Published on January 20th, 2010 | by Thompson0
Americans for Healthcare Reform
Obama’s Coming to Town…Chicken, Jack Daniels, and Pure Ecstasy…Guns…the Weed Question…and Wishing Upon Shooting Stars
It’s been nearly 3 hours since dinner…marinated chicken, rice, and vegetables cooked over a portable stove with Jack Daniels to wash it down and a healthy dose of Ecstasy for dessert. My friend Al and I planned to camp at a lake in the mountains somewhere to watch a meteor shower and get obliterated on Jack Daniels, weed, and pure Ecstasy, but our plans were slightly altered when we heard the President of the United States would be visiting town to discuss healthcare reform. Instead, we are discreetly drinking Jack and Coke from our water bottles and tripping hard on Ecstasy while we camp on Main Street in Bozeman, Montana to get tickets for the town meeting. The line of campers runs on for blocks now. Luckily we got there early enough to find a nice spot just a block away from the ticket office. I heard there were a couple thousand tickets available, so I knew we were a lock to get a few.
I was really looking forward to that camping trip, but I’m still camping…and I’m still drunk and messed up on Ecstasy searching the sky for shooting stars…and I may get to meet the President of our great nation. No self-respecting, freelance journalist can pass up an opportunity to meet the President. We had been spending our time discussing what would happen at the airport the next morning. The Secret Service wouldn’t approve any proposed location for the event except the airport, but I can’t blame them given the number of racist, NRA members and concealed weapons carriers there are in the state of Montana. My friend, Al, is one of them. I could see the entire thing unfolding before my eyes. Some hick would show up to a healthcare meeting and ask the President if he’s going to take our guns away. I can understand the concern of NRA members everywhere, though. If this healthcare reform doesn’t get done properly, and we have to continue paying out the ass for health insurance – approximately $6,700 per person per year – we best have a gun around to end the misery of hospital visits, outrageous prescription prices, constant calls from medical billers, and the pains associated with various nasty ailments. My dad always said “never take a dog to the vet when it’s sick…a shovel and bullet will be cheaper.” Our health insurance providers are treating us all like dogs, and it’s time to bite them all in the ass.
Al and I are discussing what questions we would ask the President if given the chance. Al’s going on and on about whether the bill will allow illegal immigrants to acquire insurance, but I’m not interested in what any of the healthcare reform bills have to offer. I don’t care if I and the other 40 million uninsured Americans are forced to buy insurance or experience the wrath of the IRS and a hefty tax increase. There are only two questions I want to ask the President. The first is, “Will this be cheaper?” There is no reason to pass a healthcare reform bill unless it is going to change the entire healthcare industry. Of the $2 trillion we spend on healthcare each year, 31% is to pay for administrative costs. That’s $620 billion to pay for fucking paperwork! That means every American pays approximately $2,000 a year just to receive a fucking insurance bill. No healthcare reform bill should pass unless it forces private insurers to control their administrative costs, whether it be through direct competition from a government-run public option or a collection of non-profit insurers. Private insurers don’t have to worry about overhead – which is 12.9% in the US and 3.4% in Canada – because they know we need them. Without insurance every single one of us could be fucked at any time.
For instance, I graduated this year, which terminates the insurance policy I had through my dad’s employer unless I register as a full-time student again. I can’t afford health insurance and neither can 80% of my graduating class, which is either unemployed or living with their parents. I planned to go without insurance until something happens with these reform bills, but I got fucked. I was riding my motorcycle on the Interstate when a 30 mph gust blew me into the concrete barrier separating traffic on the highway. I didn’t lay the bike down or fall off, which is good, because the truck I was passing would have run my ass over. I rode it out and thought for a moment I could just wrap it up when I got home. I was only 7 miles away, but that was just a massive adrenaline rush. When I saw that my femur was clearly visible and 8 inches of skin on my leg was flapping in the wind, I knew it was time to pull over. Needless to say, I was in the hospital for a few days…with no health insurance. I registered for classes a few months later and got my insurance back just as $10,000 bills were arriving in the mail. Now, not only did I need insurance, but a lot of good medication.
This brings me to my second question. The great state of Montana, my humble home, is one of thirteen states to pass a bill making marijuana a prescription drug to treat chronic pain and terminal illnesses. All I want to know is, “Will my government pay for my marijuana?” My friend, Al, seems to think this question is inappropriate given the circumstances of the current situation, but I feel completely comfortable raising my hand and asking the President if he will buy me weed. I know the President has tried it before, and some dim-witted journalist had the audacity to ask if he inhaled. “Isn’t that the point?” was Mr. President’s reply. I have no problem with a President hot-boxing the Oval Office now and again, but we can’t have crack heads like W. in the White House anymore. The bottom line is marijuana is a prescription drug in my state and there is no reason insurance companies can’t help cover the cost of all prescriptions. If our politicians were really smart they would force private insurers to cover a percentage of patients’ costs and a portion of the new taxes on marijuana our government will introduce. This will help payback our massive deficit and take back some of that money those thieving insurance companies stole from us all.
The Ecstasy is keeping my focus on the sky, now. I just saw my first two shooting stars, so naturally I had to make a few wishes. I know if I tell you my wishes they won’t come true, but I’m not a superstitious person. My first wish is that a healthcare reform bill is passed, so the 40 million uninsured Americans and the 2.6 million Americans who lost their jobs last year can afford health insurance. My second wish is that my government will by me weed…or at least pay for a portion of my weed. If this public option becomes a reality I see no reason why my prescriptions can’t be partially paid for by my government…despite the label on the bottle.
I no longer have the capacity for rational thought. Morning can’t come soon enough, though the night sky will keep me occupied for hours. The Jack is gone, but the Ecstasy is still going strong. It will be difficult to recover from this night. I suppose I’ll have to be loaded just to get the courage to raise my hand at tomorrow’s town meeting, but that’s what makes this country great. We can raise our hands…if we have the courage.