Ashton Kutcher’s Health Care Plan

2009 August 20

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.

College Athletes

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.

Weekend Warriors

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

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.

Beer Drinkers

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?

Stupid People

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.

Smokers

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.

19 Responses
  1. 2009 August 20

    This is brilliant. Why didn’t I think of this? The cost would be almost zero because no one would be covered! I suspect that the insurance industry would have a problem with it though. How would they be able to afford their luxurious lifestyle? How to make that yacht payment? How to fly to Switzerland for the weekend. In retrospect this actually might not work out so well. Besides, I think that all the stress they are already under would be so much worse if we excluded everyone who might actually make a claim that they might be excluded themselves. D’ya think?

  2. 2009 August 21

    Wow.
    This is SUCH a great post! So true, so VERY true.
    I can’t wait to see what happens with this plan…lol. All these salty loud mouths at the town halls, it’s just so ironic that republicans are finally starting too get vocal after sitting around doing nothing for 8 years. :)

    And you are so right….how stupid about the obesity comment. Your response was right on the money. Right on it.

    I say the dems use the nuclear vote on this. lol. And if you think about it…we’ve already discussed this 500x more than we discussed Iraq before invading them. It’s time to pass a bill.

  3. 2009 August 21
    Kate permalink

    Since we’re on a roll here…I don’t want to pay for any childs education either…so when I’m old the one wiping my arse end, won’t have any thing to talk about, because they’ve just sat home…watched tv and played video games…then they won’t irritate me.

    OH and I don’t drive on the highway, nor fight a war in Iraq or any of those countries.

    Gosh, I feel better, I’m going to owe almost no tax..lmao…and I won’t be in debt up to that same aforementioned arse end…OH shoot..that’s right..I’m an American…

    dang, I knew this was all circular logic.

  4. 2009 August 21

    This is an EXCELLENT post…like Decorina, I wish I thought of it. Although I don’t think I could have said it better. And I am really fed up with the fat discrimination…I am in better health than many thin people I know…many of them women in my very own family and I am tired of hearing how I am the one with the problem. Thanks for such an excellent post…you need to go on Bill Maher’s show…he’d love you!

  5. 2009 August 21
    Stephen permalink

    The way insurance works isn’t to refuse to cover “high risk” people; you simply separate them into their own pool so that they must pay higher premiums to cover their higher expenses without affecting the low-risk population. That’s why, for instance, a 16-year old male pays about ten times as much for auto insurance as a 40-year-old female. There is no reason, other than politics, that health insurance couldn’t work the same way. However, you can be sure that old people, fat people, sick people, etc. will see to it that any such divisions are outlawed because they are the majority today and want the healthy minority to pay for their treatments. That is a large part of why so many millions of people voluntarily choose not to have health insurance: they aren’t sick themselves and see no reason to pay for someone else’s care; universal coverage is all about forcing them to do so.

  6. 2009 August 22

    Bravo! Well written, well thought-out, and a nice dash of humor in this blog posting. You now have a new blog fan in this pixie.

  7. 2009 August 22

    Well, um, Stephen, not conversant with sarcasm are you? When I didn’t have health insurance as a young person it was because I couldn’t afford it – NOT because I was unwilling to pay for other, more unhealthy people’s treatment. Same reason I pay my property taxes: Someone paid their property taxes so I could get a public education. Without kids I am paying for other’s kids.

    We all foot the bills for the under and uninsured. And we also pay for the corporate jets, lavish lifestyles and extreme perks of the health company executives.

  8. 2009 August 22
    Chaos permalink

    hm.. you would also have to leave out anyone who has sex. I’m sure sex could be considered “high risk behavior” what with all the diseases out there and the whole possibility of getting pregnant and all….. guess we’re all screwed. : )

  9. 2009 August 23

    I was just going to write “great satire …loved it…should be in the NY Times as an editorial” then I read the comment from Chaos, and thought “HAHAHA!!omgd…..” …too funny. The humor and writing ability is certainly represented well in your family.

  10. 2009 August 23

    Can we add agoraphobics to that list, considering most accidents happen within the home? Also Italians because they seem to get shot a lot according to those documentaries, like “The Godfather” and “The Sopranos.”

  11. 2009 August 27
    limericc permalink

    OK Ladies, time for a new post. Everything ok?
    I miss your adventures!

    • 2009 August 29
      limericc permalink

      Waiting a day or two for a post is one thing but a whole week? Too much, lol.
      Miss you ladies, hope all is well.

  12. 2009 August 28

    Where the hell are you guys? You DO know it’s the 28th don’t you???? I mean, hello….that’s EIGHT WHOLE DAYS without you! In a few hours, it’ll be going on NINE days.

    I can’t take it. Show your faces!!

    (And um…..I hope you’re all okay. If you’re not, I’m sorry for yelling at you.)

  13. 2009 August 28
    Chaos permalink

    I think they are just really tired. Last I heard they were running like crazy. I hope you guys are ok too, though. Let us know how its going when you get some time ok? love ya. : )

  14. 2009 August 29

    Ummm, what Salena said. Going thru HH and Maggie withdrawal is not a pretty sight……Although this is a good reminder of why James and I don’t drive team.

  15. 2009 August 29
    Belledog permalink

    Hello to Hags and Hagsfans.

    Chaos: lucky to have you here to reassure that Hedon and Stace are AWOL because of being crazy busy. Last time they were AWOL, we wuz worrying more!

  16. 2010 March 21

    The best part about this post is that you just made an extremely compelling arguement against having socialized healthcare, and I’m being for real. When it comes down to it, why should anyone pay for anyone else’s healthcare, as you just arrogantly pointed out.

  17. 2010 March 21

    Oh and I should also add, if we were to have socialized healthcare, which we now do, I would agree with Ashton about the obesity comment, and with you on the smokers comment. I mean, being overweight is: something that can be changed, and something that is an existing medical hazard in the majority of situations. But your other examples are examples of someone that is not unhealthy, but just has the chance to be unhealthy in the future. Nice attempt, but when it comes down to it, your a dumbass.

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