Over the weekend, it hit me like a ton of bricks. We're going about this national health care crisis all the wrong way.
We don't have a health care crisis. We have a health crisis. Duh!
Instead of stealing money from those who have adequate health care coverage, we should instead manage health itself.
Sure, we've taken baby steps in this direction - nutritional labeling, cigarette package warning labels, etc. - but if we're serious about reducing the trillion dollar health care coverage gap, let's just solve this problem here and now.
Ban cigarettes, ban alcohol and name Jenny Craig as our new Health Czar.
You'd think those in Washington who seek to control our lives would have seen this already.
I'm not sure exactly how many deaths and health care billions result from smoking, but it's a bunch. So ban all smoking! A nicotine-free America is a healthier America. Where the hell's your patriotism folks?
Don't get me started on obesity. Health care costs have a direct correlation to our expanding waistlines. Government-sponsored, mandatory diet regiments would shave those pounds away in no time flat. Sure you would have complaints. But our Anointed One could use his amazing powers of persuasion to convince the weight-challenged population to conform. Right?
And alcohol. This is easy. We've been down this road and it didn't worked so well. But let's be honest. Cigarettes, alcohol and obesity are the trifecta of health concerns. So an all-out ban is an obvious first step toward solving this health crisis.
By the time the 2012 election cycle rolls around, we'll be trim, sober and nicotine free. And we'll have money in our pockets because of massive reductions in insurance costs.
Why it took a redneck newspaper publisher to see this solution, I'll never know.
Hey folks, tough times call for tough solutions. President Lyndon Johnson reminded us once to quit pussy footin' and solve the problem. Wise words from the past.
I even have prepared some campaign slogans for Obama's second run.
"If you smoke, America chokes. If you drink, American stinks. You can't be a porker and a patriot." OK, it may need some work but we have time.
On second thought, maybe I need to rethink this novel approach. Maybe Americans are more willing to ask someone else to pay for their health care coverage than they are to make personal sacrifices.
And I suspect that all the flowery speech won't change that.