A Healthcare Meritocracy

  • danisnotstr8

    Posts: 2579

    Jan 29, 2010 4:41 PM GMT
    I am a huge fan of the general concept of universal healthcare. It saddens me that we're probably not going to see a bill pass in the very near future. But it's not fair, and that's why it won't pass.

    Quite simply, I am an idealist, a socialist, and a Utopian, often to the point of what many Americans would consider a fault. I wish the best for all people, and to that end, I have been willing, in the past, to give away more of myself and my hard-earned money than almost everyone I know. If it means that someone will have what he or she needs, then consider me a benefactor.

    Except for the two years I recently spent in graduate school, I have not had health insurance for the past ten years. I have taught in high schools and middle schools (full-time), but because I was always a "permanent substitute" or a part-time employee teaching music, I was never offered health insurance. Part-time workers are screwed when it comes to health coverage, even if we work three part-time jobs. Currently, I am a contracted, tenure-track employee as a music teacher in a high school, but since the position will not be full-time until next year, I do not have health benefits as usual. I still work more than most people do because I perform on the weekends and I stay at the high school twice as long as I should.

    Now, despite my fairly meek way of life, if an insurance bill passes, I'm going to pay more out of my pocket so that everyone can be insured. Well, I don't think this is fair. Why? Because, in the past ten years, I have learned to be a healthy person so that I don't have to go to the fucking doctor all the time.

    Yes, there are pre-existing conditions. I do not argue against the people who deal with chronic and/or genetic illnesses. But I am opposed to paying for big, fat, cholesterol-laden sloths to spend their lives eating Cheetos for dinner and gargling with Squirt. I spend almost a hundred dollars every month on my gym membership, and I am there for an hour and a half five times a week. I run, I jump, I lift, and I am one of the healthiest people I know. I eat well, and although my diet is not "perfect," I shit solid and I rarely get sick.

    I attended graduate school on a fellowship. I received a small stipend, and the undergrads paid for my tuition. However, I was forced to carry health insurance to the tune of $865.75 per semester. In my two year career at Case Western Reserve University, I went to the doctor twice: once, to get antibiotics for bronchitis, and the second time to get a tetanus shot. For this, I paid over $3400.00. Fuck you, CWRU.

    I propose a Healthcare Meritocracy. I have a great health profile. I should pay less for my insurance. Fat people, druggies, alcoholics, and chain smokers should pay for their indolence, and healthy people should benefit from this. I already spend enough on my own health. Everyone should go through a physical exam in which they are assessed for their general dietary habits, cholesterol, etc., so that it may be determined whether there are simple changes in their life that could result in their doctor visits being cut in half. All the back pain, the headaches, the head colds, and the general malaise that comes directly or indirectly from obesity, should be countered with a mandatory exercise regimen rather than a pat on the back and a free doctor visit.

    From my favorite poem, "In Praise of a Contented Mind," by
    Edward De Vere:My wealth is health and perfect ease;
    My conscience clear my chief defense;
    I neither seek by bribes to please,
    Nor by deceit to breed offense.
    Thus do I live; thus will I die.
    Would all did so as well as I!

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    Jan 29, 2010 8:03 PM GMT
    I think it is a great idea.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 29, 2010 8:07 PM GMT
    Me too. I finish grad school in May and am terrified that I might go a year or 2 without health insurance because I can;t afford it, even though I try to be as healthy as possible.
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    Jan 29, 2010 8:19 PM GMT
    Finally, a good healthcare reform suggestion.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11648

    Jan 29, 2010 8:44 PM GMT
    Good .....

    But I would become voluntarily anoxic through a cessation of respiration if I were you icon_wink.gif
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    Jan 29, 2010 8:46 PM GMT
    I am with you on some points and think you articulate this well, but until the US Government stops bankrolling the junk food industry by subsidizing corn and soy products, and starts promoting healthier and AFFORDABLE alternatives to the shit people put in their bodies, we won't make any headway in terms of nutrition.

    Despite any efforts to educate people about nutrition, if a family of five has a choice between feeding everyone at McDonald's or spending the same amount on healthy food that can't feed them all, they'll naturally choose McDonald's. Shitty food costs less. Healthy food costs more. And it's all because the Government has been allowed to make it that way. If these basic changes can't be made, we can't expect much else to change either.

    I also wonder how this would impact people with hereditary diseases, accident victims, etc. How will such a meritocracy respond to their needs? And what about the obese, chain-smoking slob who just happens to contract an unrelated illness? Will his healthcare be compromised by previous health assessments which define him as "at risk?"

    Still, I do agree that everyone should be held responsible for their actions, so perhaps more citizen involvement--fatties and health advocates alike--in crushing the current system of corruption in Washington is in order.

    PS: Edited to add that no matter how good it sounds, a meritocracy nudges us a little closer to defining a superior race, doesn't it?
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    Mar 28, 2010 11:16 AM GMT