Didn’t you hate when you’d ask for something and your parents would tell you, “money doesn’t grow on trees”? I’m betting as parents yourself, you’ve used that line any number of times with your own kids. My daughters will also tell you one of my favorite mantras is, “nothing in life is really free”.
Don’t get me wrong, I love getting free things. Who doesn’t? Even Oprah Winfrey (who has a bezillion dollars) loves to get things for free. But what I’ve tried to teach my kids is somebody has to pay for everything and in reality, the bottom line is, the person who thinks they’re getting something for free is usually the one paying for it.
I have to admit, I have not (and don’t plan to) read all the lengthy (and undoubtedly legal jargon-filled) proposals for a national health care system (before I finish this post anyway). At the very least it would give me a headache which would then increase my own health care costs. Tylenol for the headache, a visit to the optometrist for eye strain, maybe a trip to a chiropractor for an adjustment from the neck strain of pouring over said proposals. Surely you get the picture.
Instead, lets stick to something simpler, that even my kids can understand. FREE PIZZA! Nothing we love better than going to Papa Johns or Punch Pizza and not having to pay any money for that piping hot pie with pepperoni (for the kids) or goat cheese and arugula (for me). Trust me, if a coupon comes my way, I WILL use it. But my girls will tell you just because the garlic dipping or wood burning delight didn’t require we shell out any cash, someone paid for it. When was the last time food suppliers were giving out ingredients for free? I doubt the employees volunteered to make our dinner for free. Our “free” supper was part of the marketing budget, which is ultimately figured into the price of the pizzas we do shell actual dollars out for, which means in reality, WE paid for our “free” pizza. Now how to get this back to health care?
Other than the obvious connection of obesity ratios to pizza consumption here in the good ‘ol U.S. of A., any national health care system funded by the government is really you and me (if we’re paying taxes). Last time I looked, the Senate and Congress don’t have any money growing trees up on Capitol Hill either.
I admit I’ve gone without health insurance, but you figure eventually life will catch up with you (something about not being a spring chicken anymore) and the premise of all insurance is to cover you in catastrophic situations, so if you’re not a fan of Russian Roulette, being covered is the better option.
As someone who has had to pay for her own health insurance for the last several years and watched my premiums nearly double, I too would like a break. I’m as healthy as a horse (never mind about those poor creatures in Florida). I had my first cold in eight years this past spring, so I swear I pay more in premiums than it would cost me to just pay full price for the annual check ups my insurance company “pays” for.
Seems to me the focus should be on controlling the price of health care (I guess that’s another way of saying regulation) whether that’s the insurance premiums and/or actual treatment and prescriptions. Maybe equally as important would be to put a system in place that requires anyone with a job to pay their share (directly correlated to the income earned). If we go back to the Pizza theory, anyone who currently pays for insurance and/or treatment and prescriptions, is ultimately paying for those without anyway. Just like the “free” pizza, the actual cost is built in for those paying customers.
Should health care be a right? Yes and no. How can a country as wealthy as the US deny the sick? On the other hand, there are lots of folks who choose not to have insurance but they drive a nice car, wear nice clothes, and have the latest technology gizmos. If you collect a pay check, couldn’t there be a deduction (yes, I mean tax) for health care? There’s a social security tax, federal and state taxes, why not a health care tax? Don’t make it an option. It’s not an option to drive a car and not have insurance, why should it be an option to have a job and not be contributing to the cost of health care? Deduct it from our pay BEFORE we go spend it all on pizza (or the latest Nikes, IPhone, 56″ Flat panel TV, new laptop, concert, theater or sporting event…).
If we’re handing out “rights”, making sure there are no hungry bellies or people sleeping without roofs over their heads could be considered a more immediate necessity (and would ultimately cut down on health care costs), but as I’ve said at least a time or two before, this would be a subject for an entirely different post.
Right now I need nourishment, and I think a piping hot pizza will fill the bill. If only I could find a valid “free” coupon!
Meanwhile if you want some of the low down on current national health care proposals, check out these links.