One of the most interesting features alleged to be in the health-care bill now being considered in Congress is the one regarding the “end-of-life” conferences to be held by the aging with government officials as they “plan” the best way to die with the least amount of medical cost, thus saving the taxpayers money. This is important since the government (single-pay thing) will soon run the insurance companies out of business, once the bill is passed. No private enterprise can compete with taxpayer-funded government (those bottomless pockets) for very long, especially if it is restricted by law as to what it can and cannot create/insure.
So, what should be the interval between these conferences and at what age should the conferences begin? The threshold-age for membership in the former American Association of Retired Persons, now just known as AARP, is 50. This seems to be a reasonable time for the conferences to start, although people start dying, of course, as soon as they start living; however, conferences with those just recently out of the womb could try a bureaucrat’s patience. Even discussing such plans with a 30-something might evoke an obscene gesture and a few unkind words.
Perhaps it would be well to require five-year intervals between conferences in the beginning stages of the activity. Most 50-year-olds are not all that concerned about dying unless they walk the fast-lane of the Interstate to work each day, and by age 55 they probably will not have changed all that much…maybe even by 60, especially since medical science has provided substances to enable and urge men to chase the skirts until they die of heart attacks instead of old-age. Indeed, there are some rumormongers who insist that this is the reason Medicare covers Viagra and its clones. Early to chase…early to die…savings all around.
Of course, there are also substances available now to make the ladies of 60, 70, and 80 as “hot” as the ladies decades younger, though they are not advertised as frenetically as the similar ones for men. This means that the gals are now capable of chasing the Viagra-pumped men and thus putting themselves, also, in the senior-early-death category, something that government is anxious to enlarge. In a society souped-up by these substances, with so many old codgers chasing so many young dames and so many old dames chasing so many young gigolos lives can be dramatically shortened, an absolute windfall to the taxpayer, the smartest ones leaving the “hot-stuff” alone and thereby living longer but missing all the fun their colleagues are having while laughing at them and chasing death.
Indeed, old codgers may even chase old dames, especially if their eyesight is dimming – and vice versa, of course – so the possibilities for American homo sapiens running themselves into early graves are simply unlimited, all to the benefit of the taxpayers. So…five-year intervals (two conferences) until age 60 seem about right. Then, perhaps four-year intervals should be observed until about age 72, at which time three-year intervals might kick in until age 81, the average age at death of females in the U.S. The average for men is 78.
What should be the agenda for each conference? At least some things should always be discussed – diet, exercise, smoking, drinking, sex life (or lifelessness), medicines, medical checkups, and, of course, any plans for the when, how, and where of dying. The latter becomes increasingly important at age 81 for women, so the intervals between conferences after that should be about six months when that age is reached by them, and at age 78 for the men.
In the early conferences, especially not to show eagerness for a conferee’s early death, thus saving billions, as well as for recognizing that threats to life are not all that numerous, suggestions for good health could be emphasized, thus cutting down on predispositions toward various diseases that will cause huge costs later. Every conferee could be weighed and his/her body-mass determined, with fines levied upon those who are too heavy, thus disposing toward diabetes, for instance.
Blood-work could be done and dietary adjustments made in order to do away with cholesterol without using expensive statins. Anyone with a cholesterol reading above 200 could be sentenced to community service. These actions will give the conferences actual meaning, since the pocketbook is the most sensitive organism in any anatomy and TV-viewing critical to the happiness of the couch-potatoes. People with schizophrenia could be sentenced to watching horror movies, thus causing them to either snap out of it or be scared to death, either option being desirable.
In the later conferences, conferees might be encouraged to take up running by starting at three miles in 18 minutes. This would kill off a sizeable number, thus saving billions. Or, weight-lifting could be prescribed, sure to cause fatal hernias or broken necks as the barbells fall on the lifters. In the every-six-month conferences at the ages costing, according to the government, way too much money to keep folks alive for far too long, citizens could be required to write essays describing how pleasant life would be without aches, pains, and taxes, and why they should be excused for living so long. Or, they might be invited to down five fifths of Old Granddad in 15 minutes, with the undertaker waiting just outside.
These conferences might well be the single most cost-effective method of cutting medical costs. Indeed, offering payments, perhaps beginning at something like $10,000, to those who promise to die after living up $10,000 worth of the “good life” would save a trillion. Just one six-hour outpatient procedure in a hospital costs $10,000, not to mention the doctor’s take. Add another $5,000 to pay for a cremation, to spare the family the expense, and – VOILA! – the takers could number in the millions.
By all means, get health-care on the road to passage, especially with the end-of-life conferences.