It seems no matter which party is in power, health care in America costs too much and does too little. There’s a lot of handwringing about this lately, but not much action. We could seek solutions by looking to other countries, but we won’t. As Americans we hate being told that someone else is doing something better than we are. We don’t care that a pregnant woman in Texas is more likely to die in childbirth than almost anywhere else in the developed world. We don’t care that U.S. life expectancy rates fall somewhere below Slovenia. And please don’t preach to us about the lower costs and better outcomes of health systems in Switzerland or Israel or England. We’ll keep right on asserting that we have the best health care system in the world. We don’t care about the facts.
Let’s stop pussyfooting around with ineffective congressional compromises and tackle health care in a uniquely American way. Let’s make it a reality television extravaganza with real prizes, real consequences, and huge ratings. Huge!
The Annual Health Care Games
Master of Ceremonies: Paul Ryan (Dreaming of this since keg party days!)
Color commentary by: Megyn Kelly and OJ Simpson
Brought to you by: Oxycontin (Like heroin, but not so trashy) and Prayer (Always cheaper than chemo)
Competitors costumes by: Ivanka Trump
Network: ESPN2 and NBC (prime time)
- Let them pay cash. Eliminate Medicare and Medicaid. Dismantle all private insurance companies. Get rid of government subsidies. Let’s face it, sick people are a drain on the system and poor people aren’t pulling their weight. You shouldn’t get sick if you can’t afford the cure.
- Set up a lottery. When medical bills exceed the resources of the patient, they’ll be automatically entered into the Health Care Games lottery. The more bills a patient racks up, the more lottery tickets he earns.
- Choose the contestants. Governors of each state will pull lottery numbers annually. The number of contestants will be determined by the number of electoral college votes times 10. Under the current system California would choose 550 contestants, Florida 290, Colorado 90, Maine 20, etc.
- Hold the First Elimination. In statewide contests, competitors will be pitted against one another in death matches. These can be televised regionally or nationally as the matches warrant. Imagine the hand-to-hand combat scene between a single mom breast cancer patient and a geriatric diabetic war hero. Who will you root for? Whose life has more value? Only one competitor from each state will be allowed to go on to the final round.
- Get ready to rumble! At the end of the statewide contests, the 50 state victors will meet for a nationally televised super-match. Think of it as the Olympics, with each state vying for the privilege of hosting. Imagine the pride this will generate as each state cheers on its own competitor.
- Winner takes all! The last man or woman standing will win free health care for life for himself and for his immediate family including spouse, parents, and children. (Fine print: Opposite sex spouses only. No unborn or future children will be included. No grandparents. No in-laws. Future divorce will nullify the prize for the spouse and any step-children.)
- Consider the children. Citizens under the age of 18 will be exempt from the games, but will still collect lottery tickets. Parents may choose to take those chances for themselves or save them for the child when he comes of age. Children will use their parents’ decision as a litmus test for love.
- The real winner? America. At the end of each year’s games, the nation would find itself unburdened of 5,379 citizens, many of whom were already a big drain on the system. All but the wealthiest people would stop seeking health care to lessen their chances of being selected for the games. This would, of course, lower costs by allowing people to die naturally of diseases we might have treated in the past. The very wealthy would continue to pay cash for their own health care and for their children, creating an evolutionary bias for propagation of the elite. As the self-proclaimed “greatest nation on earth,” it seems only right that we divest ourselves of the chronically ill, the elderly, the whiners, and the losers.
Y’all, we’re gonna be so sick of winning.