Have fun, get your money’s worth

Shawn Magrath

As social and political experts scramble to explain the the downward spiral of our nation over the years, and a whirlwind of debate from all sides only makes every argument of our decline more confusing to you than the next, consider this: Ten years ago today, President George W. Bush transferred his presidential powers to Vice President Dick Cheney for more than two hours during a routine colon screening that ended in a clean bill of health. That’s right, for two hours, Mr. Cheney was in charge, with his finger on the button (as opposed to the usual, keeping his finger on the finger on the button). Who knows what really happened in those two hours?

Unless you live under a rock, I’m sure that you’ve heard the Supreme Court’s ruling that upholds the president’s proposal for health care reform (and even if you do live under a rock, you still have to have health insurance by 2014). I admit, I’m on the fence when it comes to their ruling. True, no one should need to purchase health insurance or any other private service under order of the federal government; but on the other hand, I already pay taxes to maintain roads I’ll never drive on, grants for townships I’ll never visit, and state and federal assistance for people I’ll never meet (worse, some of that assistance supports people out there I don’t really like). But I don’t know anyone whose never been to the doctor. I already pay for a lot of things I never directly benefit from; at least the person who benefits from my paying health care is me.

Maybe, just maybe, two years from now, we’ll be wondering what we did without mandated health insurance. We’ll laugh in recollection of how sinister the world seemed, what with all of its uneven stairs, grimy door knobs, dirty sidewalks, and the KFC / Taco Bell drive thru – all of which dramatically compromise the stability of human health. With health insurance, none of these things will be so scary, right?

In fact, why not go the extra mile? I say, now that I need health insurance anyway, why not live it up? All the stupid things I did as a kid are suddenly sound fun again. I still have my bicycle and I’ll bet I can find the ramp a young, eight-year-old me “built” out of rotted plywood (held together by nothing more than a few loose nails, duck tape, bubble gum and the will of God). There’s a bee nest outback of my apartment that needs a good poking with a long stick. And what better time to re-introduce “Rock Tag” (like regular Tag, but with more incentive to avoid being tagged “it”)?

Mandated health insurance ensures a hospital bed somewhere with my name on it and I want to get my money’s worth.