Jeff Phillips: Health Care Bears


The United States Congress has begun the process of dismantling the Affordable Care Act, more familiar to the people as Obamacare, and is reportedly at work to replace it with new health care legislation. I figured this would be the perfect time to offer up my own proposal to improve the nation’s health care.

I call it the Put Extra-Terrestrial Talent to Better Uses Act, which I hope will be affectionately called Space Invader Care, or even KlingonCare – it would have a great ring to it, but might be a misnomer, since Klingons are a fictional race created by Gene Roddenberry for a popular sci-fi TV show, and visitors from other planets are very real. There’s been countless interviews with twitchy people who are brave enough to tell us their story of being abducted in the middle of the night and strapped on a table while medical experiments are conducted on them. And this is what leads me into why ETs could be the solution.

Bottom line, they’re known for performing biological tests on people, and strange surgeries our terrestrial medical professionals are only beginning to get a command on. The implants these aliens sew into people’s skin are often undetectable, and without side effects. They take on such work without being asked, and don’t ask for any payment. The only compensation they need is a satisfied curiosity. This shows ambition. They’re good at what they do and they’re discreet – many people don’t even know they’ve been abducted by aliens.

The thing is, they aren’t fully aware of the emotional and financial devastation caused by our medical hardships: the cancers, the viruses, the chronic conditions, the wounds, and the economic complications of a family unit now minus a breadwinner. We need the right ambassador, someone like Dennis Rodman, he was able to charm the pants off of Kim Jong-Un, not literally, well, maybe literally…to do something similar; butter up a seemingly cold-blooded and unethical race of interdimensional beings, and fill them in on the predicament. Then ask for their help. They’ve mostly worked in secret because they don’t want to embarrass our physicians by how good they are with the scalpel. But if we can level with them that we’re not threatened by their mastery of surgical sciences, are in fact impressed by it, and would definitely appreciate if it addressed our own challenges, we can finally rise above the suffering that has plagued humankind for ages! They were going to poke around your bodies anyway, we might as well give them some direction and up the parameters of a scientific challenge.

We’ve wasted too much time arguing about it down here. There’s one side of the fight that concerns itself about the budget behind medicine, while another side wants to do good by people no matter what the cost. It’s been a tug of war between a stingy fiscal pocket and a moral compass. Some people make proclamations such as “I wouldn’t want the USPS managing my health care,” thinking they’re posing a strong argument against government interference. Because yes, we’ve all been frustrated at the Post Office. We’ve also been frustrated by private companies. Who wants a company like Comcast or Burger King running their health care? Or even that one mom and pop restaurant that makes you wait 30 minutes before taking your drink order. What I’m proposing goes beyond the limitations of small business and corporate muscle, both reveling in the illusions of patient choice, and goes beyond the bureaucratic mess of big government. Imagine you’re having a heart attack, and are presented with a vending machine of treatment options, you fumble in your pocket for the coin that will save your life, but at the last second, before you collapse, a laser beam disintegrates the vending machine and a capable team appears before you and you are resuscitated. You didn’t have much a choice. But you are alive and bouncing back to your normal self.

The benefits of the Put Extra-Terrestrial Talent to Better Uses Act include not only the zero cost to taxpayers, but that of virtually no wait time for the patient in need. It’s often noted that when one is abducted by aliens, time stops. In the case of a major surgery, all you have to do is take an ambien and go to bed. You wake up and your tumor has been extracted, your bum knee has been replaced, and they’ve even stopped time long enough for you to go through months of rehab, so you can step out of bed the next day and even punt a football. An otherworldly ointment applied without notice of intrusion can repair the most glacial-looking of anal fissures.

An advanced deployment of emergency medicine will increase response time and save millions of patients that would otherwise bleed to death while an ambulance is stuck in a traffic gridlock. A flying saucer can appear at the scene before a paramedic even squawks his affirmative into the CB radio. The victims in a five car pile up will get beamed up before any of the gas tanks explode. That guy about to jump from the roof of a skyscraper will be hoisted back up to safety by an invisible harness, saving the negotiator from thinking of the right thing to say, that very well could be the wrong thing.

There’s been some concern that finding yourself on a spacecraft, unable to move, could be traumatic, and stir up a mental health crisis, offsetting any positive results achieved by alien intervention. Which is why I propose that these aliens decorate the gun-metal gray rooms on their spacecrafts to take on perhaps a pleasant rainbow glow. And also put on costumes that will better convey their friendly intentions than their usual unblinking big eyes and inexpressive slits of mouths. One idea I had was to dress them up like the Care Bears. Everyone knows them to be as helpful as can be! You might still see their long gray fingers poking out through the holes in the padded paws. Once in awhile you might catch a glimpse of their real faces when they take off the heavy fabric of the smiling bear head to cool off for a moment. But like a good fun house employee, they’ll be coached to stay in character as much as possible. For the good of the patient. If we go this route, then we can even avoid the mouthful that is the Put Extra-Terrestrial Talent to Better Uses Act and just call it the Care Bear Care Act.

And the best part is, you won’t have to work up the courage to go get checked out, they’re just going to pull you and fix you. They’ll monitor you over periods of time and catch stuff before it gets bad. Malignant growth will be more like a zit popped by the end of the week. I mean, I haven’t been to the dentist in an embarrassing amount of time, but once the aliens are running our health system, I’m not going to have to make that adult decision to make an appointment.

Once this way of doing things is implemented, and they’re full steam ahead, it won’t be an easy thing for a political party to dismantle it. At that point, quality health care will be something we can always count on. Call your congressmen and tell them to Make Medicine Gray Again!


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