the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

My Health Care Plan

Many Democrats are shocked that a Republican won Ted Kennedy’s seat in Massachusetts yesterday. I’m not. It is a referendum on Obama’s health care plan, and I think I am uniquely experienced to comment on this subject. For the last two weeks, I have been visiting my father-in-law in the hospital, and just like a journalist going undercover, I have seen FIRST HAND how our health care system really works.

The simple fact is that there are a lot of sick people. Too many sick people.

The beds in the hospital are never empty for long. In fact, since my FIL has arrived in the hospital, he has had five different roommates, and one of them didn’t make it out alive. Is that really a good success rate?

And who are these sick people anyway? If we examine the word “sick,” we see that in general discourse, we mean someone “not healthy.” And why aren’t these individuals healthy? Is it the taxpayers responsibility? Should we really feel sympathy for a bunch of lazy leeches who CHOOSE not to care for themselves? Many of us work hard to look and feel good. It is something we are proud about. It is an achievement. But it is WORK. Hard work. Why should I subsidize those who don’t eat and exercise correctly?

Do you know how much it is costing YOU to keep my father in law in this fancy hospital room with costly equipment and highly paid “doctors?” You’re even paying for his FOOD, which gets delivered to him from a MENU, like in a four star hotel! Sorry, folks, but my family is using you like a bunch of suckers — and you don’t even realize it!

Obama has it wrong. Universal healthcare is like a band-aid, welfare for those who want to sleep late rather than go to the gym before work.

I’ve heard the excuses before. You say you have “no room” for an exercise bike in your bedroom. Well, you certainly find enough room in that bedroom for that big screen TV and that stack of burgers from In-N-Out, you scourge of America with your wii age of 95!

I work hard to stay out of the hospital, and then I have to pay for YOUR unhealthy fat ass who won’t walk to the supermarket! The fashion industry does a better job than the medical establishment in promoting HEALTH with their healthy thin, role-models. Those who insist that “real” (read fat) women should be portrayed in ads, are not your friends. These women, so-called “feminists,” are mostly lobbyists for the pharmaceutical companies wanting to promote bad health to increase profits for diet pills.

It breaks my heart to see my father-in-law sleeping so much. He used to be a strong guy who built chairs and loved to garden. But as he aged, he grew lazy. While the nurse was undressing him, I noticed that his abs had grown weak. I have seen photos of him when he was younger in the Soviet Army. He was a hunk! So, what happened? I blame America, the decadence of the West, her seductive processed foods, and her constant search for the easy way out.

As I thought about all those in the hospital, I had an “aha” moment. Fancy medical equipment and high priced pharmaceuticals are not the answer. Massachusetts voters were right. Obama’s health plan would bankrupt America. The real answer is as simple as $19.99 per American household. Yes, I am talking about Jillian Michael’s “30 Day Shred.”

If every American was required to complete this video, our country will truly be as healthy and fit as our forefathers hoped when they wrote the Constitution. Rather than pissing away our money into more debt to China by creating universal health care, our hospitals could be turned into greenhouses to grow organic tomatoes. I have a dream: One day, we will be a country of tight abs! After all, a person’s fat content tells a lot more about a person’s overall health than an EKG!

Granted, our country would need more qualified physical trainers, but this could be easily arranged by creating a ShredCorps. Many trainers could already be shipped to various parts of the country from Los Angeles, where one out of every three residents is an unemployed physical trainer.

Hospitals do not make you healthier. I can see the toll on my father in law. He is lethargic and depressed. Is this really worth $10,000 a day? Can you imagine the results if my father-in-law had Jillian Michaels yelling at him to to “push” one more crunch. He’d be his old self within days!

Next time you are in the hospital, take a look around. Why are the sick children lying in bed playing video games and getting fat on vanilla pudding? Those who are sick WANT to be sick so they can get free room and board at the hospital. If you want my tax money, I want you to WORK for it. Have those kids do squats to get better.

I applaud the people of Massachusetts, who are as revolutionary as in 1776. Throw those Crestors, Prozacs and diabetes monitors into Boston Harbor, and let’s ride like Paul Revere to a world of fitness.

“Jillian Michaels is coming! Jillian Michaels is coming”

It’s time for a revolution. Out of your beds, you lazy bums in Cedars-Sinai. It is time for your workout!

Editor’s Note: This is supposed to be a satire, perhaps not well done, but it made me laugh. I hate to have to put this disclaimer up on my blog because it ruins the joke, but let me be perfectly clear and state this to a new reader: No, despite me saying so in the post, I do not truly “believe” that we can solve our country’s health care problems by supplying sick people with Jillian Michael’s 30-Day Shred rather than having them stay in hospitals.


  1. Mamie

    Seems to me that sleep dep only sharpens your wit and your pen. I think all my patient’s should do the Shred. It would off a few of them for sure.

  2. Titanium

    Put that 30 year old Scotch down. Step awaaaaaay from the bottle. Slowwwwly. Farther away! Okay, I’m taking it for myself and running away to savor it while I contemplate the decay and the madness.

  3. furiousball

    does Jillian’s video help my girlfriend sweat out her epilepsy? if so, that would rock.

  4. bejewell

    Jesus, Neil, this post is so totally devoid of compassion, I don’t even know what to say. As someone who has worked with the poor and the homeless, seen people in DESPERATE need of care but unable to afford it because the current system sucks, I’m kind of shocked, to be honest. I have met MANY people who take care of themselves as much as they can between 14-hour shifts, people who are doing the best they can but still have found themselves in terrible situations with few options. What must it be like to work your ass off day after day but still find yourself unable to pay for medical care for a sick child? What must it be like to be diagnosed with cancer but have to forego treament because it’s either chemo or groceries for your family?
    Do you suggest Jillian Michaels for them, too?

    I’m not saying the current plan on the table is perfect, or even right, but I DO see a need for something significant to change. I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who are everything you’ve laid out above and more – but what about those who are just doing the best they can? Using the results of this election as an opportunity to accuse anyone who is sick and poor of being a fatass cheater leech is, well, just WOW.

    I’ve read your blog before, followed you on Twitter, etc, and I’ve never seen this side. I RARELY engage in anything political on social media but in this case I really NEED to share my thoughts. I hope you won’t be offended or hold it against me for disagreeing, but on behalf of the people I’ve worked with in charity I can’t NOT ask you to look at the bigger picture.

  5. Neil

    Bejewell, I’m thinking maybe you are joking. Is so, I love it! If not, then… Seriously…

  6. Liz

    Neil, I’m seriously hoping it’s you who is kidding…??

  7. Liz

    Upon a second reading, I see that you are in fact, totally kidding. Kudos Neil. Nice post. Gave me pause.

  8. Brian Aldrich

    Neil, this is a well written post, but i disagree with you. Have you always been a repub, or did sophia convert you? rather than focus on the lazy, how about focusing on the Corporations and the Rich who bullshit the public by waving the flag in one hand and the bible in the other. If profits and war costs weren’t so explotive of the working poor, we could afford universal health care.

  9. Titanium

    Good grief, Neil. Your satire is so poignant that your message is getting lost in the wake of your un-followers’ tears as they run out to shake Scott Brown’s hand.

    Now, back to that bottle of Scotch…

  10. Juli Ryan

    Did you need to edit this post and add the first paragraph? (sigh)

  11. bejewell

    Yeah. Okay. I’m a dumbass. But an extraordinarily EMPASSIONED dumbass, and that’s got to count for something — right?

    Where’s the damn scotch?

  12. Memarie Lane

    My friend just gave her four year old lymphoma because she was tired of paying for day care. It’s way cheaper to drop her off at the hospital for free chemo while she goes to Target to hit the clearance rack.

    I know you aren’t talking about me thoug hbecause my Wii age is now 76!

  13. Memarie Lane

    Just read through the comments, hahahaha! Just imagine what Jonathan Swift must have gone through.

  14. Titanium

    Bejewell, I’ll share with you. And yer notta dumbass.

  15. Jack

    It is a complicated issue that isn’t as black and white as some people want to make it out to be.

  16. Tanis Miller, RNM

    Just reading this now.

    You know, with back surgery less than 12 hours away.

    Brilliant. I’m totally going to hobble to the pediatric ward and smack the vanilla pudding out of those kid’s hands.

    Then I’m going to go to the geriatric ward and poke them all with their canes until they are upright and doing jumping jacks in the cafeteria. Broken hips bedamned.

  17. kelly

    Anyone that actually needed a disclaimer to understand this joke (well done btw) – doesn’t deserve healthcare. Now I am off to craft a disclaimer for this comment.

  18. Heather

    You know, there is some truth in what you say.

    Good thoughts for your family, I know how hard it is.

  19. Diana

    “Jillian Michaels is coming!” I nearly threw on my running shoes to flee in terror right then… But I wanted to finish my taco first.

    Kudos, my good man.

  20. alejna

    Neil, that was brilliant! I wish that I had gotten to read it without the disclaimer. (Can’t you put it at the end?)

    The trouble with good satire is that it tends to be uncomfortably close to what some people really say.

    Also, there is a, um, shred of truth in there. I’m talking, of course, about the evils of pudding.

  21. MQ

    This is a brilliant post…but the sad thing is that I’ve heard people make exactly these kinds of arguments in total seriousness.

    Well, except for the “30 day shred” part.

  22. AnnieH(the other Annie)

    Love the dark humor–have plenty of it myself, and wish I could laugh, but way to close to the mentality of the bean-counters running(or ruining)the healthcare system. We at Chez Distracted prefer the YouTube of “Fake Seizure in the ER.” Hugs to Sophia and her family. I know how draining this all can be.

  23. TRO

    As the (probably) lone conservative in the Neil Kramer fan club, I am proud to say I knew it was satire from the second sentence on.

  24. Elisa

    I get what you are saying, but I don’t get how this went from being a post about health care to being a diatribe about overweight people. Like they are the only ones going to the hospital.

    Doesn’t sound like satire. Sounds like someone who is being judgemental and obnoxious from his soap box. I’m sorry to say this because I’m a faithful reader, but it’s the truth.

  25. Beth

    As someone who has taught Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” more times than I can possibly count, I salute you.

    As a person who has had to explain, more times than I care to count, that no, Swift did not actually mean that we should eat babies, I suggest that you don your asbestos suit now.

    Once the flames die down, I’m sure Jillian Michaels will be happy to shout at your lungs for you :).

  26. AL

    Actually, I read somewhere that unhealthy people tend to die younger. Apparently, what really taxes the health care system and costs a whole lot of money, is not the 45 year old who drops dead from a heart attack, but healthy people who make it to old age and then need lots of end of life care. The cost of people not taking care of themselves may actually be less than the cost of people who do. Although, who knows how founded that theory is. I can’t even remember where I read it.

  27. Erica M

    The same reaction happens on The Onion on pieces like: Jesus is thinking of dyeing his hair blond. Sometimes I think people overreact and deliberately miss the point to get attention. Or maybe it’s from lack of good sex. Or somesuch. It’s a very complicated issue.

  28. Trish/Astrogirl426

    Oh kiddo, looks like you angered a few more people. Yes, I got that you were kidding – but I’ve noticed a few of your recent posts seem to have missed the mark with a lot of your readership. Maybe a little feedback from another writer would be good? Hey, we can all use a little criticism 🙂

  29. nic @mybottlesup

    i regret reading this.

  30. Quadelle

    I’m someone who can sometimes miss satire (partly because some people’s politics/beliefs scare me half to death), but this was so obviously satire that I was literally laughing before I’d even hit half way.

  31. Unfocused Me

    Funny and well-played. I thought the satire was obvious.

  32. kelly

    I know Jillian Michaels and I fear that she is coming to kick your ass. After whipping it into shape of course.

  33. Blaine

    I think giving the DVD to overly large people who are at risk of getting sick if they don’t start taking care of themselves, might be a good idea.

    Subsidizing healthy food and taxing the crap out of unhealthy food, might also go a long way to getting the Americas back where they used to, and should, be.

  34. nsb

    1st time reader; recognized satire, well done ~

  35. Texasholly

    All I can think of is George Washington and a thigh master. Weird.

    The fact that you felt like you had to put a disclaimer on this post is more frightening then the current state of health care.

  36. Emily

    I understand what you’re proposing, but I don’t know how it went from being a discussion about health care to an argument about people who are overweight. It’s like they’re the only ones to visit the hospital.

    It doesn’t sound like comedy. It sounds like someone is insensitive and judgmental on his soapbox. I’m sorry to do this since I’m a faithful follower and a loyal reader, but this is the truth.

  37. Social Health

    I nearly threw on my running shoes to flee in terror right then… But I wanted to finish my taco first.

  38. Physio Townsville

    I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who are everything you’ve laid out above and more – but what about those who are just doing the best they can

  39. joney

    While gum disease can affect individuals of all ages, it becomes more prevalent as we age. Older adults may be at higher risk due to factors such as longer exposure to plaque buildup, decreased immune response, and potential side effects of medications that affect oral health. Regular dental check-ups and proper oral hygiene are crucial for maintaining gum health as you get older. gum disease

  40. willys

    I don’t get how this went from being a post about health care to being a diatribe about overweight people. Like they are the only ones going to the hospital.Ladies top

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