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These People Look Familiar . . .

Oh, what a week it was. Judge Sotomayor is now Justice Sotomayor. Don't you love it? Laura Ling and Euna Lee were pardoned and returned home, thanks to President Bill "Big Dog" Clinton. (Note to President Clinton: I forgive you and Secretary Clinton for anything you did or said during the election that I found objectionable.) And Americans everywhere were voicing their opinions, loud and strong, against health care reform in town hall meetings.

But wait. Don't these angry town hall health care opponents look familiar to you? They look like the Tax Tea Party folks from earlier on this year, down to their very lack of racial diversity. Can't pick them out of a lineup, but they sure do look familiar.

My feeling is this: If they don't want health care reform, they should be able to opt out. Really. Sign a waiver saying that they are waiving their right to any government subsidized health care whatsoever -- the so-called "public option," as well as Medicaid and Medicare. We'll put a special designation on their social security numbers, and their federal income taxes will be reduced accordingly so that they're not paying for "socialized medicine."

But here's the catch: They don't get to change their minds.

If they fall on hard times as seniors and don't have health care provided through their former employers, well, tough nuggies. They have just given the hospital the right to roll their broke asses right out of the emergency room. Oh, but get off the gurney, 'cause the hospital is gonna need it for the insured folks.

Can't afford their statins, their Aricept, and other old age drugs on their pension-provided health care? Well, no federal supplemental program for them. They've just become their own damn "death panel." They'll need to choose between drugs and that cat food they're going to have to eat, since they probably opposed defined benefit pensions and cost-of-living increases, too.

Get dropped from their employers' insurance because it's too costly? Well, better find another employer, 'cause they like how that whole free market works anyway, right? That's how THEY roll.

And when their insurance companies deny coverage and they -- what? -- want to switch to the public option because it does provide coverage, well, they'll have to suck it up. They didn't want that ol' Nazi medical plan, right?

And don't even think about getting federal money for Viagra, which I think shouldn't be federally subsidized under any measure. A limp penis, although sad (even sadder if you're on the receiving end, but I wouldn't know nothin' 'bout that), is not life threatening.

Quite frankly, I want these familiar-looking and probably broke-ass citizens to opt out and waive federal coverage and any benefits of health care reform. They're probably the same ones who will turn around, have no coverage, and roll up to the emergency room of my HMO, driving up my rates. If they want to be non-covered health care lemmings, I say, let them walk right off that cliff. As for me, I'm willing to pay what it takes to get everyone covered and give the real "death panels" -- the insurance companies -- a run for their money by competition with the government. Because we do like competitive free markets, don't we?


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