Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Modest Proposal For Healthcare

For Providing Better Healthcare, Cleaning Up The Environment, And Saving Money
(Based on the Essay “A Modest Proposal”, by Jonathan Swift in 1729)

A new organization has been created on the West side of Manhattan. This is an organization dedicated to the betterment of humanity, the cleanliness of the earth and the causes of equality within and between all nations. The organization is called the Bastion of Urban Renewal and Progress (BURP).

This is a community organization which is staffed by people from all walks of life, as well as by experts in all areas of importance. We will be speaking to a variety of subjects throughout the coming months and years. The first issue that we wish to address is that of healthcare.

Our goal is to have universal healthcare for all people. People should not be without basic care, no matter what their circumstances. The biggest obstacle to this is money. Our President, Barack Obama, seemed to recognize this in his press conference in July when he spoke about healthcare. In that press conference, the word “money” was stated 21 times. Only four nouns were said more. Those were “health” – 72 times, “care” – 69 times (although the word “care” wasn’t always used as a noun), “insurance” – 34 times, and “people” – 31 times.

We are a bit disappointed about the obsession with money as we always felt that it was the republicans who were more obsessed over issues concerning money while our side was more concerned with issues dealing with quality of life, morality, and fairness. However, we recognize money as the necessary evil it is, at least for now, until we can put in place a more fair system and eliminate the need for this exchange of capitalistic greed.

So how do we provide healthcare for all people and how to we pay for it? We, at our organization (BURP) have devised a plan that will not only provide healthcare for all, but at the same time will not cost a cent! In fact, we expect our plan to make money! As a side benefit, we also expect our plan to go a long way toward cleaning up the environment and stopping the green house gasses that are heating our planet to such dangerous levels.

80% of healthcare costs are spent on the elderly. President Obama spoke to this issue when he said that he wasn’t sure if it was in everyone’s best interests that his grandmother got a hip replacement – we agree. Couldn’t the medical resources that went toward her hip replacement have been better served going to a child or a person with more years to live and contribute to society?

Much of the currently proposed healthcare reform comes from Tom Daschle’s book “Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis”. Daschle says health-care reform “will not be pain free. Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them.” We agree with that statement as well, but we have some qualms about this and think that we can improve on its basic premise.

It is immoral to ask an elderly person to suffer. We don’t want the elderly to live with painful and debilitating conditions. At the same time, we don’t have the money to treat them because they will bankrupt the system and cost too much money. We can’t continue to spend 80% of healthcare costs on people who have nothing left to contribute but stories of bygone eras. We are a progressive nation and we must move forward.

As mentioned earlier in this proposal, we at our organization (BURP) have experts from all walks of life. One such expert is a chef in France by the name of Jean Aymard. Mr. Aymard assures us that an old person, if seasoned properly, can be cooked in a variety of ways to provide a most delicious and healthy meal. Old people provide a very tender meat because the muscular structure of their meat has diminished; creating a texture that is exquisite.

Old people can be served in a variety of ways. According to Mr. Aymard, the hips can make a T-bone steak that would be the envy of the finest steak house. Because there is so little muscle left on old people, a good portion of the meat can be made into an amazing filet mignon, far more so than in a cow, which contains a larger percentage of gristle and muscle.

There will be many ways of using this fine quality meat. Dipping an old person’s fingers in barbecue sauce will be a treat on a Friday night after a hard week of work. Boneless toe nuggets, either fried or baked, will be a tasty appetizer or hors d'oeuvres. Mr. Aymard also assures us that the breasts of an older woman can create a pâté that could be served at the finest cocktail parties. This pâté, served with green salad and potatoes, will be a delicacy to be envied and longed for. Other parts won’t go to waste either. There will be granny cold cuts sold in every supermarket. These cold cuts, we are assured by our resident expert, are lighter in fat content than turkey or chicken cold cuts.

Now we understand that this plan, however well intentioned it may be, could be criticized on certain moral grounds. So let us then look at the benefits of this plan. As Barack Obama said, we have to look very carefully at “end of life” decisions. We clearly can’t afford to give elderly people endless care and also provide universal care to everyone else. We don’t want our elderly people to suffer but we can’t afford to give them care. So by turning them into food, we are allowing them to do one last great thing in their life. Instead of becoming a burden to society, they become a benefit to society.

Old people, at the age of 70, can be taken to “Environmental Contribution Centers”. These centers will be located in beautiful beach front areas so that the old people can enjoy a last hurrah of life. They will be given only the finest foods, which will not only give them a great sendoff, but will fatten them up for the dinner table. They can enjoy a few rounds of golf (not too many, though, because we don’t want them to develop hardened muscular structure), ping pong, shuffle board and whatever else they wish to do. When their time comes, there will be a wonderful ceremony. Relatives will be invited to share in the gift of an elderly person sacrificing his or her life for the betterment of our country and our planet.

Putting this proposal into practice will not only free up 80% of healthcare costs for other, more productive members of society, but it will create a new enterprise that will make money. The Old People Meat market will be a multibillion dollar industry that will provide money for schools, infrastructure improvement and new jobs. It will be an economic boom!

The cruel and dirty business of slaughter houses will come to an end. There will be no need to raise turkeys, chickens, cattle, pigs and other livestock when we have an endless supply of healthy, wholesome meat. The environment will be better off. It takes a huge amount of space and resources to raise cattle. The grain to feed the cattle and the land that they take up can be used for our benefit, or it can go back to nature. In either case we will be better off for it as the raising of cattle takes up far too many resources. Cow flatulence, which is a huge contributor to global warming, will also be a thing of the past.

Animal activist groups, a number of which we have right here in our organization, such as PETA, will be happy that chickens and turkeys are no longer raised for food, suffering through their short lives to have a cruel destiny as food for some person’s selfish needs.

Of course there will have to be some exceptions to what we will affectionately refer to as “The Rule of 70”. For example, we have many resident experts right here in our organization (BURP) whose knowledge is invaluable to shaping the course of events and in creating the progressive society that we all yearn for. Because of the need for their skills and expertise, these people, despite their age, will be provided the full health care that will be provided to the society as a whole.

And so, dear comrades, you see how this proposal benefits society in so many ways. Sometimes it takes a good community activist organization to shine the light and show how to get things done. Our organization (BURP) is about making America a kinder, fairer and just country. Providing universal health care for all is just the beginning.

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