Here's how my brain works:
Wednesday evening on Marketplace, Jimmy Carter recalled how Ted Kennedy killed his plan to guarantee catastrophic health care coverage for all Americans and then expand that plan into universal coverage.
Then I (along with one of the lovely ladies with whom I was having dinner) thought about Kristi Noem's willingness to defend the enormous government handouts to her farm because "Agriculture's important, and it's a national security issue...." on the basis of national security.
Well, people are important, too, right? If people get sick, they can't work or pick up their shotguns to repel Chinese paratroopers. If consumers are mired in medical debt, they can't buy the houses and cars and other goods that keep the economy humming. And if folks can't afford care and thus die, well, they can't pay taxes to buy tanks and B-1 bombers. Those are all national security issues, right?
So maybe folks with catastrophic medical problems should get the same treatment as counties and states with catastrophic problems: declare them federal disaster areas. If get laid low by cancer or some other awful act of God that's going to cost, say, a whole year's salary to fix, let President Obama issue a Presidential Declaration of Individual Disaster. Let the President release federal funds—money from all of us, your fellow citizens—to cove your medical bills and help you get back on your physical and fiscal feet to rejoin the fight to keep America marching forward.
We do it for roads and bridges and flooded soybean fields. Why not do it for our fellow citizens?
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