A Creative Proposal For Achieving Universal Healthcare: Make Getting Sick a Crime!

If we criminalize illness, we can incarcerate sick people and provide them with health care that way.

David Gergen says that Americans can't do comprehensive health care reform because we are so darned special:

GERGEN: I think one of the other aspects of this is very fundamental to who we are as a people. There are a lot of sociologists and historians will tell you we as American people are just different. We're an outliers measured in many ways. Our value system is different. We don't think like Canadians. We don't accept government the way it is. We're not deferential to authority the way Canadians are or in Western Europe.

He's cute, isn't he?

But it does make me think about some creative ways to get around our dilemma. Perhaps the best way to get health care reform would be to have police and the military run the system. Everyone on this program (except Sanjay Gupta, who foolishly questions whether becoming health nazis will work) believes that people are unhealthy because they asked for it. They are convinced that the most important thing to do to cut costs is to punish people for their bad health so those who "do the right things" don't have to pay for sick peoples' health care anymore. (Presumably, those with better genes were deemed superior by God from the get go, so they wil be rewarded right along with those who "do the right things.") Et voila, the costs are contained and everyone is healthy. America is the new Sparta.

Unfortunately, Americans have some bad habits that are going to be hard to break. It seems to me that a little tasing would go a long way to keeping people on the straight and narrow and cutting those costs. After all, unlike the authoritarian Canadians who subserviantly submit themselves to a socialistic medical system, we individualistic Americans are more than happy to allow certain authorities great discretion. They are even allowed to torture innocent people merely if they don't like their attitude. Putting the health care system under the auspices of the police, makes all resistance to Big Government authoritariansim vanish completely.

Digby is the proprietor of Hullabaloo.
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