Pushing Back… A simple and radical idea

In an article on Yahoo News today, they said “Obama’s starting to sweat — he has to push for health care reform now!”.

What an evil story!  There are at least two  reasons I say this:

First off, there is some question of whether or not the story is that Mr. Obama isn’t as cool as he seemed to be — kind of like George Bush I having to swallow his “no new taxes” promise (Oh, how the mighty have fallen!), which I have to say I hate about our culture of celebrity. It is one more cynical, dare I say “evil” way that we “prove” that “nobody’s really that good”.  The important question is, of course, “Why would we want to prove that?”.  My thing here isn’t that we should all be pro-Obama.  It’s that we shouldn’t want to prove that we can topple anybody if we try hard enough. We shouldn’t want to try at all. OK, that’s my moral outrage and my first thing I’d like to “push back” about.

Next, there’s the whole thing about health care reform.  Health Reform cannot fail!  It simply can not!  Too many people need access to health care, to meds, to machines or whatever.   They will die without this — or wish that they were dead — walking around with thoughts or bodies in pain that they cannot control.  This is not a “non-issue” that the media likes to report on, which Congress or the President waste their time on. It’s not about style and “what’s in/what’s out”, this is about the most basic of needs. This is life-and-death stuff. There is nothing more important than this for our people to deal with.

I don’t care if our government does it, or business does it, but health care reform needs to happen, because the human condition needs to be better than it is now in our country.  Since business hasn’t done it yet, and frankly showed no sign of doing so, that leaves the government. And that’s where we are now, so let’s start doing it.

Here’s my dream plan: Drs and nurses and other staff get paid a certain salary — whatever the need (not want, but need) no matter how many patients they see.  People show up at the doctors and since the doctors have already been paid, there’s no fighting over the bill, no excess paperwork for what they do, no whatever.  All that’s left to pay for is the machines, supplies, etc. These are paid for by whatever agency or insurance company that runs it all. This giant bill is divided by however many people there are in the country and we pay for them as taxes, fees, whatever. Obviously, this is a way too simplistic view, but maybe we need to be more simple rather than complex.  Details can be worked out until we get it right.

Now here’s the really radical idea: Nobody in America makes more than they could ever spend in a lifetime. Nobody makes over $4 million or $5 million per year — not movie stars, not baseball players, not CEOs, not politician, no one.  Anything above that gets thrown into the country’s “pot” or given out by non-profits to help people get what they need. That pot (or combination of pots) pays for most medical bills and whatever’s left is divided among the population. Why? Because studies show that — beyond a certain amount of money — money doesn’t make you happy.  If it’s not making them happy, and it will keep other people alive and able to at least reach for happiness, it seems like a win/win situation for everyone.

If the CEOs and the politicians and lobbyists and  whoever want to push against Obama’s health care reform, they need to know that there are people out there who think something like I do and want Universal Health Care in whatever form we can come up with. Maybe then, we can meet somewhere in the middle.  But, in any case, it’s time to push for the agenda of the sick as hard as others  are pushing against it.




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