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Don Mills Saves America: Part One – Health Care

I don’t usually weigh in on political issues but this damned country of ours is driving me to distraction and it’s time someone got it sorted out.

So, for the benefit of any politician who stumbles across this blog (I use the terms “graft”, “filibuster” and “DC area hookers” as tags on a regular basis), I will be spending the next 10 weeks outlining simple steps that can be taken to help create a better America.

Today, I tackle the prickly issue of health care reform.

In my view, this country needs to surgically remove its head from its ass and stop flirting with god damned socialized medicine.

Call me old-fashioned but I’d rather pay to have a Lexus-driving quack prod my polyps than get treatment for free from Dr. Zhivago and his pinko comrades at the Vladimir Tretiak Memorial Hospital.

If a doctor doesn’t have a monetary interest in examining my testicles then just what the hell is he doing with his hands down my trousers in the first place? Anyone who wants to manhandle my bolsheviks is going to be a capitalist and an American patriot god damn it.

Besides, once you give people access to free medical treatment they’re going to start using it. Mr. and Mrs. Average America will be flooding into emergency rooms across the country every time they get the collywobbles, catch a brain fever or lose an arm in a combine harvester.

(When I was a boy the rule of thumb was if you couldn’t sew an appendage back on at home, you fed it to the pigs and got back to work. You sure as Hell didn’t run off to a hospital and expect other taxpayers to foot the bill.)

It’s a slippery slope. Offer people free health care and the next thing you know they’ll be demanding clean water, safe working environments, flying cars and access to domesticated monkeys.

They’ll get complacent and forget about even trying to prevent injury.  It won’t be long before people will stop wearing seat-belts and start bathing with clock radios and toasters– confident in the knowledge that the American taxpayer will remedy any foolish injury they happen to incur.

We need to drive a rusty bone saw through the heart of this foolishness. Expensive health care makes good economic sense. You don’t need to be J.P. Morgan to recognize that if we’re serious about eradicating poverty in this county and re-establishing a decent quality of life, the quickest way to do is to make sure that only the rich can afford to get medical treatment. 

Trust me – if we can just stay the course and fend off health care reform for another decade or two most of the poor people will have died off from untreated heart disease, diabetes or alcohol-related firearm tragedies and we can all get back to sitting on park benches sipping lemonade without fear of having our wallets lifted and organs harvested by impoverished nogoodniks.

And that’s an America I think we’d all like to see.

Next week: Straightening out Gay Marriage

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110 Comments leave one →
  1. 12:24 am

    Damn straight.

  2. 12:26 am

    I am Canadian and I demand access to domesticated monkeys because it’s my right, goddammit!

    • 1:11 am

      Thank you The Nag,

      Be careful what you wish for. I have it on good authority that domesticated monkeys are poor pets. They’re tempermental, are prone to flinging feces and cheat at Scrabble.

      All the best,

      Don

    • Sedate Me permalink
      1:40 pm

      NAG, while they are provided free by the Canadian Medicare system, the domesticated monkeys are ONLY for assisting quadriplegics in their daily life. If you’re so intent on getting monkeys that you want to snap your neck in a diving “accident”, go right ahead. It’s your right as a Canadian. However, I strongly recommend purchasing that monkey instead and foregoing the quadriplegic lifestyle required to get the free monkey.

  3. 1:01 am

    My Dear Mr. Mills,

    I would like to respectfully disagree with you on this post.

    First of all, there was not one mention of a D.C. area hooker. I was hoping this would be a more titillating post. (Although you did mention your testicles a number of times, so I guess that counts for something.) Secondly, I thought you were Canadian and already a recipient of socialized medicine, so really, what do you have to say about American Medicine? (Don’t try to deny it, I’ve seen you spell neighbor and color with those unnecessary “U”s.)

    Nevertheless, I don’t remember, when reciting the Hippocratic Oath, that I said that I would only heal for profit.

    Now, while I do agree with you that America needs to surgically remove its head from its ass, I’m thinking it’s more about other issues than health care, but since you said this would be a 10 part I will wait for your next posts to see how you fare with other American issues.

    I hope your ass remains unchapped as I do not believe Medicare covers that. What’s that? Yes, Medicare, socialized medicine for Americans over 65!

    Kind Regards,
    Dr. King

    • 1:24 am

      Many thanks Dr. King,

      First off, I apologize for the lack of lurid details regarding D.C. area hookers. You’re quite right that it was unfair of me to lure folks here with tawdry promises and then quickly substitute high priced call girls with repeated references to my testicles. Consider my duly admonished.

      Now, a number of individuals have been confused about my citizenship. I have relatives in Canada and still on occasion spend some time there (my sister-in-law lives in Sudbury) but I’ve never called it home. My occasional extra “u” has more to do with my parent’s Scottish education.

      Regardless, I regret we didn’t see eye to eye on this particular issue. Perhaps we’ll fare better next week.

      All the best, Dr. King. And have no fear, my ass has been unchapped for a good few weeks now.

      Don

  4. 1:06 am

    Forget health reform, Mr Mills, in a few decades we’ll be lucky if BP have stopped the friggin oil leak ! How would you like your fish?

    • 1:30 am

      Many thanks frigginloon,

      Not to worry, environmental protection is largely overrated. I think that’s topic number 8.

      Nice to hear from you loon. Many thanks for stopping in to visit.

      Don

    • Sedate Me permalink
      1:49 pm

      Thanks to BP, all shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico now come pre-oiled and frying pan ready!

      BP, Beyond Petroleum indeed!

  5. 1:44 am

    Gee, Don. When did Americans start wearing their seatbelts on a regular basis?

    • 1:52 am

      Many thanks healingmagichands.

      Good point. I wear mine all the time but I’m very concerned about safety and tend to follow the letter of the law quite closely.

      All the best,

      Don

      • 8:48 am

        What? you have a seatbelt attachment for your zimmer frame? That’s very progressive Don. Have you thought to take out a patent?

        • 12:14 pm

          Many thanks Nurse Myra,

          I pride myself on my innovation and while I don’t have a patent for my seatbelt, I do have patents pending for my automatic slipper sorter, cardigan press and revolutionary pez-style pill dispenser.

          Always a pleasure to have you visit,

          Don

  6. 1:56 am

    Thank you Mr. Mills for clearing away all the chaff and getting to the wheat of the issue. You are totally correct- if the doctor is not getting a profit, why does he want to insert that finger up my rear? He certainly can have no philanphropic interest in my prostate. (Certainly I have had none over the years either.)

    I look forward to the next installment with bated breath, a cure for which I will not be pressing the government.

    • 12:30 pm

      Thank you bmj2k,

      Chewing on thinly sliced radishes is an excellent home cure for bated breath. I should charge you for that small piece of advice, bmj2k, but you didn’t actually seek out my medical advice and I’m not technically a medical practitioner.

      Besides, I have a philanthropic interest in radishes.

      All the best and thanks for visiting. I trust you are keeping well.

      Don

    • Sedate Me permalink
      2:30 pm

      BMJ2K, don’t kid yourself!

      ALL Docs, for-profit or for socialized medicine (where they still make a tidy sum by the way), are doing prostate exams pure for the enjoyment of sticking their fingers up your ass. Getting paid has nothing to do with it.

      We use robots and lasers in medicine now. Yet somehow, we are to believe a finger up the ass is still the ONLY way to check a prostate? There’s another way, but the medical establishment has refused to accept it.

      Back in the winter of 73-74, a Swedish man, Dr Borje Salming, invented a piece of equipment, The Sliding Block, that eliminated the need for a manual prostate check. The instrument required no anal penetration. It just slid across the area externally. Despite being a more effective check, his fellow doctors looked down on the move and refused to use it. They wanted to keep sticking their fingers up the asses of men, the way it had been done for generations.

      As a result of the controversy, Dr Salming was blacklisted and eventually wound up being suspended for a year by the Swedish Medicare System, the National Health League, due to a trumped up accusation of cocaine use.

      • 6:15 pm

        I knew I should have suspected something when I got that back rub too.

      • 12:32 am

        Thanks for the information Sedate Me.

        I was aware of the technology but was under the impression it was Dr. Mike Palmateer who was working to shut the door on manual prostate exams.

        Appreciate the clarification.

        Best regards,

        Don

      • 2:57 am

        i may be wrong, but i believe the finger-up-the-ass prostate check was developed by female researchers as a counterbalance to boob-mangling mammograms and dignity-stealing pap smears. of course, that doesn’t make things equal, as we women still have to wear crippling stilettos and shave our legs.

        • 7:25 pm

          No we don’t. Last time I checked I was a woman and I don’t own stilettos and haven’t shaved my legs for 20 years. You could try making your own declaration of independenc, nonnie.

  7. 2:17 am

    The going rate for getting your bone worked on is $400 an hour…even with the DC Hookers.

    • 12:31 pm

      Thank you morethananelectrician,

      You’ll need to be slightly more specific lad. Are we talking femur here? Mandible? Scapula? I’m no Rex Morgan, M.D. but I believe there are over 17 bones in the human body.

      Regardless, thanks for the pricing information. $400 an hour seems a bit steep but a good bone specialist is hard to find so I suppose it’s to be expected.

      All the best,

      Don

    • 2:58 am

      unless you live in nevada. you can pay in chickens there.

      • Sedate Me permalink
        1:06 pm

        In Nevada, you can also pay a Doc with the services of a prostitute.

  8. Mystsong permalink
    2:23 am

    …I’m just going to sit back and watch the fireworks. I’m sure Yellow Roses can say anything I want to more eloquently and passionately than I can on this particular topic.

    The only thing I will note is that I have met doctors who are in the field out of a philanthropic interest. They’re frequently the only ones in an area who take government health insurance already. And most of them don’t get paid very well at all. My father falls into this category, in fact.

    • 12:37 pm

      Many thanks mystsong,

      Nothing wrong with a little fireworks now and again and I always enjoy Rose’s comments. To extend the metaphor, she’s quite a firecracker herself.

      Thanks very much for your comment as well and please pass on my best regards to your father. He sounds like a decent man indeed.

      Best regards,

      Don

      • YellowRoses610 permalink
        3:45 pm

        Is that redhead comment? *Snigger*

  9. YellowRoses610 permalink
    2:23 am

    I’d have to say you Don are ass backwards. Have you ever even looked at England (Dear God I’
    M using England as good example) Do they stop worrying about their safety precautions because of government run heath care. What about Canada, Holland(Which by the way despite having legalized prostitution has much lower S.T.D rate)

    Despite examples of countries where it works semi decently I’d like to point out how utterly fucked our health care system is. I had to leave a hospital after a week when, do to illness and the medication having not kicked in. This was against the trained medical professionals suggestion, considering I was suicidal, unable to sleep, and suffering from closed eye hallucinations. This was decided by the Insurance company, not trained medical professional. I was on my father’s insurance and he works seven to five every day at decent job.

    So an eighteen year old woman, with diagnosed brain imbalances tried to off her self with a bottle full of pills and a butcher’s knife, the doctors say she should be in for longer but some fat bastard at the insurance company decides no that costs too much money. Fuck that noise!

    Or how about a ninety year old woman being denied pain medication when she’s got stomach cancer Alzheimer’s and arthritic. This wasn’t some shiftless old woman, this was a decent woman who paid her taxes raised four children ,kept a house wile her husband was in Nazi prison camp, and was actually before being nearly bankrupt by her retirement home, fairly well off. The God damn Nursing home was charging over five hundred dollars a feckign day and those useless sods couldn’t even be bothered to bring her adult diapers that fit.

    And be for you ride up my pasty ass about not carrying for my Grandmother, we offered to build a wing for her over an unfinished bit of a house. She didn’t want to be burden and decided instead go in the here her self. This was not an example of some lazy fucks tossing Granny out to nursing home because they can’t be bothered to care for her. We loved her we argued with the staff, tried to make nice, and even sent my father down for a good old fashion stern Irish talking to. I had to stopped from laying hands on the supervisor for refusing to change the people who dressed her from male nurses to female ones, as she was modest.

    This all is in an upper middle class family that works. Imagine all the things that happen to people who lost their jobs because of the recession or who have low income jobs. What happens to their children? Are we just going to let them die of illness in one of the most medically advanced countries in the world, die of illnesses we could prevent and treat, if we were less cheap?

    If this is Capitalism, if the American way is watching people die like dogs on the streets when we have clinics and medical technology, I want none of it. People deserve a better world than that and if we have to pay extra taxes for that, then dam nit we should because it’s the good decent and humane thing to do. We should not sacrifise human beings to an economic concept. If captilisim doesn’t work maybe it’s time to try something else.

    Sincerely Rose A Willamson

    P.S If your next rant id about the evils of homosexuality prepare for a letter worse than this, Don. Trust me I know my shit on this subject.

    • 3:17 am

      Wow, you really don’t get the spirit of this blog, do you?

      • 8:54 am

        oh I dunno… it’s always kind of funny when someone takes don seriously😉

        • YellowRoses610 permalink
          3:29 pm

          Part of the persona. I provide you with intertianment pretendind taking him seriously wile making some points maybe.

          • YellowRoses610 permalink
            3:30 pm

            Shit I broke character. >____> <___< Move along nothinjg to see here!

          • 7:28 pm

            Yellowrose, I was going to do a rant, but I just couldn’t marshal the facts. Thanks. Even in jest, I found this particular post disturbing.

    • 12:43 pm

      Thank you Rose,

      I appreciate the comment and always welcome an opposing point of view. Hold on to your ideals Rose, and I’ll be sure to do the same.

      I’ll look forward to your thoughts on my attempt to straighten out the issue of gay marriage. I have no doubt that if I step out of line you’ll be more than happy to point out the error of my ways.

      All the best,

      Don

      • YellowRoses610 permalink
        3:48 pm

        Personaly with gay marriage it seems like the simple solution would be to abolish government approved marriages and replace them with civil unions. Then let the various religious institutions decided what quilifies as marriage with in their group. That way conservitives can have a stick up their asses if they want, but the gays get equal rights. Boom problem solved

  10. elizabeth3hersh permalink
    2:32 am

    Oh, how I am looking forward to installment two, Don. I do hope you address the issue of how much of our health care delivery is squandered on self-inflicted medical conditions in one of your subsequent installments (emphasis on ‘squandered’ and ‘self-inflicted’). My SUV will be sporting a new bumper sicker: Don Mills 2012!

    I close with a traditional Scottish toast in honour of your Scottish ancestry:

    May the winds o adversity ne’er blow open your door!

  11. elizabeth3hersh permalink
    2:52 am

    P.S. This is a subject I am passionate about. I guess it is considered too old-fashioned or fuddy-duddy to take responsibility for one’s own health just as it is to live within one’s own means. As individuals become increasingly bloated so does our government and with all the pathological complications. Health care reform? How about societal reform. The government is obese. There are plenty of resources, but they are being siphoned off by individuals who consistently make poor choices. Seems to me that Obama should put America on a ‘diet’ (a diet of responsibility) and reward us with ‘reform’ after we do our part. Moi included. Maybe some will find this comment inflammatory, but call me old-school.

    • 1:45 pm

      Many thanks Elizabeth,

      I suspect I won’t be returning to the issue of health care (at least not until I straighten out gay marriage, immigration, abortion and a few other thorny issues) but I agree that societal reform is entirely what’s needed. This whole damned country needs to do some deep knee bends and supersize their portions of brussel sprouts. A reasonable investment in health prevention and promotion would go a long way toward setting us down the right path.

      And don’t worry about being old-fashioned, old-school or considered a fuddy-duddy. In my view, all three qualities are gravely underappreciated.

      Thank you for the traditional toast as well. I appreciate it very much.

      All the best and thank you for the comment.

      Don

  12. 2:59 am

    Don –

    I think you’ve made some excellent points about state-sponsored medical care, especially in regards to following the “money trail” right past your doctor’s Lexus and all the way to the the tip of the well-manicured finger that is gently probing your nether regions.

    Believe me when I say that government-run health care is like being at the mercy of domesticated monkeys, only without the domestication.

    As I had the dubious honor of being government property for more than 8 years straight, I’ve seen firsthand the disaster that is an ad hoc group of medical “professionals,” all working for Uncle Sam.

    The military, especially in times of unwinnable war, have nothing to offer the best and brightest. Instead, conscription and “open enrollment” usually only guarantee that this man’s army was composed of individuals whose greatest accomplishment in life was “not dying before age 18” or “avoided doing a five-year stretch in the pen thanks to ‘either-or’ sentencing.”

    By the time these med school dropouts had made their way to the battlefield, the harsh reality of life away from easy co-eds and interns had begun to sink in and the grim reality of being asked to perform emergency surgery under a pair of 20-watt bulbs during a mortar attack was beginning to dismantle their genteel psyches.

    Adding insult to officer-inflicted injury was the pay scale, which they felt was severely out of line with the education they had almost received but were most definitely paying for.

    The last thing you wanted to run into when you needed a whole lot of someone else’s blood or a limb reattached was the “I don’t get paid enough for this” attitude so common in the M*A*S*H* tents. We (the soldiers) were fairly sure that we weren’t being paid enough to randomly misplace a limb or suddenly lose a majority of our blood to a well-placed bullet.

    When you’re looking to get well or at least have a little relief from the pain, these doctors would be pushing sulfate packs and children’s chewable aspirin at you while failing to mention that the morphine supply had been self-prescribed/black-marketed away during your visit to the front. Any further questions about “anything stronger” would be waved away by a dismissive hand (usually holding a deck of cards or something alcoholic) as if to say, “These supply issues are beyond my control, perhaps permanently thanks to my excessive morphine abuse.”

    The healthier of the wounded would raid cabinets and harass clerks in a futile attempt to get ahold of proper medical supplies. The clerks themselves were no help, having acquired a true bureaucrat’s officiousness in a very compressed “Red Tape and You” bootcamp.

    All in all, we were relieved to return to the good old US of A and into the waiting arms of the same doctors and clerks, who were now staffing our VA and VD clinics. The biggest differences were better lighting and fewer mortar shells, but the same dismissive officiousness was present, resulting in hip replacement surgeries performed by nodding “doctors” and billed incorrectly by contemptuous, glorified secretaries.

    The best bet is to put this in the hands of the private sector whose quest for more money can always be counted on to put you under the knife, promptly and often unnecessarily. Medical supplies will be present, accounted for and extremely overpriced. The same contemptuous medical assistants will need to be dealt with, but you can’t win them all.

    Thanks for the advice, Don. This country needs more foreigners with bright ideas and fewer native citizens with legislative powers.

    Sincerely,
    C.L. Tanager

    • 2:23 pm

      Good to hear from you Clifton,

      I knew I could count on you for a reasoned and reasonable response. And my thanks as well – no discussion of health care reform would be complete without thoughtful references to dim bulbs, venereal disease and children’s chewable aspirin.

      I’m delighted we’re in agreement here, Clifton. Knowing as I do that you’ve had your share of medical issues over the years and have left organs, limbs, trace amounts of blood and small bone fragments in countries all across this world of ours, I consider you an authority on the subject of medical treatment, preventable illness and reckless disregard for personal safety.

      All the best and thanks for visiting.

      Don

      • YellowRoses610 permalink
        3:32 pm

        What does Chewible asprin taste like?

        • 3:33 pm

          It’s been a while but if I remember correctly – chicken.

          • YellowRoses610 permalink
            3:44 pm

            Some one told me aligator tasted liek chicken. I tried it when I was in Orlando Florida. It tasted like the love child fo a chicken and a fish.

          • Sedate Me permalink
            3:52 pm

            Actually Sir,

            They’ve updated the taste to conform with the tastes of young people. Chew-able aspirin now tastes like deep fried chicken.

  13. 3:00 am

    Please don’t run for President. I have enough competition.

    • 3:53 am

      AH….try a hefty bribe. Hate to tell ya, but Don take the whole tamale. However, if you are nice, he might let you be on the ticket with him.
      tpb

    • 3:02 pm

      Thank you Ahmnodt,

      While I believe I have many of the requisite qualifications for the job (common sense, poor listening skills and being an old white man) I can assure you that I have no interest in public office.

      My hope is simply that established or aspiring politicians will take some time to consider my views when they go about the business of establishing new public policy.

      Thanks for visiting and best regards,

      Don

  14. robinaltman permalink
    3:14 am

    I fear my husband is a domesticated monkey. He’s temperamental and he cheats at Scrabble. He’s never flung his feces, at least not in my presence. Thank goodness for small favors.

    I already dispense socialized medicine. The kids who see me are completely unsocialized, and I try really hard to make them socialized.

    I want everyone to be happy and well, so I don’t know what the heck I think about this. I’m a big wuss.

    • 3:13 pm

      Many thanks Robin,

      If you are unsure about your husband you might want to consider asking yourself the following questions:

      Does he routinely attempt to pick bugs from the hair or clothes from other family members? (If you answered “yes” to this question you may also have supplementary hygiene issues that need to be addressed).

      Does he used a pointed stick rather than traditional forms of cutlery?

      Is he unusually hirsute and prone to animated “chattering?”

      If you answered yes to one or more of these questions your husband may in fact be a domesticated monkey. Still, there are worse things in the world and as long as he makes you happy and is drawing a steady income I wouldn’t suggest you rock the marital boat.

      Best regards and thanks for stopping in,

      Don

  15. 3:52 am

    Don, old friend, I wouldn’t disclose information of such a personal nature on any other blog. But, you know that, to me, well….you’re the cat’s pajamas.

    Next week, I will be forking over around 2 grand for a colonoscopy. Paying some stranger to stick a hose up my anal opening. Now, you’d think that I’d be all for this health care reform since O-He-Can-Perform-Miracles-Bama has promised to help us, the uninsured. I have to admit that the whole (hole) event might not be so bad if I didn’t have to pay for the whole (hole) damn thing! But, like you and your balls, I’d just as soon pay a qualified (even Mercedes driving, country club member) doctor to check out my colon for polyps than let some doctor who apparently has other motives than money get near my rear door. You got me to thinking….what would a doctor’s ulterior motive be? If the money is not the prize, I shudder to think what exactly a doctor would get out of checking my poop-shoot!

    I’ll just keep saving money for these medical necessities and O-He’s-Come-To-Save-Us-From-Evil-Decomracy-Bama can shove his plan up his same place as the one that I am having checked.

    I totally get what you are saying here, Don! And, I’m damn glad that you said it.

    Another informative and well written post, my friend!
    Thanks!!!!!

    trailerparkbarbie

    • 3:31 pm

      Many thanks Trailerparkbarbie,

      It’s hard to imagine what ulterior (or posterior) motives might come into play with a colonoscopy and I’m not sure I’d like to speculate. I’ve always been a tad leery of specialists with an interest in the less appealing aspects of human anatomy.

      Regardless, I’m very sorry to learn that you’re in need of an exam and do hope that everything works out in the end. I truly hope that in addition to the $2000 invoice you’ll also receive a clean bill of health.

      Best of luck and kind regards,

      Don

  16. 6:18 am

    I don’t have health care. I’m part of the working poor. Last year my gallbladder had to rupture before I would go to the doctor. After the surgery as soon as the doctor turned his back, I hobbled away from the hospital so I wouldn’t have to sell the cardboard mansion I’ve built under the bridge.

    My friends are on medicaid and they go to the doctor and the ER for every little thing. What’s worse, the doctors know the state is paying so they schedule surgeries for these two people like they are calling for another round of drinks at the local tavern…back surgeries, knee surgeries, elbow surgeries, hip replacements…you name it if one of them has a problem the other one does too.

    I’m with you, socialized medicine and medicaid let the weak survive and polute the gene pool.

    • 4:26 pm

      Thank you yellowcat,

      I’m damned sorry to hear about your gallbladder. It sounds painful as hell. Hopefully you’re fully mended now and won’t be in need of a return trip to the hospital any time soon.

      Now, at the risk of being insensitive, all this work being done on your friends sounds ill-advised to me. People are like automobiles – you may be able to bang a dent out of the side panel but once you do the car never runs the same way again. There comes a time when you’re just throwing good money after bad.

      All the best and thanks for visiting with me.

      Don

    • 8:28 pm

      Yellowcat, I had my gallbladder removed last year too! Gallbladder surgery is the new black (if that isn’t an expression in America I’ve just sounded like a racist by accident). SO fashionable! Anyway, my surgery was free (yay!) but I still went home the same day, because they kicked me out. There’s no poncing around with socialised medicine.

  17. 7:12 am

    Nice one. (as always)

  18. 7:55 am

    I’ve been online long enough to have some American friends (I’m British and they love me, with my eccentric “ways”). I can’t tell you how upsetting it is (when I get all the health treatment I need for free) to read posts by people who have to suffer, or watch loved ones suffer, because their insurance company won’t pay for a treatment – or because they can’t afford insurance at all.

    America is a rich country and claim to be civilised (British spelling), yet they are prepared to watch their people suffer and die because they can’t pay some fat cat insurance business… WTF? If I find out I have breast cancer, I will have enough to deal with, worrying that I will lose my breast – should I really have to worry about losing my home as well?

    Defenders of your current system always refer to people with “self-inflicted” illnesses, or people being “too lazy” to pay for their own insurance. Are these people perhaps a little bit too “Christian” in their thinking? Do they think, somewhere deep inside, that GOD is PUNISHING the sick? Maybe that’s why they don’t want to help. But Jesus went around healing the sick for free, didn’t he? He LIKED poor people! He didn’t say “Why did you get near someone who had leprosy then, you idiot? Gah, OK, here’s the deal – you PAY me a heap of money and then I’ll see what I can do.” did He?

    The truth is, none of us know when we will need complex (and possibly long-term) medical care. Not everything we suffer is self-inflicted in some way. My friend’s nine year old son developed an inoperable brain tumour and suffered for about three years (with some laser therapy etc.) before dying… I’m very glad our system scooped her family up and took care of everything. Even if it does mean that the odd scrounger gets something for nothing.

    • elizabeth3hersh permalink
      9:42 am

      A rebuttal, if I may. When you throw in 9-year olds with inoperable brain cancer, things get murky and compassion kicks in in overdrive. That is not the crux of the problem here, but an issue that certainly needs to be addressed with ‘reform.’ My comment was about advocating personal responsibility. Let’s taking smoking for instance. The average cost for a pack of cigarettes is $5. If you smoke a pack a day your annual cost will be around $1,825. But, that is not really the entire cost of smoking because there are many other factors to consider (some of which are health related).

      I’m not saying “don’t smoke”, I’m saying “build the true cost of smoking into that pack of cigarettes so I and other non-smoking tax payers don’t have to SUBSIDIZE your smoking.” Same with booze and junk food. People should be allowed to do what they want. People should NOT be allowed to depend on their fellow tax payers to SUBSIDIZE their bad habits. When they do that, they are in effect siphoning off precious resources that SHOULD go to the 9-year old with brain cancer and his distraught family. If all Medicaid beneficiaries quit smoking, taxpayers would be $10 billion richer (which begs the question, how is it that Medicaid beneficiaries can afford cigarettes?). If taxpayers had a dollar amount that was taken from their paychecks more people would be up in arms about fiscal mismanagement as it relates to bad habits and health care.

      Incidentally, I’m not a Christian. I do, however, worship and it’s Brits like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens that are the recipients of my respect and adoration. I’m also a registered nurse and I can tell you, a lot of health care is squandered (SQUANDERED) on completely preventable diseases, disorders and accidents. Is it too much to ask that we as a nation get our priorities straight and assume some PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY and then take on reform since there will be MORE RESOURCES?

      In closing, our health system is one of the finest health care systems in the world BECAUSE we do NOT have socialized medicine. There is a trade off for that fine distinction. But, we could make it right. I’m willing to pony up for my bad habits. Are you?

      • Sedate Me permalink
        2:59 pm

        People should NOT be allowed to depend on their fellow tax payers to SUBSIDIZE their bad habits.

        Yeah, just like the untold billions American governments spend every year maintaining roads so about 3 million maniacs a year can get injured playing demolition derby on them, about 43,000 of whom die (and deservedly so).

        How dare the government subsidize their irresponsible behaviour?

      • 8:15 pm

        I wasn’t mentioning my friend’s child as a kind of “cheap shot” tactic to make my point. My point is exactly as I put it, because these kinds of cases DO happen. But we need to look after people JUST BECAUSE they are people and we are too. Not everyone who is poor is lazy, not everyone who is sick is irresponsible… But those that are still need to be cared for. A grown man may have liver failure because he is an alcoholic… But WHY did he turn to drink? Was he a soldier perhaps and had to see awful things, defending his country? Or is he blotting out childhood abuse? Or is he just a bum? Who knows? Who cares? Sick people cannot just be left to rot.

        A packet of cigarettes costs twice as much here as it does in the US – because we put a large tax on them, some of which (maybe all) goes towards the Health Service. I’m all for that. We educate our children to choose healthy foods, we have laws to make people wear seat-belts. We try.

        When I was working I paid National Insurance alongside my Tax. That pays for everyone to have Health Care and for me to get a basic State Pension, when I’m older. When I return to work I will pay NI again, it’s the Law. There have also been periods in my life when I could afford Private Health Insurance (which sometimes speeds up treatment etc.) and I’ve taken advantage of that IN ADDITION to paying NI. So yes, I will “pony up”.

        • elizabeth3hersh permalink
          6:15 am

          Blogmella, you make some excellent points (particularly, “why did he turn to drink?”). I was referencing the pernicious and malignant entitlements that many, well, feel entitled to whether the government can afford it or not. It has become a ‘lifestyle’ for many and it seems unfair to stick taxpayers with these monumental costs (which unfortunately, extends well beyond health care, i.e. bailouts). I offer as an example: Greece. The residents are now violently incensed at having austerity measures (living within owns own means and sensibly cutting back until the government is back on its feet) thrust upon them. Greece is the tip of the iceberg. More nations will follow and they too will demand their ‘rights’ and entitlements. The desperately poor in America are already taken care of (via Medicaid) and most of them have automobiles, microwaves, TVs, cell phone service and the Internet, yet still manage to be dependent on the government. I guess, in some sense, it is all a matter of perspective. If you were to pluck someone who lived 50-100 years ago and plop them down here today, they would be astonished at the relative ‘wealth’ and opportunity that exists today if one only cared to seize it. I guess that is the world I come from. But, you are right, reform would be a humanitarian thing (if only if we could allocate our resources so it would be ‘fair’ to all and not bankrupt our nation in the process).

          • Sedate Me permalink
            3:12 pm

            “living within owns own means and sensibly cutting back until the government is back on its feet…if only if we could allocate our resources so it would be ‘fair’ to all and not bankrupt our nation in the process”.

            Fair to all? Living within one’s own means? That’s some of the most anti-American, socialistic, stuff I’ve read in years! The American economy is built upon people (and governments) spending themselves into bankruptcy in order to further enrich the already rich. Any such socialist tinkering would cause the whole nation to implode.

            You’re worse than Obama! I’m surprised the Teabaggers aren’t waving posters with you wearing a Hitler moustache and burning you in effigy.

            • elizabeth3hersh permalink
              2:35 am

              Okay (I ‘get’ the user ID). Rx: Xanax 1mg i p.o. Q.I.D. and prn agitation #120 Refill x 12

    • 4:33 pm

      Many thanks Blogmella,

      I appreciate your taking the time to share your views. And I’m truly sorry to hear about your friend’s young son. That’s just absolutely tragic and heartbreaking. No child should ever have to suffer like that.

      Thanks again for sharing your views. I always like to hear other perspectives on the issue of the day.

      Best regards,

      Don

      • 8:20 pm

        No problem Don, I almost wish I hadn’t mentioned him, because my views don’t purely centre around the tragic child scenario.

        But still, I’m a Red Under The Bed and you’d shoot me faster than I could get a free appointment at my Doctor’s, if you saw my evil hide.

        • 12:36 am

          Many thanks blogmella,

          Trusting this won’t affect any promises made with respect to bangers and mash.

          All the best,

          Don

  19. 9:21 am

    Fucking awesome (excuse the ill mouth of my youth, but I loved this)

    Only thing is that you forgot to mention that it wont just be Mr. and Mrs. Average America that you will have to contend with flooding your medical services, but Mr and Mrs immigrant wannabe American too.

    Outrageous.

    • Sedate Me permalink
      3:46 pm

      Yeah, preventing poor people from even getting in the healthcare line is certainly one of the greatest benefits of the American medical system. You just walk right up, empty your pockets and don’t give a moment’s thought about those who can’t afford what you’re getting done. Let them eat shit!

      There is certainly something to be said for Social Darwinism in America.

      “Make way little people, here comes somebody important!”

      It’s better than Viagra.

    • 4:37 pm

      Thanks for visiting Rubytwoshoes,

      I’ll be tackling the delicate issue of immigration a little later in the series. I have some strong views on the issue and believe that with a little common sense we can sort matters out in short order.

      Appreciate your stopping in and the kind (if off-color) remarks.

      All the best,

      Don

    • chaser permalink
      12:37 am

      I am totally with you and i’m surprised this is the first mention of illegal immigrants…I have a REALLY hard time swallowing the thought that my tax dollars which i work so damn hard for them to take will pay for people who have a papercut who aren’t even legal in this country!

    • 2:33 am

      Chaser –

      If that irritates you, you have to be completely incensed at all the natural-born citizens currently swallowing up your tax dollars! Good lord, they must number the illegals by at least 2-to-1!

      If they became citizens and then foisted their papercuts on us, would you be happier?

  20. ferxist permalink
    2:09 pm

    Sir,

    Well, it is America we are speaking about. I guess your proposition is just Darwinist. After all, if one does not get enough money, one does not contribute to the economy, and therefore, general well-being of the country, and that statement’s cynical follow-up is “one does not deserve to live.”

    However, “two decades later” is much too long for you to live. What good is that America to you if you can’t experience it?

    My conscience is against this, but it has no right to silence you, sir. My logic, on the other hand, says “Go for it.”

    I’ve always listened to my conscience more, sir. My apologies.

    Yes, when I become a doctor, I’ll go there and work while waiving my doctor’s fee. Maybe. It’s a long way off.

    Jonathan Ferxist

    PS: To be honest, whenever I hear either “capitalism” or “Objectivism,” I get the urge to burn money. Oh, and Ayn Rand? Best you not ask.

    • 4:56 pm

      Many thanks young Mr. Ferxist,

      I suspect you’ll make a fine Doctor, lad, and despite your discomfort with my proposal would encourage you to continue listening to your conscience. Hopefully, in most cases you’ll find that it will align itself nicely with your logic as well.

      Always good to hear from you Jonathan.

      Best regards,

      Don

  21. 2:21 pm

    I want a domesticated monkey but I am afraid it will set off a series of events that end in Charleton Heston finding the statue of liberty buried on a beach somewhere.

    • 4:57 pm

      Many thanks Bearman,

      It’s a definite possibility and one of the reasons why I’m staunchly “Anti-Domesticated Monkey.” There are other reasons too but they’re personal in nature and I don’t discuss them publicly.

      All the best,

      Don

  22. Sedate Me permalink
    3:29 pm

    “Call me old-fashioned but I’d rather pay to have a Lexus-driving quack prod my polyps than get treatment for free from Dr. Zhivago and his pinko comrades at the Vladimir Tretiak Memorial Hospital. -Donald Mills

    I’m Canadian and I have free access to healthcare along with domesticated monkeys, cars with seat belts, government grown grass and all the beaver I can eat.

    While I’ve never been to Vladimir Tretiak Memorial, I have been to the Vladimir Petrov Medical Centre and the service there can’t be beat. I received a new liver, a new heart and a penis extension all for free, even though I didn’t need any of them (especially the latter). I was only there for a tetanus shot because I stepped on a rusty nail.

    If I were in America, I might have to line up with thousands of other suckers to get treated by Remote Area Medical, ( http://www.ramusa.org/about/history.htm ) a service designed to help people in the Third World but now spends much of its time in Third World America.

    • 5:19 pm

      Many thanks Sedate me.

      I’m curious about the domesticated monkeys. Do you have to apply for one or does the Prime Minister just pop one in the mail on your 18th birthday?

      Personally, I’d like a domesticated Silverback Gorilla. The small monkeys are good for opening pill bottles or getting you a soft drink from the fridge but if I’m going to house a primate I’d like it to be big enough to shingle my roof, lug sacks of concrete and shovel the snow off my driveway.

      God knows I can’t find any young person willing to take on the tasks.

      All the best Sedate me. And a word of advice – stay off that government grass.

      Don

      • Sedate Me permalink
        7:27 pm

        Mr Mills,

        You’re right. That would be great to get a monkey to do what young people used to do, but now refuse without being offered an XBox or a Kilogram of meth. Although these days, it’s getting hard to tell the difference between young people and monkeys. (Tip: the monkey has better command of the English language.)

        Unfortunately, you do have to be a paraplegic to get a free monkey, but you do get your pick of any available primate. That would include a Silverback Gorilla. However, those guys are really hard to train, so it’s unlikely many are available. Even so, you won’t be able to get him to do anything he doesn’t want to. Unless he enjoys construction, you’re probably stuck with under-paying a guy without a Green Card, if you know what I mean.

        Personally, if I were picking from primates, I’d choose that Dr Zira. She’s not exactly Nova, but she’s smart, obedient and kind of cute.

        And as for that Canadian government reefer, anybody on it will tell you it’s some really weak skank-weed. You’re much better off growing your own.

        • 12:43 am

          You’re a damned pip, Sedate me. You really are.

          And I have to applaud you for thinking outside of the standard, government issue, domesticated helper monkey box. Dr. Zira is a fine choice.

          Many thanks.

          Don

  23. YellowRoses610 permalink
    3:39 pm

    Hey, Mystsong? I think the Candians back me on my Domesticated monkey plan. Can we get one?

  24. 5:45 pm

    Also trying to steal your user space here is my new blog (I gave up on word press because it keeps logging me out) http://rose-williamson.livejournal.com/

  25. 6:51 pm

    We should have healthcare like Canada, without moving there.
    It’s a damn shame that americans lose everything when they get sick.

    The money we gave to the billionaire bankers should have been the downpayment for national healthcare.

    • 12:56 am

      Many thanks Sekanblogger.

      Nice to hear from you lad. Hope you’re keeping well. You’ll get no arguement from me regarding the bailout money. I’m sure most folks can think of a number of better uses for that money.

      All the best and thanks for stopping in.

      Don

  26. 8:38 pm

    Wouldn’t you think that since we’re paying for THEIR health care already, Congress would at least have the head-removal-from-ass surgery?

    Who was it that recommended that old folks be sent to prisons instead of nursing homes? That way they’d get 24-hr. monitoring, meals, medical care. . . .

    • 12:58 am

      Thank you merrilymarylee,

      I’m not sure who made the recommendation but I’d damned well second it. The staff would be better trained, it would be better regulated and likely a Hell of a lot more humane.

      Plus, I already have a shiv.

      All the best,

      Don

  27. 9:16 pm

    I went to the hospital once when I was a kid. Seems I took a bottle of sulfa medicine and poured it out. My folks thought I swallowed the whole thing and took me for an old fashion stomach pumping. Got chewed out for dumping the medicine and costing them money.

    Today, the kids get dropped off at their favorite emergency room daily, and we pay for it. I’m thinking a law limiting kids to three visits, then they get dumped out in the desert and have to make it back on their own. Teach em something about responsibility and survival.

    • 4:16 pm

      Thank you Jammer,

      Nothing like a youthful stomach pumping to teach you respect for the health care system. I dare say that if more damned young people had their stomachs pumped unnecessarily they’d sure as Hell think twice about showing up in the ER every time they break an arm, pull a groin or have some other bong-related mishap.

      All the best Jammer and thanks for visiting.

      Don

  28. 8:45 am

    You hit the nail on the head much like a hangover construction worker firing a rabid succession of nails into his own head.

    Health care is not a basic human right and the lazy bastards who likely want it should just get a third full time job and sell their kidney to pay for their dialysis. I’m sick of these commie pinkos trying to take the last trillion nickels out of the pockets of the HMO’s. It’s God damned un-American!

    • Sedate Me permalink
      1:00 pm

      Yeah!

      Being an American is all about being toothless, kidney-less, healthcare-less, broke and stupid…AND PROUD OF IT! It’s there in the Constitution, right next to the part about blacks being 3/5ths of a man.

      Those damn communists are trying to defile America by changing all that. How dare they try to ruin America like that?

    • 4:18 pm

      Many thanks Scott,

      Any idea what the going rate for a kidney is? I’ve been thinking I’d be wise to start stockpiling some spare parts and have some room in the chest freezer. I’d be interested in a pancreas and a couple of spleens as well.

      All the best,

      Don

  29. 10:37 am

    Don,

    Why didn’t you just tell me you needed your polyps prodded? Seriously, I could have saved you so much time and energy, both of which you have so little left.

    Now, do you remember that contraption thingamajiggy I sent you a while ago for those bothersome and horrifically unsightly moles of yours? (If not, here’s a refresher- http://www.bugspray.net/pictures/molereg.jpg). Just pull out the training manual, look under the section titled “I’ll Manhandle My Own Bolsheviks, Thank-You Very Much!” and about one-third of the way down, you’ll see the step-by-step instructions.

    Trust me, I’ve done it nine times already, and besides the occasional intestinal bleeding, I’ve never had a problem.

    (I wish I could help you on the Health-Care part, but seeing as I’m Canadian I don’t really pay attention to that stuff.)

    Truly a D.C. hooker-worthy post, Don. I look forward to next week, and hearing your thoughts on “how we can make those happy married people more organized”.

    (Damn hoarders.)

    Your polyp-free friend,

    Bschooled

    • 5:27 pm

      Many thanks Bschooled,

      I can’t tell you how grateful I am that you continue to look out for my best interests.

      That mole-be-gone thingamabob (I also thought it was a thingamajiggy at first) you sent my way is the damned bees knees. I haven’t read the instructions straight through but in addition to clearing up my moles it can also be used for home cataract surgery, electrolysis, as an emergency spleen patch and in a pinch can remove wallpaper.

      And now I learn it will prod polyps as well. I’m seriously considering sending away for the deluxe version. It dices carrots.

      All the best and thanks again.

      Your soon-to-be polyp-free friend,

      Don

  30. lookingforsomethingtofind permalink
    12:55 pm

    Good post, I’d hate to think my dentist was poking in my mouth not for money but for the fun of it. Personally I believe we need health care reform, I’m not sure socialized medicine is the way to do it though. If you ask me, many people go to the doctor too much, I’m sure that Don Mills only goes when there is a darn good reason to.

    • 11:27 pm

      Thank you lookingforsomethingtofind,

      God knows what compels Dentists to spend their days fishing about in other people’s mouths. I can think of very few other things I’d like to do less.

      And you’re right; I’ve never been one to beat a hasty path to the Doctor’s door. I probably went about 3 times between 18 and 60 (which may have been less than ideal). I do go more often now but things seem to wear out quicker than they used to. Still, if I can fix it at home with some polysporin, aspirin and duct tape – that will always be my first line of defence.

      Sorry for the delay in responding and thanks very much for visiting.

      Don

  31. 10:46 pm

    You are the light and the way and something-something in Latin . . . damn flashbacks. Glad they don’t include overly-friendly priests. I like the racehorse healthcare plan: break your leg and catch a bullet in the brain pan. This life is a damn race to the end, and if someone can’t compete they better start pushing up daisies pronto. The rest of us will battle it out in the final stretch. We don’t need any sickos getting in the way.

    Oh wait . . . I don’t have any benefits.

    Never mind.

    On a serious note, you really set a bomb off, Don. You’ve actually sparked serious debate and input from all quarters. Crazy times here in the states, and often depressing. Keep us laughing my friend; the alternative sucks like another failed clean-up attempt in the gulf.

    • 11:58 pm

      Nice to hear from you Dan,

      I fully support the racehorse plan. My damned brother broke his leg back in 3rd grade and he never amounted to squat. It was like he just gave up trying.

      Crazy times indeed. Fascinating but frightening as hell.

      All the best,

      Don

  32. 5:42 pm

    I have just spent 20 minutes reading the original post and then all the comments. The mix of satire and genuine human pathos is intriguing to me.

    I, a some of you know, am a real recently retired doctor who worked his balls off from 1973 to 2008 both studying to be a doc, then specialising as a shrink then doing that within and alongside the British socialised medicine system, aka NHS.

    Mr Don, your take on the idiocy of totally free health care is balanced with the reality of “pay as you go medicine”, both have a place; the problem is balancing what society will provide free and what should be left to the individual to be responsible for. One of the USofA states (?Utah) tried to setup an approved list for state funding, but the locals couldn’t agree.

    So, in Britain, people expect AND GET “free” tatoo removal, fertility treatment (up to a limit), sex change procedures and the like. “Free” but paid for by a tax of about 8% on gross income, which many of the beneficiaries have never paid a penny towards as they have never had gainful employment. That is so fecking wrong my BP is in danger of exploding…

    I can’t wait for the next 9…

    • 12:02 am

      Many thanks Dave,

      I have to admit I was wondering where you might stand on this issue. Seems that we as a planet can never seem to manage that pesky issue of balance can we? We’re excellent at extremes but balance – not so much.

      Many thanks for the comment Dave. Nice of you to visit.

      Best regards,

      Don

  33. 7:47 pm

    I’ve been waiting for a while to really comment on this post, Don. I think that most people are completely missing the point. We do need health care reform. We need it badly.

    Personally, I am the beneficiary of the military health care system since my husband retired after 21 years of Navy service, and I simply do not recognize the “health care” that Clifton L. Tanager describes. I believe that a great deal has changed since the Korean war. The military doctors I have met are very professional, and very happy to be working in a place where they do not have to worry about paying the nurse, making appointments, having malpractice insurance. So they have to serve eight years in order to pay back the military having paid for their medical education. They would have to work somewhere anyway. When one of them recommends surgery to me I don’t go out and check what kind of car he is trying to make a payment on to decide whether I really need surgery or he just needs a nice fat reimbursement from the HMO to make his next mortgage or car payment.

    Our family costs for health care are $460 per year; we make no co-payment when we see the physician. Our prescription drugs are free. The technicians who perform my mammograms are sensitive, well-trained, on time and professional. The doctors who do other procedures are amazing. I can’t say enough good things about them. The military has computerized the medical records system the way Obama suggested the whole nation should, and no matter where I go in the country in the military health care system, they can see my history in seconds. Personally, I do not understand why all the people in this country are not clamoring to enjoy the same sort of excellent and stress free care that we do.

    What we REALLY need is to completely ban the HMO and PPO system as it is today, where the insurance “Provider” is a publicly traded stock issuing corporation whose duty it is to provide the most profit and biggest dividends to the people who own their stock. Patients are a commodity, and no one in an HMO gives a rat’s ass whether they actually get any care, in fact, if they never get any care at all that is the best scenario because then ALL their premiums can be designated as profit and the dividends to the stockholders can be higher.

    I am old enough to remember when our family doctor actually made house calls, in fact he came to our house to deliver both my brother and my sister. When we had childhood diseases, he brought his black bag to our house and that meant that no one had to be exposed to our viruses and bacteria. Somewhere, right around the time of Ronald Reagan, it was decided that the idea of us paying an insurance company for catastrophic things like broken bones and our doctor directly for everything else just wasn’t making a big enough profit for the capitalists. We can thank Mr. Reagan for the system that allows publicly traded HMOs to exist.

    I know this response is a hell of a lot more serious than this humorous blog really demands, but I just can’t sit by and let you think that I agree with you on this one.

    • 9:09 pm

      Many thanks healingmagichands,

      A very compelling and well-stated comment. I sincerely appreciate your taking the time to add your voice to this discussion. Your post may have been “a hell of a lot more serious than this humorous blog really demands” but it raises a number of points that likely needed to be made.

      All the best and thanks again,

      Don

  34. 3:14 am

    Dr. Zhivago isn’t half bad and the Dominican medical license hanging on the wall is quite a sight to behold while he’s sticking his icy fingers up my exit ramp.

  35. 10:18 am

    I’m a young person(19) living in Canada.I have a strong view on this issue.As people know over here in Canada we have free health care. Not everything is free,some medical things aren’t cover with the government. But I certainly agree with the free health care and everyone contributing their tax dollars to the government to help everyone with there medical issues. The health care system certainly helped keep my close family members alive.Offering the drugs they may need for medical issues that they wouldn’t of been able to pay on their own.

    I think U.S.A should have free health care and I wouldn’t say that’s it socialist behavior or even socialize medicine I would call it helping people and keeping people alive and eliminating the suffering. It seem so simple to me on the issue.But I know people have different views then mine. I just find it how the health care is now for the united states is very separated with groups and everyone getting treated differently based on their income.
    Heath care is not something that should be turned into a business/corporate and isn’t something that is completely unfair.

    All I know for now, is United states ,Canada’s neighbour you got to figure out a solution quickly.

    Also I’m perfectly fine where I’m living right now. I dont want to worry about sickness with myself or my family I rather focus on my life.

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