March 7, 2007
As a concerned citizen, I must voice my adamant disapproval of the "universal health care" proposals we've been hearing so much about. I don't have any gripes with expanding and improving health coverage, per se. It's the "universal" part that irks me. Providing health care for all would completely undermine the whole idea of health care. If every last one of the 40 million uninsured bozos in this country is going to get access to the vast, virtually unnavigable system of medical care we chosen few now enjoy, then I no longer even want it.
When hospital administrators see me flash my Blue Cross card, it means something. It tells the world, "Hey, look at me: I pay increasingly high monthly premiums, submit to annual exams, and claim any health-related expenditures over seven percent of my yearly income on my taxes, and you can't." But when this bill passes, they'll be handing out insurance cards willy-nilly, and nobody will be able to tell the difference between someone who's had health coverage for 20 years and someone whose boss was compelled by law to provide it to all full-time employees.
Then again, maybe they'll offer some sort of special Platinum Plus medical card. But I can't count on that.
Health care is all about exclusivity, pure and simple. It's for a group of like-minded people bonded by the dream of only having to contribute a portion of their weekly wages to ensure unfettered access to a number of licensed health care professionals. If we change all that, health care will be about as elite as a public restroom, open to any yokel who waltzes into an emergency room and can legally establish California residency.
Mark my words, this will completely destroy the allure of filling out all the necessary-but-time-consuming paperwork, choosing one primary care physician attached to one specific plan, and becoming eligible for prescription medications at a reduced rate.
The only reason this is even being considered is because a majority of voters want it. Well, of course they do—they don't have it! But you don't see 33rd Degree Freemasons letting any old average citizen into their inner sanctum just because he's curious. And you won't catch me sharing my God-given right to affordable lifesaving medical procedures with every bum who's got a jones for another hepatitis vaccination. It's undignified.
After all, how do I know I've made it in this world if I'm not able to enjoy something others can't?
Lack of access to health care is the seventh leading cause of death in the country, and that says something. It doesn't get much more elite than being part of a club other people are literally dying to get into. So what incentive would there be if everyone were guaranteed equal health care, regardless of income, age, or employment status? Who would be left to proudly tell their grandchildren about the glory days of PPOs? That is a future I'd rather not imagine, thank you very much.
So why the constant desire to guarantee basic yearly screenings and vital operations for all, thus creating some kind of ridiculous, unrealistic safety net? How will people fully appreciate the excellence of the American health care system without the constant threat of it being yanked away at any moment?
If middle-class children are given government-subsidized medical coverage from the beginning, they won't have anything to look forward to when they get older. Though my offspring will never have to worry about desperately trying to scrape together the money for a hospital visit, it doesn't mean we should do away with the millions of other uninsured Americans who show them how privileged they are to have it in the first place.
That's just a simple matter of respect.I urge all citizens of good sense to reject any universal health care plan that gets put forward. It's time to stand up for what's right, and protect our most respectable institutions. If we don't do it now, what will they tell us next—that everyone deserves a free public education and "the right" to a fair trial?