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Indeed, even most of 45 million Americans who go without insurance because they can't afford premiums oppose alternative of not-for-profit system. It apparently hasn't occurred to them that there'd be no significant risk to capitalism in this solution. We've already got "socialized" institutions in this country—police and fire departments, for example—that hardly infringe on our freedom to take advantage of one another. A few more would still leave us with plenty of opportunities to ripoff our fellow man.
(And speaking of a not-for-profit health care system, does anyone seriously think that dealing with a government bureaucracy would somehow be more brutal than dealing with Aetna, Prudential or Oxford?)
So what’s left to do when revolt is no more in offing than government intervention is?
Unfortunately, beyond fantasizing that our growing population of serial killers (folks who’ve made it clear that accumulating money isn’t their first priority) will develop a sense of civic responsibility to go with their skills and proclivity, I haven’t come up with much. Certainly nothing that would yield more than smallest of rewards at price of considerable personal sacrifice.
I’m speaking of getting sick a lot; using, you know, hell out of my policy. By constantly contracting illnesses that require frequent doctor visits, extended hospitalization and enormous quantities of pharmaceuticals, I’d have satisfaction of at least putting a dent in an HMO's profits.
Yeah, I know, but I like pharmaceuticals part and it WOULD be a step up from omitting zip codes.
Former contributor to The Village Voice and Rolling Stone. Coauthor and coeditor, respectively, of two collections of essays about rock and jazz in the '60s: "Music & Politics" and "Giants of Black Music."