Tuesday, January 17, 2017

MediTrump For All

Since Donald Trump's idea of "insurance for everybody" doesn't entail a true government-sponsored single payer health care system, we're racking our brains trying to figure out what he could really mean.

The racking is probably futile. Because whenever you're promised that the "final strokes" are being put on a fantastic mystery product to be unveiled any day now, you should pretty much assume you're about to be scammed, if not whipped. And since Donald Trump's whole life has been one big exercise in hucksterism, you should pretty much also leave out the pretty much.

Still, masochist that I am, I'm torturing my brain trying to figure out what Trump could possibly have up his magician's sleeve for his U.S. citizen-subjects. Since the first requirement for any Trump plan is that it be short and sweet, preferably reducible to a promise and a slogan or a soundbite, here's some speculative Dystopia to get all racked up about:

Every American consumer-citizen will receive in the mail, within 30 days of the inauguration, a pre-approved personal I.D. card bearing the benign smirking image of Donald J. Trump. Just looking at his face should make you feel great again. But just in case it doesn't, you will enjoy the immediate freedom to use your TrumpCare card in a variety of (about two) different ways.

Every hotel, resort, and real estate holding bearing the Trump name will be outfitted with a walk-in clinic. There, you can present your card for a discount on check-ups and eyeglasses and prescriptions whose lower prices the new president will negotiate personally. If all goes as planned, you'll be able to enjoy even greater savings once your meds no longer have to undergo double-blind studies and stringent testing by a soon-to-be purged Food and Drug Administration.

And don't worry if there aren't any Trump properties with Trump clinics near you yet. His sons and heirs will use public money to construct them. They will concurrently orchestrate fire sales, forced buyouts and hostile takeovers of existing properties and medical practices in the interest of your great-again health care. If Trump builds it, you will most definitely come. Because annual checkups will be mandatory. Since all 17 U.S. "intelligence" agencies are now privy to your personal information, the United States of Trump will be duly informed if you don't take advantage of his benevolence in a very timely way.

But to be fair, and to help Trump avoid any appearance of a monopoly or impropriety or a conflict of interest, you will also enjoy the option of using your Trumpcard to score a discount as a medical tourist to any off-shored health care of your choosing. This is America, after all, and the illusion of choice and freedom must be maintained at all costs.  Donald's kids are already finalizing deals with the airlines and the cruise ship lines to get TrumpClubMed started. 

 Nazi Germany's Strength Through Joy program of healthy holiday-making for workers might be the perfect propaganda model for them, as well as the perfect scam. Under that populist initiative, regular Germans were supposed to go on discounted international state-sponsored cruises -- with the added health benefit of feeling ever so much better once they were safely and securely back in the Fatherland. What the Nazis didn't tell the Volk was that those taking advantage of Hitler's travel beneficence would be disproportionately middle class, white collar workers and government flunkies. Most working people just couldn't afford all that joyful strength.

Therefore, Hitler decided to placate the poor and construct a seaside prototype of a Trump hotel complex, which he trumpeted as "the biggest resort on earth." Unfortunately, the massive construction, designed to cram in 20,000 vacationers at a time like so many sardines was never completed. By the time they'd been power for five years, the Nazis were doing Strength Through War.

So that was then. And Trump, like Adolf before him, keeps insisting that he is a man of peace despite his professed desire to blow up any pathetic Iranian craft coming anywhere near our beautiful destroyers. So for all we know, Donald Trump may be joyfully envisioning a MediTrump Consortium of Hospitals performing both Trump-brand knee and hip replacements for workers now forced to put off retirement until 75, as well as Trump-brand total body part replacements for wounded veterans. Notwithstanding the recent court-ordered demise of Trump University in a secret settlement, also stay tuned for the Trump Medical School chain, with student loans for budding doctors issued through the First National Bank of Trump, formerly known as the U.S. Treasury Department. Graduates will have the choice of working off their loans at unpaid internships lasting ten years before going on to public-private practice at an approved Trump Clinic.

Since Democrats holding their anti-Trump rallies have been gleefully goading Trump to come up with a better health insurance plan than Obamacare, they will certainly end up getting punked. Because when the "something better" in their neoliberal world does not, and never will, include Medicare for All, we are bound to get presented with something much, much worse.

Ironically, just like Barack Obama before him, Donald Trump actually was for single payer government insurance before he was against it. But you know what they always say: We must not let the perfect be the enemy of what's good for the oligarchy.

1 comment:

Patrice Ayme' said...

Nice essay. However, "Single Payer health care" is too restrictive. Even socialist France does not use it. Instead, basic, efficient, cheap health care for all is the key.