Monday, August 10, 2009

Health Care Reform and the Analogy of Turd Flavored Toothpaste

We are blessed to live in one of the greatest countries in the world.  One of the things that make this country great is our freedom of choice.  Walk down any aisle in the supermarket, choose any product and find multiple choices for the same thing.  From green beans to soap, televisions to cars, light bulbs to pens, nearly everything we consume involves a choice. 

One thing that Americans cannot choose is health care insurance.  Yes, those of us that are employed generally get a choice of plans, but we don’t get to choose our provider.  Our choice usually revolves around cost, hospital, and/or doctor.  In my case, I can go to hospital A for $X, hospital B for $Y, and both hospitals for $Z, with $X being the least expensive. 

If I want a different provider, I leave the good deal offered by my employer and test the waters of the open market, like those individuals without an employer provided plan.  Generally speaking, good plans are too expensive for the average individual and affordable plans barely cover anything.  So in a sense, yes, there is choice, but outside the “sweet” deal offered by employers, none of them are any good.

Imagine for a moment the toothpaste aisle in your local supermarket.  Think of all the different brands, features and flavors.  One fights tartar and one whitens and another does both.  This one has sparkles and this one has micro scrubbers and this one has stripes. 

Now imagine if there were a bunch of brands of toothpaste, but they all had one flavor…shit.  This one has corn to fight tartar and this one has peanuts to whiten and this one has corn and peanuts for dual action.  They all taste like ass.  But seeing as how that’s the only toothpaste we’ve ever known, we go along with it.  Yeah, it rots our teeth.  They could look better, and our breath could be fresher, but what are we going to do?  It’s our only choice.

On top of that, it’s expensive.  In fact, it’s the most expensive toothpaste in the world.  Marketing, CEO salaries, and phone banks, staffed by individuals who’s sole responsibility is to tell folks not to worry about their offensive breath or the fact that their teeth are falling out, all contribute to outrageous prices. 

Now, imagine if somebody came forward with a new, mint flavored, toothpaste.  One that actually fights decay, leaves ones mouth feeling fresh and clean and costs half of what the shit flavored toothpaste we’ve been using our entire lives.

Would people choose to stick with what they’ve known or would they choose the better tasting toothpaste that did more good than harm?

That, my friends, is what this health care discussion is all about.  Work past all the false scares of socialized, DMV medicine and know that health care reform is about giving us a choice and a chance at something better.  An affordable, portable, health care that offers better care for all.  Regardless of what is being said, there is not, nor has there ever been, a plan to take away anybody’s current insurance.  The President has always said, if you like your plan, then keep it. 

This is all about choice.  Choice is one of our most important freedoms.  Those fighting reform are fighting against choice.  Therefore, they fight against freedom.  I will never understand that.

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