Monday, November 9, 2009

I see stupid people

Kona and I were at the dog park this morning, as always, and in addition to the usual gang, there were a lot of other random people there because of the nice weather. So sitting there enjoying the sunny day, I explain to Craig why the CBS people were there with me on Thursday, the last time I saw him, and this segued into a discussion on health care reform. Now, in spite of the fact that in general I am a shy, retiring flower who doesn’t like to make her opinions known (*cough*), I did mention to him how amazingly kick-ass it was that the House passed the reform bill the night before, and that it was about time. Which led to the following discussion:

Craig: Yeah, but, I don’t know about all of that.
Me: About what?
Craig: I mean, my dad when he was sick he got the best doctors, the best treatment, most sophisticated medicine and it worked out great. What would happen to him?
Me: What do you mean? He’s on Medicare, right?
Craig: Yes, but that’s not the point. He’s 72, so is he less important than the 30 year old with 2 young kids?
Me: You’re talking about rationing??
Craig: I guess. I just wouldn’t want him to not be treated because he’s too old, you know? How’s all that going to work?
Me, after a moment of dumbfounded silence: Oh, hadn’t you heard? They have a formula to figure all that out. It’s called the Death Panel Coefficient Corollary. They take your age as a factor of your family’s average life span, factor in your productivity, current and projected, multiply all that by the power of U.S. GDP squared, do a few back-of-the-envelope NPV calculations, assign values to all your bad habits to estimate how much of a drain on society your poor health will eventually be, and voila! Piece of cake!
Craig: But I....
Me, whipping out a pen and paper: Here, let me just do some quick calculations for you. So...(scribble scribble)......let’s take ourselves as an example. You, Craig, who works at Whole Foods and goes out drinking a lot, you’d wind up with a Coefficient of 3.7. Me, with the Wharton MBA, which obviously means higher productivity and thus more benefit to society, I get a 12.3. Higher is better, so, well, in a world of scarce resources.....
Gabe: Ha, I’m just not gonna get sick!
Me: Right, I would have liked that too. (scribble scribble) I hope you don’t, Gabe, because since you’re a jobless slacker and only do occasional pet-sitting, you’d get a 0.4.
Craig: Seriously, that’s how they’re doing it?
Me: NO, you idiot, of course not! There’s NO rationing in the health care bill, okay? Sheesh.
Some random idiot woman who’s been standing there listening in: But they’ll have to ration. They’ll just have to. Guaranteed.
Me: What are you talking about?
Idiot woman: That’s the only way they’ll be able to afford giving all these people health insurance. Rationing. Dooming us all.
Me: In the first place, it’s not a giveaway. Yes, it’s making sure almost everyone has insurance, but most of them will have to pay something. Plus do you really think there’s no rationing NOW? Like insurance companies don’t deny treatments already? If that’s not rationing, what is it?
IW: Well, the health care will be terrible then. Do you know what the VA is?
Me: Umm, excuse me, do I look retarded? Of course I know what it is.
IW: Their health care is shoddy and rundown and horrible. And so is Medicare. And so is Canada’s. We already have the best healthcare syst.....
Me: Hello, Ron, who comes here all the time, he gets his health care through the VA, and he’s always saying how great his doctors are and his care in general is. Medicare? All the old folks seem to looove their Medicare – ask Craig’s dad how great it is. And Canada? Don’t make me laugh. I have friends who live in Canada, and they have NO problems with their health care system. Well, other than an egregious lack of Timbit emporiums in their local health clinics.
IW, blathering on: Then why do all the Canadians come to the U.S. for health care?
Me: Umm, they DON’T. Again, MY FRIENDS in Canada have never even thought of coming here for health care.
IW: But I read about it blahblahblah blahblahblah....

At this point I look desperately over to the Kone, to see if he looks like he’ll morph into Vicious Doberman mode and go for this stupid woman’s throat, but alas, he’s just hanging out and chewing on a tennis ball as usual. Damn. So I just tune her out and go to my happy place, the one that involves cute hockey boys and lots of mai tais. Think zen, zen......dirty sock and zen....

I will just say this, if anyone wants to argue with me about health care or anything else, fine. But don’t give me this malarkey about Canada, for example, when actual statistics show this to not be the least bit true. Stop embarrassing yourselves already, by being so uninformed and just parroting what the insurance companies and rich politicians want you to know. You realize they’re not on your side......don’t you?


D said...

Who are these Canadian "friends" you claim to have?

t-odd said...

Why does everyone talk like Canada is a different country? They are like the 51st state. And correct me if I am wrong, but weren't there busloads of blue-hairs and gummers heading north of the border to get less expensive drugs, how is that not better. My mom ran hospitals and my wife is in health care and both want reform. Both hate the insurance companies. OMG - we are going to have a great discussion this weekend. (I don't know a lot, but I agree that the bill is a good move forward.)

Missy said...

A certain percentage of the population are idiots - it's a known and accepted fact. What is alittle less known is that a very large percentage of that percentage frequent dog parks - like frequently..