Universal health care is all the rage on the Left. John Edwards and Barack Obama have unveiled plans for government medicine. Since 1993, Mrs. William Jefferson Clinton has been this idea’s poster girl. And why not? As this cause’s advocates insist, every American has a right to medical treatment.
“I want to set a goal of universal, quality, affordable healthcare for every single man, woman, and child,” Hillary Clinton said July 3 in Iowa. As Senator John Kerry (D., Mass.) has explained, “I’m committed to universal healthcare coverage because, in America, healthcare is not a privilege, it’s a right.”
But why stop there?
Rather than target public assistance to the needy, Uncle Sam should do more. Lots more.
In 2003, for example, the then-GOP Congress and the Republican White House enacted Medicare drug benefits for all seniors, including multi-millionaires. Similarly, Washington should shower tax dollars on national challenges, like a plane spraying fire retardant on a blazing forest.
So, after 231 years of rugged individualism, the time is now, as Eva Peron sings in Evita, for “a government able to give us the things we deserve.”
Washington owes America the Omnibus Universality Act of 2007. This comprehensive reform would offer citizens a cornucopia exploding with delights:
Universal food. Every American has a right to food. Without it, you starve. We cannot let the savage free market control something as life-or-death as starvation prevention.
Government Food Stamps already help poor people buy groceries. That does not go far enough. Low-income Americans still must choose from among Safeway, A&P, Whole Foods, and more. Having picked a store, more choices await: Meat or fish? Fresh peas or frozen? Coffee or tea? If tea, hot or iced?
How dare we force the poor, or anyone else, to make so many decisions?
The new Federal Food Board’s menus will be balanced, tasty, low-calorie, protein-rich, transfat-poor, free-range, and free of charge. Once the FFB controls those competing grocery stores, it will be a snap to assure that every FFB Calorie Maintenance Center provides just enough of these foodstuffs. To guarantee that Americans don’t eat too much, or too little, Universal Food Stamps will be mailed to every home with that month’s ration schedule. Cuba has perfected this system. It could be imported quickly and easily, without wasting precious time on new FFB feasibility studies or detailed guidelines.
Universal housing. Every American has a right to housing. Without it, you freeze, especially in iceboxes like Chicago. That’s where Cabrini Green once stood. The government began blowing up much of that massive housing project in 1995. Nevertheless, its blueprints must exist somewhere. Washington should follow them to construct millions of similar units. Every American will receive free housing. Imagine the joy when we all share a single landlord.
Universal transportation. Every American has a right to transportation. Without it, you’re stranded. Every city without a subway system should get one. Existing subways should expand and offer even more stops. As for long distances, let high-speed trains crisscross the country. And why not use abandoned Air Force B-52s to fly people from coast to coast? Of course, everyone rides for free.
Universal clothes. Every American has a right to clothes. Without them, you’re naked.
Once the new Federal Style Council nationalizes the Gap, Brooks Brothers, Abercrombie & Fitch, Victoria’s Secret, and more, every American will have the free clothing needed to stay warm and dry, according to FSC standards. Every American will get new, uniform garments for work or play, specially crafted to eliminate design disparities and spare certain people the discomfort of looking unfashionable. Those navy-blue and bamboo-green outfits that took Peking by storm in the 1960s would make excellent patterns for such simple, easily maintained, ready-to-wear attire.
Universal shoes. Every American has a right to shoes. Without them, you’re barefoot. And that’s no way to walk around this Great Society. The same principles apply as with Universal Clothes, but with respect to your feet.
Yes, these are big changes. But the American people will understand them — and they will like them — thanks to a series of instructional motion pictures that will make all of this perfectly clear. And the ideal film company already exists to produce them: