Ashton Kutcher’s Health Care Plan
We caught an episode of Bill Maher’s HBO show “Real Time” this last week while we were home. Ashton Kutcher was on the panel discussing Obama’s health care plan and made a comment that he didn’t want to pay for some guy’s triple-bypass because he wanted his “fried Snickers bar” or something to that effect. So of course fat people around the web are fairly up in arms about his smart-assed attitude. But I think he brings up an interesting argument.
While many extremely obese people, such as myself, are in quite good health, I think we will probably all agree that obesity can eventually cause tons of health care problems. I can see why thin people might not want their tax dollars being used to pay for an obese person’s health challenges. They view obesity as a high-risk situation that should be excluded from coverage under any national health care plan. I think they have a valid point.
This got me thinking about some of the other high-risk behaviors or situations that should probably be excluded in the interest of fairness and justice. I made a list of just a few of them:
Business Persons and Salespersons
More and more studies are showing the devastating results of stress on a person’s health. So it would seem only logical to give a good hard look at our nation’s business leaders before we decide to include them in the plan. I don’t see why those of us who take a more laid-back approach to our work life should have to pay for the triple-bypass of some hardcore type-A personality who is constantly stressed about whether his new movie (or other project) will be finished on time.
Or really any athlete. Athletes are always getting injured. A torn ACL here and dislocated shoulder there — it’s a constant stream of injuries. Why should we have to pay for that? I’m not out there running up and down the court putting my joints in danger, so why should I have to pay for your selfishness? I’m not saying you shouldn’t play sports, I’m just saying you should acknowledge that athletes often get injured, so playing sports is a choice you are making which puts your health at risk. And as we’ve already established, society shouldn’t be required to pay for health care when a person knowingly puts their own health at risk.
There should obviously be a ban on anyone who: rides a motorcycle, skateboards, goes skiing either water or snow, surfs, hang glides, bungee jumps, goes rock climbing, rides ATVs, hikes or camps in areas that are known to have dangerous snakes or other wildlife, floats rivers with fast moving currents, attends little league games and sits by the dugouts in the area most often hit by wild foul balls, sets off fireworks, cooks over open fires, plays lawn darts, goes hunting, shoots target practice, or plays golf in a storm. I think it goes without saying that all of these people are willingly engaging in activities that are known to be dangerous. I’m sure they wouldn’t expect you and I to have to foot the bill of a health care plan that would cover the potentially dangerous choices they are making of their own free will.
Young drivers are notoriously dangerous on the roadways. They’re always having wrecks which can lead to massive health care bills. As far as that goes, maybe we shouldn’t cover anyone who has had a wreck in the past five years. If you have already shown that you have poor driving habits that have caused one wreck, you may be more likely to be involved in a future wreck that will require a significant amount of medical care to recover from completely. I’m an excellent driver and don’t see why I should have to pay for the risks related to your poor driving skills. So no young drivers and no drivers who have had a car wreck in the previous five years. That should protect society’s interests nicely.
Or really anybody who drinks any alcoholic beverages at any time. Again, we are talking about a very risky behavior that people engage in despite the obvious dangers. On the surface it’s clear — hard-core drunks are completely screwing up their bodies and will eventually need health care — probably liver related — every bit as much as the damned obese. But even occasional drinkers are putting themselves at risk. How many times have a few drinks at the local bar been followed by the famous last words, “Woooeeee! Hey, Billy Bob, look at this here…” yelled just before a tipsy Cletus tried to slide down the roof of his house and land on the wood pile? Even casual drinking would seem to make people much more likely to require expensive health care at some point. I don’t drink. Why should I pay for their vice?
As the Darwin Awards have so clearly shown us over time, stupid people are much more likely to have horrible injuries caused by… well… being stupid… than the rest of us are. If Cletus can’t see into the bottom of his fuel tank and uses a Bic lighter held over the opening to illuminate the situation… Bless his sad stupid heart that’s a damned shame, but I don’t see why we should have to pay for his health care. Perhaps we should base a cut-off of around 103 IQ points so that we’re not having to pay for all the stupid stunts that are getting pulled every day out there. Because really why should we have to pay for their risky behavior?
Cops, Firemen, Military, Fishermen, Truckers, Hookers, Coal Miners, Lumberjacks, Drug Dealers
Sorry guys and gals, but lord knows you have made some very risky choices in your life. In fact you almost seem to have gone out of your way to engage in behaviors that will likely require medical attention at some point. Wish we could help with that, but as a society we have decided that we will not indulge risk-taking ways by providing health care coverage to people who knowingly put their health in danger. Maybe you should consider a different career if you want to be covered.
Worse than Hitler. No need to go further.
Old People Who Retire
Studies have shown that old monks and nuns who never retire live much longer and are much more mentally acute than old people who retire and start going downhill once they get the gold watch. It seems obvious that retiring is a dangerous practice that puts old people at risk. I’m not saying we shouldn’t cover old people in the health care plan, I’m just saying if they insist on retiring they are willingly putting themselves at greater risk of health problems related to aging and therefore should not be covered. As long as they keep working, they should keep their health care. Also, they should probably be required to prove that they spend 15 minutes of every day doing logic puzzles or some other brain exercises to keep their brain healthy and avoid mental decline.
All People Who Don’t Spend 30 Minutes Per Day Exercising
Studies have shown that we all need to exercise to be physically fit. Even thin people. In fact, a recent study found that obese people who exercise 30 minutes per day are generally in better over-all health than thin people who don’t exercise at all. So pretty much everyone should be required to prove they exercise 30 minutes a day in a boring, safe, non-sporting-type method of exercise if they want to be covered by the new health plan. Because, really, it’s not enough to be thin if you want my cash for your health care needs. If you want to be healthy you have to hit the gym. And we’re all about only covering those who choose to be healthy, right?
Really when you look at it logically I think Ashton had an excellent point on providing cost breaks to people who make healthy choices. This whole health care plan they are debating would be a lot more cost effective if we simply refuse to cover any people who make poor health choices. I bet it wouldn’t cost much at all then.