11/09/2009

Public Option Options

America has been in a tizzy for the past few months over the health care debate. And who can blame us? How dare the government try to figure out how to put together a system less screwed up than the one we already have.

At the heart of the debate is the “public option.” Since this is the piece that is the most controversial, it seems worth discussing some public option options. This idea stems from a comment by Luke Burbank (I believe) on the show Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, when he proposed the “Public Enemy Option”, where the band Public Enemy would make health care decisions. This is a great idea, but in the spirit of the public option, it seemed like we needed even more public options. How about:

Public options
Wall Street traders would create a hedge system of stock options on the health of each patient. Like everything good in this country, we can break it down to its capitalist essence and let the market decide whether the patient should have access to care. If traders are bullish on the patient, then chances are good that the patient could make an appointment. If the market is down on the patient, then put prices would soar and the patient, like the call options, would expire worthless.
At the very least, this system allows the family of the patient to come out alright in the end; either Pop would be treated and live or the money the family invested in puts would really pay out. It’s win-win.

Public indecency option
Conservative proponents are in favor of barring people from healthcare for anything that might be construed as lewd or disgusting. This includes any procedure that relates to sexual activity, plus anything that requires the patient to undress. For example, hangnails would be covered, but tummyaches would not.

Pubic option
This plan was an earlier, more narrow form of the previous one.

John Q Public option
Under this plan, anyone considered “average” would qualify. Applicants would be required to take a test and barely pass to qualify.
We all want the average American to have access to healthcare, but not those above or below average.
Above-average people probably have access anyway, or they can make the money they need to pay for it, or they have family money or loans they can draw on. And if not, maybe a little sickness is just what they need to pull them down a peg and make them more like the rest of us.
Meanwhile, below-average people shouldn’t have access because, well, why start improving their lot now? This is what being below-average is all about; suffering a little more than everyone else. If we start changing that fundamental right and characteristic, what else do these people have?

Heath care option
This plans has been tossed about by the environmentalists, but honestly: why even bother? Can’t the grasslands care for themselves?
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