I don't care for health care. When I'm in need of it, generally I'm wishing I wasn't.
But medical insurance is a national topic these days. The government wants to make sure we all are cloaked in it like a hospital gown with our butts hanging out the backsides.
I understand that guaranteeing health care for all is a good thing, except for fittest surviving Darwinians.
Still, there a few points we should consider as we put national health care under the stethoscope:
* When going to the doctor, make sure to have an ailment treatable under your insurance plan. If not, it is best to fake another illness. Select the correct alternate disease, and you could get roughly the same treatment.
Choose wrong, and you may end up with a cast on the big toe for a faulty liver.
Of course, with the discomfort of a cast strangling the toe, one is less inclined to notice the liver problem. That's what's known in the health care business as "preventive medicine."
* It is not self-help magazines that are driving us to better health. It is the fear of dealing with insurance forms.
By the time we finish the paperwork, the virus has gotten discouraged and moved to Bermuda, leaving us with the deductibles, co-payments and cost our doctors find neither reasonable nor customary.
* I don't doubt that insurance companies make better doctors than doctors do. Otherwise, I'm sure they would step aside and let the doctors be the doctors. But sometimes I wonder if they should pick up a paperback medical reference at Wal-Mart.
Several years ago, I had surgery to fix a broken nose. An insurance company examined my medical records and diagnosed this as brain surgery.
This also may explain why I was approved for maternity leave when I passed a kidney stone.
* Oprah is not a medical doctor. Nor is Tom Cruise. Yet talk shows are filled with celebrities who have contracted all manner of odd diseases and insist on afflicting them upon us. Make sure your insurance company isn't listening or your treatment could involve telling Montel.
* One school year, my daughter's teacher taught the class about germs and how they flew about the room infecting kids with everything from rabies to cooties.
So every time Melissa sneezed at home, she lathered up in antibacterial lotion. At school, despite fall allergies, the kids held sneezes in until recess. They sat in class, faces twisted and scrunched, holding in achoos.
Fortunately, cold and flu season swept in, doused the teacher, who showered the class with a humdinger of a coughing fit, and no longer did anyone feel compelled to hold back mere sneezes. Germs once again were turned loose, restoring the natural food chain.
* More nutritionists say forget dieting. Our bodies are preprogrammed to crave the right things. I've been listening very closely, and my body is demanding the nutrients packed into onion rings. With gobs of sauce.
So if you have Easter candy left, listen to your body and self-medicate! Just don't tell your insurance company.
---- Ask Dr. Cole health-care questions at firstname.lastname@example.org