get good coverage in areas with preexisting crime conditions. We also recommend reading the fine print ahead of time... your house may have been robbed, but your policy does not cover home invasion. You're paying for that police response out of pocket. Only $2,000 though! There is no cause for complaint, however, as our nation's security forces are the envy of the world!

Fire-based assistance will work much in a similar way. We recommend getting that insurance as well, as paying out of pocket to have a fire put out has been shown to lead to financial ruin in some extreme cases. Be preemptive by better fire-proofing your home and neighborhood. Put the personal in personal responsibility!

This is a great, socialism-free system that Americans will tolerate and love. You're welcome.

Stories I Wish I Had More Time To Blog About...

...President Obama's regulatory reform: real or paper tiger? How the fact that some top banks started offering to pay back some TARP money just as the government was gonna increase conditions for it on them proves what a scam this whole bailout was from the start. Why no one seems to care about job creation anymore. The populist uprising in Iran (the revolution will be Tweeted!). Why cable news thinks I'm supposed to still give a shit about Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh. Etc.

Alas, I am a lazy lazy man.

President Obama Hates Gay People...

...true story.

President Obama Gets Realistic At Last