An Immodest Proposal

Los Angeles guest writer, Corinne Copnick, shares thoughts she penned before Michael Moore stirred up the pot with “Sicko”. In Sicko, Michael Moore took a couple of boat’s worth of ailing people to Cuba for medical care (and it looks like he may be in trouble with the U.S. government now.) In this satirical (and I think really funny) look at the crumbling US health care system, we can look to the future…at least, Mexico has diplomatic relations with the U.S.

An Immodest Proposal
by Corinne Copnick

In the 19th century, satirist Jonathan Swift (of Gulliver’s Travels fame) suggested to the outraged English in his essay, A Modest Proposal, that Ireland’s famine could be alleviated if only the procreative Irish would eat their children. Given the abysmal breakdown in our present day U.S. health services (have you seen Sicko?), I am hereby making a similarly “politically incorrect” Immodest Proposal: to resolve the embarrassing and seemingly unstoppable problem America is facing with millions of undocumented, mainly Hispanic, workers on its hands. Undeniably, they are a drain on our health services. Congress can’t agree on what to do.
The Immodest Proposal: A Population Exchange

A give-and-take population exchange would both help our health system and ease our immigration headache: Let us give de facto recognition to the illegal workers. Eventually they will become citizens who pay taxes and thus reduce the burden on our health system. In return, a population transfer – history has witnessed lots of them — will be put into effect: Millions of our most elderly and infirm citizens (whom our health system is also loathe to carry) will be transported free of charge to the sunny climes of Mexico — where they can be treated by the excellent resources and inexpensive drugs of the Mexican health system.
Preposterous, you say? Where will a poor country like Mexico find the financial resources to build hospitals, nursing homes, and other needed facilities for millions of relocated elderly who may not have received their passports yet? Unnecessary, I say! This population will be transported to open air locales renowned as pleasant spots to visit, such as Rosarito Beach, just 20 miles south of California’s borders with Mexico. There, tended by caring Mexican doctors and nurses, our elderly will expose their arthritic limbs and aching joints to the healing air and nutrients brought by the caressing waves of the sea. They will consume health-giving veggies (like chopped cactus with onions and peppers and seaweed) along with a steady diet of fish and shellfish (healthier than red meat and easier on the cholesterol). This gustatory largesse will be totally at the cost of the Mexican government, gratuitously aided by the Latino drug cartels to improve their public image and show they are good corporate citizens. They will even throw in a little pain-relieving marijuana and cocaine – for medicinal purposes, of course.
U.S. relatives will be glad to visit their elderly kin in outdoor health spots like Rosarito Beach (or Acapulco or Cancun or Puerto Vallarta) rather than in the depressing environments of nursing homes. And since the elderly population is known to have a high rate of attrition, hopefully from natural causes in this health-giving atmosphere, the worrisome high cost of funerals can be alleviated. No cemetery plots or tack-on charges are involved. Residents of these beach communities will simply be placed reverently at the edge of the sea to be swept away by the tide, thereby enriching the ocean with the useful nutrients of the human body.
Also, since recent polls show that people respond to change best in slow increments, perhaps the elderly could be introduced to the concept of population transfer with assistance from our marketing community. Flashy brochures will feature free three-day inspection trips with all-you-can-eat buffets. Casinos (again courtesy of organized crime) that accept U.S. credit cards and reverse mortgages will line the seaside locales at one mile intervals so that the old folks don’t have to travel too far in the free beach carts. Plenty of nickel slot machines will be available. It will be fun, fun, fun — just like Las Vegas — to be transported to a health beach community in Mexico.
I am the first to admit that this proposal is in its initial stages and may have to be tweaked a little by Congress in a bi-partisan effort. However, at least, unlike Jonathan Swift, it does not propose that our legislators eat our mothers and fathers.
* * * *
Corinne Copnick, M.A., is a noted writer and performer who immigrated

legally to the U.S. She also admits – gasp! – to being elderly.

7 thoughts on “An Immodest Proposal

  1. Dear Corinne,

    Thanks for an interesting discussion.

    What is the real solution, if Michael Moore’s government sponsored universal health care is not the answer?

    The crux of the “SICKO” documentary is the disconnect between our expectations and the reality of health care. We are expecting compassionate care from another human being, and instead we get a faceless corporation. The person behind the desk or window is an agent of a health care corporation, which is not a human being, whose primary goal is to increase corporate profit.

    This is America, and corporate profit is good, the profit motive forming the basis America’s greatness. The basic problem is that a corporation is not a human being. Therein lies the fallacy of replacing a corporation with a government agency, neither of which is a human being, when what we really want is a human being to deliver compassionate health care, and assist in serious health care decisions.

    Review of “SICKO”, by Jeffrey Dach MD

    Jeffrey Dach MD

  2. Hi Jeffrey,

    Thanks for your comments. You are 100% right. Having been raised with a sense of social commitment and responsibility in Canada, I believe completely in a universal healthcare program. Corinne has actually had to ask Doctors here to look at her while speaking to her, rather than looking at her chart. I grew up with the same Doctor for decades — so they knew me, my family, my history…and they actually cared. As a Canadian, we all realized that part of our responsibility was to ensure adequate, equal healthcare and education for our population — so that the children would grow up to become a healthy and educated middle class.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    Wendy

  3. I loved your suggestion for the elderly. Please put my name down for the first shipment, preferably Puerto Vallarta. You should be elected Health for the Elderly Minister.

  4. I support Corinne’s nomination (from Anita) for political office. Not sure if there is a Health for the Elderly Minister, but sounds like a good idea! Combined with the Ministry of Tourism, there might be a viable business opportunity here!

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