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Karl Marx Conquers Health Insurance Capitalist

Apr 5, 2008
I surrender. Will someone please take me prisoner?

I've worked in the health insurance business for twenty-three years. To all who would listen I've enthused about annual deductibles, office visit co-pays, and routine gynecological exams. The mere mention of out-of-pocket-maximums brought tears to my eyes. I proudly stood against the hordes that were clamoring for socialized medicine and declared that our health care system was the best in the world.

I believed that if you had health insurance in this country, you had access to the very best medical care. We lead the entire world in the development of new treatments and technologies precisely because we don't have socialized medicine and are willing to pay for groundbreaking discoveries. Botox was invented in the US, as was the silicone breast implant, and the most common type of liposuction, to name just some of the more important discoveries. I ask you, where would half the Hollywood actresses be today without good old American health care?

But, alas, it's all for naught, because I'm giving up the fight.

What has caused this about-face? The answer is weariness. This little health insurance war has been going on for some twenty years. I know England and France had their Hundred Years' War, and we're not quite in their league, but at least they had those little things called "victories" and "defeats." What do we have? One horrendous scrum which never ends. For two decades there has been incessant political posturing and legislative skirmishes. Nothing changed. Fifteen years ago there was the epic called Hilliarycare. Nothing changed. Most recently we unleashed the secret weapon that would decisively end the health insurance war forever: Arnold Swartzenegger. Nothing changed.

He promised to bash heads until every individual and family in California had affordable health insurance. Instead the most buff bureaucrat in all the land went down like a Bavarian girlie man in lederhosen.

That was the final blow. I'm finished. In the words of that famous boxer of yesteryear who was getting his butt kicked, I say "no mas."

As of today I renounce my past affiliations and proclaim my allegiance to a new master: socialized medicine. As a token of my sincerity I will perform the following deeds: I will hang a picture of Nancy Pelosi in my office; I will lay a wreath at the tomb of Karl Marx; I will move to Massachusetts; and I will listen to Woody Guthrie music for 30 days.

I don't care about the tens of thousands of lives that have been saved because we have resisted the beguiling allure of socialized medicine. I want peace. I want the blissful peace of a Brit who, when asked how much he pays for health insurance, innocently proclaims "We don't pay anything, it's free!" I don't care if you raise my taxes so high it makes Ted Kennedy giggle like a drunken debutante. I just want to say I've got "free" health insurance.

Besides, everybody always says we Americans know how to stand in line. That means socialized medicine is perfect for us. Just show us where the line is for heart bypass surgery and we'll stand there till kingdom come. We'll show those smiley faced, polite Canadians who are always jumping out of their socialized surgery line and coming down here for their operations.

I'm dreaming of the day when the fighting is over and I can look my Cuban comrades in the eye and proudly hold up my socialized medical card and say "See! You're not the only ones who have lousy health care. We have it too, every damned one of us!"
About the Author
Tim Patrick developed and manages http://www.HealthPlanInfo.com to help individuals & families in California find affordable health insurance. He has worked in health insurance since 1985, and is a graduate of UCLA.
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