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I'm hearing a recurring mantra among Republicans when it comes to getting affordable health care for every American. More than one earnest Republican legislator has said, "We have to help each other." Forget the government! If people just pay for each others' surgeries, all will be well. (Metaphorically speaking.)
The problem arises when Jill, who lives down the block, falls on ice and needs to have her leg in traction for a few weeks. How are you going to pay for your share of Jill's bill? Remember, we all have to help each other.
Here's the answer.
Let's make sure that the only people we help are Americans, and that we only help people.
It works like this:
If you send money to those poor kids in Africa who have cleft palates and need simple surgery, you have to stop that right now. Tough beans, African kids! We have to help each other here in America!
The same holds true for any and all humanitarian efforts on foreign soil. Pull them out. Every missionary, every doctor who donates time, every dollar spent on AIDS education and prevention, every situation requiring even the most rudimentary sort of help. Done! We've got to help each other! All that money you put in the church collection plate for "missions?" Okay, well, your new mission is to help Jill pay for her traction. Because we have to help each other.
It doesn't stop there, either. In case you haven't noticed, health care ain't cheap. So, if you donate money to the Nature Conservancy, the Audubon Society, the Sierra Club, NOW, or even the Daughters of the American Revolution, you've got to stop. This instant. Americans are sick, and we've got to help each other.
What you'll have to do is to take all that donation money you wanted to send to the Nature Conservancy, and instead send it to one of the big insurance companies to pay for people's health care.
I hear you, Pagans. You're saying, "But what about the little island we're trying to save from development?"
Oh, selfish selfish! That island will be perfect for some insurance company executive's 40-bedroom mansion with adjoining golf course! If we've got to help each other, it doesn't mean helping horseshoe crabs and red knots. It means Americans helping Americans. Human Americans.
If you're thinking that it's not fair to see your measly charitable donations gobbled up in the interests of corporate profit-taking on basic health needs, just remember that the rich executives will be held to the same standards you are held to. This means they will have to make their charitable donations go toward health care too. And we all know how much money these people shell out for the poor, now don't we? Why, they're veritable Santa Clauses when it comes to charity! Look at all the money they pay for black tie dinners to shake hands with political candidates. They can put that toward health care! We can help each other!
I don't know why this stuff is so needlessly complicated. It's just basic logic. And it should be universally applicable.
Let's say you don't have much money to donate for other Americans' health care. Well, you just bought a brownie mix and a jar of icing to make treats for the soccer team, didn't you? Set you back five or six bucks. Forget the soccer treats! Help Jill! If you help Jill, she'll be helping Aetna, or Blue Cross, or Kaiser Permanente!
Personally I don't think the federal government should do much of anything for us except provide us with some tanks and jets and a president who looks good in a suit and tie. We should just help each other!
It's working in Oklahoma. Just ask any Native American in Tulsa.