|If there was no "Socialism" in our country
||[Aug. 17th, 2009|02:54 pm]
|||||Death And All His Friends-Coldplay-Viva La Vida||]|
I'm probably mostly preaching to the choir (assuming there's any 'choir' left reading my non-updating ass...) on this one, but I have been thinking about the health care "debate" going on a lot, and this came bubbling out of my subconscious, just begging to be written down. If you like it enough to want to spread it around, please do so, although be sure to credit me on it.
This is going to be long, so let's put in an LJ cut.
"Thank you for calling Kaiser Cross Police Department. How may I help you?"
"Yes, I was just mugged at the ATM. I was lucky, though, and some people saw it and caught the guy as he was running away. I've got him here, and I'd like you to come arrest him."
"Okay. Let me just get your Police Insurance ID number."
"Yeah let's see, it's...KCP5438792A."
"Okay. May I place you on hold while I look up your account?"
"No problem. Thanks."
(A minute or so later...)
"Okay. Is this Mr. Smith I'm talking to?"
"Thank you, Mr. Smith. Now, I understand you were mugged. Is that correct?"
"Yes. But, the guy's right here. Can you come take him away?"
"I'm sorry, but mugging isn't covered in your policy."
"What? I remember signing up for robbery in my insurance package."
"Yes, you did. But, if you look at your policy statement, you'll see that robbery is defined as 'stealing personal property from your home.' You stated you were at the ATM, which means you were not in your home. You were outside of your coverage area."
"Outside of my coverage area? Okay...Then how much do you charge to arrest someone if it's not covered? This guy's still struggling to get away, and these people can't stay here forever."
"Let's see. A mugging arrest. You said the perpetrator in question is struggling?"
"Yes, he's trying to get away right now. Can we hurry this up?"
"Okay. For a struggling mugging arrest, it'll be $1000 dollars."
"1000 bucks! Wait, what if he's not struggling?"
"Oh, well, if he wasn't struggling, that would only be $250."
"Just a second...Okay. He's unconscious now. There. Now, can you come get this guy?"
"I'm sorry sir. Did you say he's no longer conscious?"
"Yeah. I got it so he's no longer struggling. That's cheaper, right?"
"If he was conscious and not struggling, yes. But, there's a $1500 fee for processing unconscious perpetrators due to the medical attention necessary in such a case."
"Shit. You mean I have to pay $1500 for you to arrest this guy that's already been caught, and will put up no struggle?"
"$1750, actually. The 'unconscious fee' is in addition to the 'non-struggling arrest' charge."
"Well, I want this guy to get what's coming to him...Okay. I guess I'll pay it. So, will you dispatch someone to come arrest him?"
"Oh, you wanted us to come to you to arrest him? That's just $100 more."
"Fine, fine. Just get here quick. I think he's starting to wake up, and the guys that were helping me left after he got knocked out."
"Where are you located?"
"I'm in front of the Bank of Springfield on 8th and Main."
"Let's see...Okay. That's more than seven miles from our nearest dispatch center, which means we have to add a 'long distance' fee. That's an extra $300, plus $10 per mile...Okay. Your total is going to be $2080. When would you like us to get him? Our regular arrest hours are 8:30-5:30pm."
"Now! Come get him now!"
"I'm sorry sir, but it's 5:32 now. You'll have to wait until tomorrow, or bring him in to one of our three conveniently located arrest stations."
"But, I added '24 hour service' to my policy! Why can't you get him now?"
"The '24 hour service' is only available for regularly covered arrests. Since this arrest is taking place outside your coverage area..."
"Yeah, yeah. I get it. Okay. I'll take him in. What's the...oh, shit. He's getting up. He's got a gun! He's..." *BANG!*
"Mr. Smith? Sir? Are you still there?...I'm sorry, sir, but it appears our call has been disconnected. If you still have need of our service, please call back at 888-555-1435. Thank you for calling Kaiser Cross Police Department."
In case you didn't get it, or don't want to bother reading it, my point is this: Certain "social" services; police, fire department, and the like are government run and are not "for profit" for a reason. Because lives are at stake, and in those cases, you shouldn't be concerned with the bottom line. Health care is one of those cases. If people want to pay extra for better care, or think the private companies can provide something that government-run health care couldn't, that's fine. But, just as it is in nearly every other industrialized nation, basic health care here should be one of the services that is paid for by our taxes.
As someone who has struggled over the years to keep receiving medication at an affordable price for an ongoing issue, this is very important to me. Hopefully, the right person will read this and make a difference towards making the dream of medical coverage for all a reality.