19. Start treating health care like what it is: a universal, inherent right of all people.
Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness mean nothing if a person can't afford to take her baby to the doctor because she can't pay a co-pay. They mean nothing if a person cannot get her insurance company to pay for the blood thinning drug a doctor recommends, and instead has to rely on prayer and an aspirin a day. They mean nothing if pre-existing conditions can't get treated and if people have to work at the same job, with no hope of leaving, because they can't lose their insurance and switching jobs means just that.
America -- and the rest of the world, but America, for now -- is better than that. I can't even believe we're having the discussion about whether or not it's right, and feasible, to simply provide free or affordable health care for every person in America, right now, right this second. The top 5 movies alone in 2008 grossed nearly 2 billion dollars. The top 10 grossed $2.5 billion.
If we, as Americans, took one-half the money we spent seeing crap like "Quantum of Solace" and paid for health care, we could easily, easily easily afford it.
All that has to be done, and it is this simple, is first, require that any insurer who provides insurance cover all pre-existing conditions. Then, have the Federal Department of Health And Human Services offer an insurance policy -- call it "Federal Care." Make it available to anyone who wants to buy it, and charge as premiums a percentage of the insured's income.
Bingo. Universal health coverage. It would be free for people at or near the poverty line, and affordable for everyone else. Those who don't want the government to administer their health care don't have to buy the policy. Insurance companies would be able to compete because not everyone would want, or need that coverage. Private companies already compete quite well with the government: private lenders coexist with FHA and VA-guaranteed loans, with student loans, and with government package delivery.
It's that simple. he United States can, and should, immediately provide access to health care for everyone, and if you think otherwise, if you think anything but that, then you are greedy and stupid and mean. We can and should do that. But we don't. And it's a shame. It's a shame that the gullible, greedy, stupid and mean are in charge of the country instead of me. It's a shame that people let themselves be tricked, and trick others, into thinking that the system we have is any good, and its a shame the people are getting sick and dying, that babies and little kids and grandmas and mothers have to struggle with curable health conditions, all because Americans would rather let their politicians get rich off of insurance companies, and because Americans would rather spend their money on Cheetos than on providing a kidney to a small boy.
Sometimes, I'm very ashamed of my country.
13. Ban driving any kind of automobile, motorcycle or other personal vehicle within 1-2 miles of downtown in any city with a population of more than 100,000.
12. Abolish gym class; instead, teach kids to play musical instruments.
11. Change copyright laws to allow anyone to use anyone else's creative work provided that the copier pay 60% of the profit to the originator and that the copier not cast the original work in a negative light.
10. Have more sidewalk cafes and outdoor seating.
9. When you have to give someone a gift, ask them what they want, and then get that thing for them.
8. Never interrupt or finish someone's jokes.
7. Periodically, give up something you like for at least a month.
6. Switch to "E-money."
5. Have each person assigned one phone number, and then add an extension for the various phones and faxes that person might be reached at.
4. Abolish Mondays and Tuesdays.
3. Don't listen to interviews with athletes or comedians.
2. Have "personal cashiers" at the grocery store.
1. Don't earn more than $200,000 per year.