Editor’s note: Michael Ackley’s columns may include satire and parody based on current events, and thus mix fact with fiction. He assumes informed readers will be able to tell which is which.

Scenarios for socialized medicine:

The award

Candidate Hillary Clinton was wrong, as President Hillary Clinton learned when she was named “Woman of the Year” by the insurance industry – something she said would not happen after she announced her plan for universal health care.

“The new, improved version of ‘Hillary Care’ is the best thing to happen to us since the mandatory seat belt law,” said industry spokesman Howard Bashford. “Insurance company stocks are at an all-time high, because investors expect our profits also to be at an all-time high.

“That’s why our industry council voted unanimously that Madam President should receive the honor we have bestowed upon her.”

Asked to elaborate, Bashford explained, rather condescendingly, “Remember how she said one in six Americans lacked health coverage? Well, by mandating that the uninsured become insured, she increased our market – instantly – by 16 percent.

“Sure, some of these folks will get sick or injured, but most Americans are pretty healthy, and they represent pure profit. We love our president.”

The press conference

Reporter: Madam President, you stressed during the campaign that your universal health care plan would not be “government run” and that “there will be no new bureaucracy.” Still, you said it would cost the federal government $110 billion a year. How can you run a new, $110-billion program without new bureaucracy?

President Clinton (chuckling): You know, this program is so efficient, we haven’t had to add even one new employee. In fact, we discovered the White House receptionists had an idle five minutes here and 10 minutes there between phone calls. They’re keeping track of the $110 billion in their spare time. (Aside to aide: Have the IRS audit that jerk’s tax returns.)


Amy Handleman awoke at 3 a.m. to the terrifying sound of her front door splintering, followed by the thunder of footsteps on her stairs and a blinding light in her eyes.

A voice snapped, “Insurance police! You haven’t bought health insurance have you?”

“N,n,n… no, not yet,” Handleman stammered. “I haven’t really needed it.”

“Well, you’re going to need it now,” said the voice as a truncheon flashed into view, shattering her kneecap.”

As Handleman writhed in pain, the voice said gently, “Don’t worry. You can’t be denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions.”

But seriously

With all its candidates proposing some form of universal health care, one must ask when the Democratic Party will change its name to the Socialist Party. Oh, wait. That one’s taken, and one must suppose “National Socialist” would be out of the question.

Perhaps the “Statist Party” would be the best option, though “Collectivist Party” could garner some votes.

One must wonder why nobody in the press has asked any of the Democratic candidates where the Constitution grants the federal government the power to force any citizen to buy health insurance – or anything else.

OK, we’ll answer that one. To the press, collectively and individually, the Constitution is an abstraction, and an archaic one at that. Supreme law of the land? Don’t make them laugh.

Scarcely concealed in the mandatory health coverage proposals is the concept that individuals are the property of the state. As such, individuals have a duty to protect the state’s property interests by keeping healthy.

This idea is openly, if only semiconsciously, argued whenever some politician decides it’s time to require motorcyclists to wear helmets, to ban even semiprivate smoking of tobacco or to restrict access to fast food.

In California, the argument for motorcycle helmets was that brain-damaged riders eventually ended up as wards of the state. The implication of the argument was – and is – that the part of you the state pays for belongs to the state.

Figure it out: If the state is paying for your physical and mental health care (and that is Mrs. Clinton’s ultimate goal) it’s paying for all of you. If it’s paying for all of you, it will want to control all of you. It will restrict your unhealthy activities and, ultimately, your unhealthy thoughts.

There’s a word for people who, like Mrs. Clinton and to a lesser extent the other Democratic Party candidates, think they have the intelligence and moral standing to control everybody. It’s “megalomaniac.”

Totally unrelated column ender: What will Sin City do for a slogan now that O.J. Simpson single-handedly has destroyed “what happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas”?

Related special offer:

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“Her Way: The Hopes and Ambitions of Hillary Rodham Clinton”

“Hillary’s Secret War: The Clinton Conspiracy to Muzzle Internet Journalists”

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