Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Visit to Mobile Avenue Public Option Healthful Wellness Optimization Center 3698-443/A-229


"Greetings, Citizens, and welcome to Mobile Avenue Public Option Healthful Wellness Optimization Center 3698-443/A-229. I am your federally sanctioned Healthful Wellness Optimization Coordinator, NeoCon. How may I optimize your healthful wellness outcomes today and so create a happier, more healthful society for us all?"

"It's our daughter. She keeps getting sore throats."

"I see, Citizen. You would like our completely voluntary, federally funded end-of-life counseling for her then?"

"Excuse me?"

"I asked if you would like our completely voluntary, federally funded end-of-life counseling for your daughter."

"She's just a little girl!"

"Wellness Savings and Comparative Healthful Effectiveness Committee regulations require me to offer this completely voluntary, federally funded end-of-life counseling three times to each prospective recipient of health care resources that might be better used elsewhere. So, would --"

"No! We do not want end-of-life counseling for our daughter!"

"Citizen, as I previously educated you during this teachable moment, Wellness Savings and Comparative Healthful Effectiveness Committee regulations require me to offer this completely voluntary, federally funded end-of-life counseling three times to each prospective recipient of health care resources that might be better used elsewhere. Further interference on your part with the performance of my federally sanctioned Health Wellness Optimization Coordinator duties will be punishable by fine and/or jail time."

"Jail time?! Are you kidding me?!"

"Government-mandated healthful wellness for all is no joke, Citizen. Now, would you like our completely voluntary, federally funded end-of-life counseling for your daughter?"

"No! No, we would not like your completely voluntary, federally funded end-of-life counseling for our daughter!"

"A questionable choice, Citizen, but one still within the current scope of your federally granted, inalienable rights as determined and interpreted by the Wellness Savings and Comparative Healthful Effectiveness Committee."

"Say what?"

"Ah, non-standard English usage! Which confirms my U.S. Census-trained observation during your entrance to Mobile Avenue Public Option Healthful Wellness Optimization Center 3698-443/A-229 that you and your family are of a non-European persuasion. Would you prefer an alternative remedy from your homeland of origin for your daughter today?"

"I'm a second-generation American."

"Who wisely retains strong and completely valid cultural ties to your homeland of origin, I'm sure."

"My 'homeland of origin' was a 'cultural' nightmare of repression and corruption. That's why my family came to this country. And my wife is a third-generation American."

"Who wisely retains strong and completely valid cultural ties to her homeland of origin, I'm sure."

"This is our homeland of origin, you moron! We're Americans!"

"Further interference on your part with the performance of my federally sanctioned Health Wellness Optimization Coordinator duties will be punishable by fine and/or --"

"Jail time, yeah, whatever. Just let us see the doctor."

"The Wellness Savings and Comparative Healthful Effectiveness Committee has determined that physicians are not cost-effective. If you wish to see an actual physician, you should have retained your gold-plated, fat-cat, Cadillac plan from your immoral, profit-twisted, private sector insurance carrier."

"Gold-plated? Our employer dropped our private insurance because his government-required contribution to the Public Option was cheaper than providing private-sector insurance to his employees himself! We didn't have a choice whether to join the Public Option!"

"That is a regrettable outcome, Citizen, but one for which The One and the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party are completely blameless. Who could have foreseen such an absurdly non-healthful and un-well side effect of claiming the moral high ground while ignoring the math?"

"The Republicans, a whole bunch of other Democrats, and most people who have ever had to balance their own checkbook and pay their own bills?"

"I'm going to prescribe a required mental wellness evaluation for you, Citizen. You appear to have lost touch with the Mandated Narrative of Healthful Wellness and Psychological Contentment as determined by --"

"Look, I just want my daughter to see a doctor!"

"Truthfully, Citizen, you'll have trouble even getting a nurse to see your daughter here at Mobile Avenue Public Option Healthful Wellness Optimization Center 3698-443/A-229."

"What, nurses are cost-ineffective, too?"

"Congratulations, Citizen! You have returned to the Mandated Narrative of Healthful Wellness and Psychological Contentment!"

"Oh, this is absolutely ridiculous."

"The richest nation in history failing to provide health care for all its people is ridiculous, Citizen."

"There's a difference between health care and health insurance."

"Citizen, the Wellness Savings and Comparative Healthful Effectiveness Committee has determined that difference to be a semantic glitch without meaningful cross-cultural differentiation."

"I don't even know what that means."

"Understanding is not required. Only repetition of the federally approved Healthful Wellness Outcomes Talking Points regarding provision of quality and affordable health care for all."

"But you haven't provided my daughter with any health care yet!"

"Citizen, I have offered you completely voluntary, federally funded end-of-life counseling and an array of alternative therapies from your homeland of origin."

"And your job is what, exactly, again?"

"I am your federally sanctioned Healthful Wellness Optimization Coordinator, NeoCon, and this is Mobile Avenue Public Option Healthful Wellness Optimization Center 3698-443/A-229. How may I optimize your healthful wellness outcomes and so create a happier, more healthful society for us all?"

"You sound like some kind of robot."

"I am simply following the approved script for Healthful Wellness Encounters, Optimized Subscript for Those of Non-European Persuasions, which has been determined by the Wellness Savings and Comparative Healthful Effectiveness Committee to decrease waiting times and resource usage and improve healthful citizen satisfaction. Tell me, Citizen, are you satisfied with our interaction today as we encounter each other, as well as ourselves, on our separate journeys to healthful wellness?"

"No, I am not satisfied, NeoCon, so here's the deal. Our daughter keeps getting sore throats. We want her scheduled to have her tonsils removed so that we can finally end this chronic problem of hers once and for all."

"I'm sorry, Citizen. Tonsillectomies have been determined by the Wellness Savings and Comparative Healthful Effectiveness Committee to be a violation of your daughter's civil and human rights."

"I just want a tonsillectomy for my daughter!"

"Citizen, demanding an unnecessary procedure for your daughter has been determined by the Wellness Savings and Comparative Healthful Effectiveness Committee to be a hate crime, punishable by fine and/or --"

"Imprisonment, yeah, yeah, I get it. I'm surprised you haven't made it a crime against humanity, like hip replacements for a 65-year-old."

"Excellent idea, Citizen! I shall inter-office memo the Wellness Savings and Comparative Healthful Effectiveness Committee at once!"

"Daddy, I'm scared!"

"We can discuss humane ways to end your daughter's fear during our completely voluntary, federally funded end-of-life counseling --"

"No! Just tell me what, exactly, you can do for my daughter today that involves Western medicine and something other than euthanasia!"

"I can give her this blue pill, Citizen."

"What is that? Cyanide?"

"Are you reconsidering our completely voluntary, federally funded end-of-life --"

"No! No, I am not reconsidering! Just tell me what the pill is!"

"This blue pill is a placebo."

"...........you have got to be joking."

"Government-manded healthful wellness for all is no joke, Citizen. The Health Wellness Savings and Comparative Healthful Effectiveness Committee has determined that actual pharmaceuticals are not cost-effective compared to a placebo."

"You realize just told us it was a placebo, right?"

"Your point, Citizen?"

"Doesn't a placebo, I don't know, not work when the patient actually knows the pill is a placebo and not an actual drug?"

"The data are mixed, Citizen."

"All right, just forget it. Forget the sore throats. Maybe you could just listen to our daughter's heartbeat? Make sure that heart murmur of hers really has gone away?"

"There is no stethoscope, Citizen."

"Is that some New-Age-by-Committee, healthful placebo-type slogan again, NeoCon?"

"No, Citizen. There really is no stethoscope as Mobile Avenue Public Option Healthful Wellness Optimization Center 3698-443/A-229."

"Oh, just shoot me now..."

"Citizen! Are you reconsidering --"