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Queen for a day wins her Hysterectomy

Fri, Mar 13th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Have you seen the commercial for Colonoscopy Sweepstakes? Saturday Night Live would have been proud to have written that one but, alas, it was real. For those of you who wonder about the direction of health care, ponder no more. It is the purest of free market enterprise, bells, whistles and thrills galore. Warm up your Visa and your Mastercard, there are amazing surprises ahead! With a mammogram, a free set of Ginzu knifes; heart surgery, a toaster oven!

While politicians, business leaders and industry giants dither and wring their hands the market is fully functional. I read of a free clinic that held lotteries for a chance at free care. Get a lucky draw and that broken arm can be fixed. Second prize; gallbladder surgery. Don't we love free markets? Isn't that what we are about?

Come on people, let's make the most of this. How about Health Care Casinos- Three cherries and you might win a Cesarean Section. If you are a male or post menopausal woman you can sell that to the highest bidding pregnant woman for real cash and buy your cholesterol meds or anti depressants.

If your kids make it to adolescence with their tonsils intact, sell off your tonsillectomy chips to the neighbor next door with those drooling brats and save up for when your teen needs detox.

Of all the discussions by the folks in power about the horror of our current system, none speak of addressing the business model under which they all operate.

I like when we hear that we have a "Cadillac" system. It is appropriate. How many of us drive a Cadillac? And, do we wish to suggest that everyone is entitled to a Cadillac?

Has anyone suggested that we should all have a car? A Ford, a Chevy, a Toyota? No. But health care is distributed in the exact same means as cars, blouses, washers and dryers. Plenty to be had, varied quality and labels and all that they mean.

The weak spot in turning this system over to the deity of free markets is this, it's the bleakest of Darwinism to assume that the folks that can afford insurance or, imagine being rich enough to just pay the bills, are the only ones to survive the system.

Hurray for Medicare and Medicaid- they work to protect our elderly and the poorest among us. There is no interest among the Free Market elite to adopt those patterns. Never mind that those systems operate on pennies to dollars percentages of cost compared to those exalted free market "competitive" systems with the glossy ads and rosy promises. Who needs a system where nobody gets rich? C'mon Americans, get real!

I won't listen anymore to empty words about reducing health care costs with electronic medical records and competition. This is business speak and belongs in industries where making a buck is fair game. I want to hear someone in power finally ask," are we selling gadgets here? "If selling gadgets is the goal, American Health Care wins the prize. Does it feel like we have won something that matters?

Some things are essential to a great society. The health and education of its citizens seem primary. If we choose to hand those over to market forces, let's all hope we are among those who can drive a Cadillac. If not, I'll trade you my good cholesterol and normal blood pressure for a flat belly and perky breasts. Let the auction begin! It's a free market nation after all!

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