By Lenore Skenazy: Seeing as everyone seems to be weighing in on the Obama health care plan and we can't possibly satisfy everyone, I have a suggestion: Let's satisfy me!
Seeing as everyone seems to be weighing in on the Obama health care plan and we can't possibly satisfy everyone, I have a suggestion:
Let's satisfy me! Here are the crucial changes I want NOW:
No More Shots.
There is no way we really need them, because when I was a kid, they gave us this drop of salty medicine on our tongues, and that cured polio once and for all. I think the kids slightly older than I was did the same thing with LSD. So how come my kids get shots? We need more medicine you can eat, like St. Joseph aspirin. Mmm. Better than Pez. Consider the fact that my calcium supplements now come in Tootsie Roll form. Sure, they're more like off-brand, way-post-Halloween Tootsie Rolls turning into chalk, but still, they're better than shots. Yo, Pfizer: Why not take them and add a little peanut butter and tetanus? Or caramel and diphtheria?
Magazines With Scissors Attached.
I get a lot of magazines at home, but for some reason, the ones with the very BEST recipes that I just MUST run home and make are always the ones in the magazines in waiting rooms. Scissors would come in handy because I'm not that great at tearing. Also, with scissors, it looks less like a whole page is missing.
How about a little mini tanning booth for doctors' hands before they start grabbing and smushing and poking? Especially poking.
Somehow, the rest of the world has figured out that these are a great boon to interpersonal communication. But hospital nurses on duty in the middle of the night? No, they BUZZ the entire ward like an air raid siren to crackle, "BETTY TO ROOM 519! PATIENT NEEDS — " and then they say something so horrible that you just pray you didn't hear it right. ("Nasal emission starter kit"? "Post-op glue gun"? "Shot"?) Then you start worrying that maybe YOU are in Room 519. The instant you finally drift back to sleep: "BETTY, REPORT TO THE NURSING STATION, STAT! PATIENT NEEDS SEDATIVE." I wonder why.
We've got a lot of people out of work, Mr. President. Why not train them to read auras? That way, when we turn 50, we'll just come to the hospital and sit in nice, comfy chairs, and happily employed psychics will read our colons' auras to see whether we have cancer. No robes, no probes. The American people are going to like this one.
It's nice to be proactive about health and avoiding an untimely death and all, but I'd be a lot more proactive if I knew I was going to get a free iPod. Or even an oven mitt.
Insurance Forms That Don't Ask for Your "Group Number."
Because if your insurance card is anything like mine, there is a member number, a payee ID number, a health plan number, a copay number, an Rx group and a good ol' "Rx BIN," which is probably where they put all the prescriptions you forget to pick up, such as antibiotics once your throat feels a little better. Or that stuff for the itching. But anyway, which of these is the elusive, golden "group number"? Impossible to say. So I write them all down with asterisks and explanations, and it never fits in the blank. Then again, nothing does. So how about forms with bigger blanks? And taller spaces, too? It's as if they expect you to be able to write in the same type size as the stuff at the bottom of the form, which reminds you that anything they don't cover, YOU have to cover and so much for "insurance." Why doesn't someone change this crazy system?
Oh. Right. Well, at least now you have a plan.
Lenore Skenazy is the author of "Who's the Blonde That Married What's-His-Name? The Ultimate Tip-of-the-Tongue Test of Everything You Know You Know — But Can't Remember Right Now" and "Free-Range Kids: Giving Our Children the Freedom We Had Without Going Nuts with Worry." E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.