Monday, October 31, 2011

No, Rick Perry Wasn’t Drunk!

Some people thought Rick Perry could have been drunk, or stoned, or off his meds, or on his meds too much, or a combination of several of those things during a speech he gave in New Hampshire on October 28, 2011. Indeed, Perry did seem loopy, bizarrely flippant and drunkenly carefree at times, saying  nutty things, slurring his words and making extravagant gestures. But it was simply all part of his master plan says Perry.
“Hey look,” he said, “I’ve got to get noticed. I’ve slid in the polls lately and I’m only doing some of the stuff which helped Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum and some of those other bat shit crazies get bumps in their charts when they did the same thing.”
“I’m rebooting my campaign like I said the other day. And, I sure as Hell don’t want to come off all professorial and superior acting like Mitt Romney and various other intellectuals I don’t need to name for you.” Perry left unclear whether he was referring to Newt Gingrich, Karl Rove or Joe-the-Plumber Wurzelbacher. “I’m just a simple down-to-earth guy.” he claimed.
“In fact, the simpler things are the better I like ‘em.” Perry explained. “That’s exactly why I’ll always be a strict creationist and won’t ever pollute my mind with silly notions like evolution. All that evolution stuff is just too damned confusing for a cowboy like me. And, that’s why I am a good Christian too. Besides Christianity being what I always had crammed down my throat as a boy, it’s a Hell of a lot simpler and easier to believe in than trying to figure out all that scientific heeby-jeebiness which just makes my head hurt. I’m leave that up to the eggheads who have the time for it. If they can come up with something they like better than what’s in the Bible, well halleleluja for them. They just don’t want to be trying to teach that stuff in our schools, at least in Texas by God. Myself, as a man of action, I just don’t have the time for all that science crap. If Christianity was good enough for Jesus and George W. Bush, it’s good enough for me too, by God.”
Perry explained that his speech was intended to be on the bizarre side from the beginning. “So’s our regular conservative folks can relate to it.” he said. “Hell, our Tea Party folks are gonna reject it out of hand if it makes any sense at all anyway. They can claim to want the truth all day long, but what they really want is the crazy stuff, and the crazier the better. Don’t you dare be trying to bring them any facts if you want their support.”
“And we’re the only true patriots and the only ones still holding the country together right now.” Perry explained. “It’s ‘Live Free or Die’ and ‘Victory or Death’, and ‘Bring It On’ you know.  Ain’t no middle ground on our patriotism.”
“And that’s another reason we’ve got to stamp out all those Global Warming notions too. That ain’t nothing but a liberal communist plot to weaken our economy and our country so socialism can take over. So what if it’s a few degrees warmer this year than last? Hell! That’s just weather, and you’ll always have weather if you like it or not! Jesus never worried about a little hot or cold did he?”
“I don’t care what all those scientific ‘’experts’ say either.” Perry went on. “If they’s so all-fired ‘expert’ and smart, how come they ain’t running things? How come one-a-them ain’t the Governor of the great state of Texas ‘stead of me, for example? I’ll tell you why! It’s ‘cause the salt of the earth people like me got way better sense about what’s real and important than they do, that’s why! You can forget about all that scientific fact baloney.”
“And, as long as we can keep getting elected, we’ll keep the country safe, conservative and Christian too. And, that’s exactly why I’m running for president of these United States of America!”

Monday, October 10, 2011

Settling One Argument Over Health Care

One big objection to universal health care is the government’s insistence everyone participate. They say people should not be forced to pay for something they do not want to pay for.
Fair enough. The government can certainly give people a choice to opt out of something which they will inevitably need. Statistically there are few if any people who will never need health care, even seriously expensive health care. Nevertheless, why not give everyone the choice if that will settle the matter?
Here's an idea - No person, no matter their age, will be required to purchase health care insurance, and can choose to pay as they go. However, and here is the rub: Each time a person uses any part of the health care system, they must pay their costs in full. They can choose to pay cash, or find a way to finance the cost themselves, with no forgiveness of costs allowed. By law, each individual would be fully responsible for the full costs of any health care received.
If the individual is unable to pay for health care received, the government will pay the full amount owed and enroll them in a government plan at that point, with no right to cancel. Premiums from that point would be increased by an amount sufficient to cover the cost of the amount paid by the government on the individual’s behalf, PLUS A PENALTY, over a reasonable time period - say two to three years. When the amount paid on their behalf by the government, plus their penalty is fully recovered, they could again choose to drop their plan if they so wished. 
In other words, if you use it, you pay for it. All individuals have the choice to either ‘pay-as-they-go’ or participate in a health care plan, with no free rides. No exceptions will be allowed except for those falling below a certain defined poverty or disability level. 
This kind of system will allow the government to guarantee payment to health care providers. The individual has a choice to opt out of health care coverage if they so wish, yet still be guaranteed any health care needed. The individual would be gambling the cost of any potential penalties against his ‘freedom’ to opt out of a plan.
There will certainly be unrecovered costs incurred by the government for some individuals who are unable to fully reimburse for the health care they receive. However, this should be far less than the costs now incurred through non-reimbursed emergency room visits now occasioned by the non-insured.
Most individuals will discover it is far less expensive for them to voluntarily maintain health care coverage than to pay penalties for non-coverage, yet will still have the choice to gamble if they so wish. It is a win for everyone except for the gamblers.
Unfortunately, this idea likely makes far too much sense for any hyper-partisan Congress to even consider.