Why Not Universal Food Coverage?

Ann Coulter gets to the heart of “universal health care”:

…We already have near-universal health coverage in the form of Medicare, Medicaid, veterans’ hospitals, emergency rooms and tax-deductible employer-provided health care — all government creations.

So now, everyone expects doctors to be free. People who pay $200 for a haircut are indignant if it costs more than a $20 co-pay to see a doctor.

The government also “helped” us by mandating that insurance companies cover all sorts of medical services, both ordinary — which you ought to pay for yourself — and exotic, such as shrinks, in vitro fertilization and child-development assessments — which no normal person would voluntarily pay to insure against.

This would be like requiring all car insurance to cover the cost of gasoline, oil and tire changes — as well as professional car detailing, iPod docks, leather seats and those neon chaser lights I have all along the underbody of my chopped, lowrider ’57 Chevy.

But politicians are more interested in pleasing lobbyists for acupuncturists, midwives and marriage counselors than they are in pleasing recent college graduates who only want to insure against the possibility that they’ll be hit by a truck. So politicians at both the state and federal level keep passing boatloads of insurance mandates requiring that all insurance plans cover a raft of non-emergency conditions that are expensive to treat — but whose practitioners have high-priced lobbyists.

As a result, a young, healthy person has a choice of buying artificially expensive health insurance that, by law, covers a smorgasbord of medical services of no interest to him … or going uninsured. People who aren’t planning on giving birth to a slew of children with restless leg syndrome in the near future forgo insurance — and then politicians tell us we have a national emergency because some people don’t have health insurance.

The whole idea of insurance is to insure against catastrophes: You buy insurance in case your house burns down — not so you can force other people in your plan to pay for your maid. You buy car insurance in case you’re in a major accident, not so everyone in the plan shares the cost of gas.

Just as people use vastly different amounts of gasoline, they also use vastly different amounts of medical care — especially when an appointment with a highly trained physician costs less than a manicure.

Insurance plans that force everyone in the plan to pay for everyone else’s Viagra and anti-anxiety pills are already completely unfair to people who rarely go to the doctor. It’s like being forced to share gas bills with a long-haul trucker or a restaurant bill with Michael Moore. On the other hand, it’s a great deal for any lonely hypochondriacs in the plan.

Now the Democrats want to force us all into one gigantic national health insurance plan that will cover every real and mythical ailment that has a powerful lobby. But if you have a rare medical condition without a lobbying arm, you’ll be out of luck.

Even two decades after the collapse of liberals’ beloved Soviet Union, they can’t grasp that it’s easier and cheaper to obtain any service provided by capitalism than any service provided under socialism.

You don’t have to conjure up fantastic visions of how health care would be delivered in this country if we bought it ourselves. Just go to a grocery store or get a manicure. Or think back to when you bought your last muffler, personal trainer, computer and every other product and service available in inexpensive abundance in this capitalist paradise.

Third-party payer schemes are always a disaster — less service for twice the price! If you want good service at a good price, be sure to be the one holding the credit card. Under “universal health care,” no one but government bureaucrats will be allowed to hold the credit card.

Isn’t food important? Why not “universal food coverage”? If politicians and employers had guaranteed us “free” food 50 years ago, today Democrats would be wailing about the “food crisis” in America, and you’d be on the phone with your food care provider arguing about whether or not a Reuben sandwich with fries was covered under your plan.

Instead of making health care more like the DMV, how about we make it more like grocery stores? Give the poor and tough cases health stamps and let the rest of us buy health care — and health insurance — on the free market.

And Michael Meyers on Gatesgate:

The most famous black professor at Harvard lives in a very safe neighborhood because, in part, residents look out for and report suspicious activities, and because cops respond quickly to reports of possible break-ins. Yet that’s not how Henry Louis Gates Jr., director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University, took it when cops showed up at his door after a neighbor reported two black men (Gates and his driver) seemingly pushing into a vacant residence, which turned out to be Gates’ home.

He was arrested for disorderly conduct, and the rest is now histrionic history. (The charges have since been dropped, but the incident is not going away.)

Gates was returning from a trip to China, and he couldn’t get in through a jammed front door, so he apparently went around the back, shut off an alarm and worked with his driver to get the door open.

In any neighborhood – especially one of the safest in America – that kind of behavior would be cause for suspicion and a call to the cops, no matter the color of the guys “breaking” in.

But when police showed up, the “he said, he said” has Gates indignant and, according to the cop, refusing to present himself and his ID, then complying and at some point getting loud – with Gates saying, according to the police report, “Why, because I’m a black man in America?”

Had I been the cop, I would have probably gotten suspended for saying to Gates: “No, stupid, because I need you to step outside so that I may do my job. I need to know that you are who you say you are.”

The cop’s job is not the most famous black professor at Harvard’s concern. Yet Gates’ automatic reflex was racial – that of a victim rather than a property lessee. The man with all the brains did not have the common sense of the average citizen who appreciates good and effective police work.

Calling the cops when one sees suspicious activities underway is exactly what good neighbors do. It is what a woman who works nearby did – and all indications are she acted in good faith. When cops follow up on such a report by asking suspicious persons who’ve seemingly gained entry to a vacant house to present ID, they are doing their jobs.

Nevertheless, Gates and the race industry spokesmen who’ve rushed to his defense have leaped to the fast conclusion that this was an incident of racial profiling – and that one of America’s most famed black academics was a victim of police misconduct…

Give me a break. Why isn’t it enough that the charges of disorderly conduct have been dropped against Gates? The question answers itself: The race activists need to posture that the nation has to pause and contemplate and endure yet another round of guilt around their “truth” and constant observation of racism by cops. “See,” they exclaim, “in postracial America, the black man with a Ph.D. can’t get into his own home without causing suspicion and getting arrested.”

The real truth is that Gates did not get arrested for being black or even for being suspicious or for breaking into his own home. He was arrested for disorderly conduct – for failing to do what civil rights activists and race experts always advise innocent black men, and all others who come into contact with the police, to do: cooperate.

It makes sense to repeat this message now, especially for the benefit of young black men. If the police confront you, don’t go demanding badge numbers and reading the cops the riot act. Be courteous and calm. Explain yourself and, if asked, present ID.

If there has been a constitutional violation of some kind by the cops, that can be taken care of once the police have left you alone, moving on – let’s hope – to investigate other suspicious behavior.

I assume that Meyer’s column was written before Barry’s preposterous dilation last night where he called the Cambridge cops “stupid.” That he would do so without any knowledge of what actually occurred ought to be a warning that he will play the race card whenever he can.

Here’s the police report.

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