Howard and I debated Health Care in the Perpetual Post this week. See his side here!
Remember the good old days, when you didn’t need a ‘referral’ to pick up a ‘prescription’ at the local CVS? When the cure for myriad ills was no further than a trip to the root cellar or the apothecary for some tooth powder or a jar of leeches? Trust me; those were the best of times. If anyone from that era were still alive today, we might learn a thing or two from them.
I’m telling you, the Doctorization of America has been our downfall. Seeking the advice of a trained medical professional for every minor illness and injury is the knee-jerk response of weak, liberal America, and it’s made us all soft. Sustain a head injury during football practice? Throat closing up? Shin bone poking through your jeans? All anyone can ever say is, “Go see a doctor.” How about “Be a man”? When I was eleven, I got a two-foot splinter in my thigh while climbing a tree. Did my parents take me in to see a pediatric specialist or a plastic surgeon? Hell no. They took me in to see a pair of fireplace tongs and a mug of Jack Daniels. Most kids today are allergic to wheat gluten and peanut butter. Back then if your kid was allergic to something, you made him eat a whole plate of it at dinner just for having a smart mouth and an oversensitive immune system. Now, we bake them special cakes and have “Nut-Free” school zones. I wish they’d make this country a nut-free zone. All you sissy whiners would have to leave town. Then the rest of us could pave the streets with peanut brittle and amber waves of wheat gluten.
Now your latest liberal wheeze is that “the healthcare system is broken” and “we need to find a way to ensure adequate medical coverage for more Americans at a reasonable price”. Hogwash. The healthcare system is broken because it exists! Our first mistake was when doctors stopped treating both horses AND people. Back in my day the surgeon would come around the farm once a year or so. (Imagine, a doctor making house calls!) He would treat your knock-kneed mule, deliver your baby, castrate your pig and charge you two dollars. There would be no mention of ‘co-payments’ or ‘pain management’. They don’t make ‘em like that anymore.
I long for the day when Americans wake up and realize that the power to cure themselves used to be in their own hands—and it can be again. Feeling depressed? Try a rest cure! Move to the countryside and take in the bracing sea air. Suffering from dropsy, the grippe, gout or leprosy? Walk it off. Or let some blood. Or try a travelling salesman’s tonic. Good for what ails you! If you’re lucky, it might have a little cocaine in it, for pep!
Just the simple fact that we’re arguing over things like ‘end of life care’ shows how far we’ve fallen. ‘End of life care’ used to mean closing a man’s eyes after his horse threw him off a bridge at the ripe old age of thirty-nine, or pulling a blanket up over a young woman who died in childbirth. Now we’re dealing with doddering seniors who are well into their nineties. In my day they would have died long ago—falling off a ladder while re-thatching their roofs or choking on a chicken bone they were too senile to strain out of the soup—and good riddance! It’s the end of your life—who cares? THAT should be the name of that policy.
Well, I’m sick of it. But unlike most of you, I’m treating my sickness myself—with a dose of cod liver oil washed down with a tall glass of Buck Up. Take two pills and shut the hell up in the morning, America.