Could You Win the Healthcare Lottery?

Editor's Note: My old college friend, Bud Hendershot, wrote the following and sent it to his local newspaper in Florida as a guest editorial. Read on and enjoy. As always, you can find all my blog posts from 2013 to the present on my website at http://stevemarshallassociates.com/steves-blog/

The Definition of Insanity

The Congressional Republicans have voted to repeal The Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”) and replace it with a giant tax cut for the rich (a.k.a. The American Health Care Act/Trumpcare/Ryancare). This Republican healthcare plan is a complete joke and would – according to the CBO – result in at least 24 million Americans losing health insurance over ten years. The poorest Americans would be hit the hardest, of course – which is probably one reason this plan is more popular with Republicans than with everyone else. Remarkably though, polls show even a majority of Republicans don’t like this massive tax cut, umm, “healthcare plan.”

Republican Pols think healthcare is not a right – but a product that should primarily benefit only those rich enough to pay for it, or lucky enough to get it on the job. That’s obviously not a message they wish to advertise. But if they were more creative about their solutions, I think they could really excite many voters – especially the ignorant, the cruel, the greedy and the “I’ve got mine, screw you” crowd -you know, their base. So I have a few proposals I think would go over BIGLY with our new all Republican government.

Forget phony healthcare “plans”- it’s time for HEALTHCARE LOTTO! Each state could run a lottery with different scratch off games for different diseases, where winners could win various levels of treatment for maladies such as one free radiation treatment or insulin shot up to a Grand Prize of free health insurance – the same kind Congress gets!

Imagine – millions of desperately ill people who can’t afford health care lining up in local gas stations and grocery stores to purchase scratch-off tickets like “HAVE A HEART (TRANSPLANT!)”, “SCRATCH-OFF YOUR SHINGLES!”, “MATCH 3 FOR CHEMO!” or “E.D. BE GONE!” Such a system would generate many billions of dollars – half of which could be reserved for “prizes” – and the rest of which could be distributed upwards to billionaire GOP donors. HEALTHCARE LOTTO would give a sliver of hope for the desperately ill while making wealthy political donors even richer! A win-win for the GOP!

The only possible objection I foresee is that some of the more “moral” among GOP leaders may object to games like “MATERNITY CARE” if the winners are unwed mothers. Likewise, any prizes involving birth control would probably be excluded. You know – “Sanctity of Life” issues. But these things could be worked out.

Another idea would be a reality TV show along the lines of “The Apprentice.” You remember that show, don’t you? It starred Donald Trump. This show would be called “The Underwriter.” Trump would star in this show as well. With him, the show will get YUGE ratings – and we all know he loves that! Contestants would compete to get their application for health insurance approved through The Underwriter. Winners would beapproved for a health insurance policy for which they would pay reduced premiums. Losers won’t hear “You’re fired!” as they did on “The Apprentice.” What they’ll hear instead is “YOU’RE DEAD, LOSER!” Can you imagine the betting pools that would spring up all over America?

Short of regular live, televised executions, I can’t think of a show that would be more popular than “The Underwriter” in this sick country. You may think these ideas are crazy, but they are no more destructive than the “health care plan” Congress already passed and handed to the Senate. God help us all.

Thank you, Bud Hendershot!

Next Week: Shame on Me!