Saturday, March 13, 2010

So You Want Government Run Health Care, Do You ?

Gather 'round, fellow Right Wing Extremists! It's short story fiction time!

It was a cold winter morning. Mary Jane was happy she wasn't pregnant during the summer. All of her friends who had been pregnant during the summer were universally miserable. This cool weather was a welcome treat, as she remembered that awful time in Florida when she and her husband Ric went to Miami to celebrate The Chairman's 5th term in office.

Her appreciation of the wonderful Detroitoronto winter soon melted away into worry. Dr. Charrington,  Mary Jane's assigned OB-GYN, wanted to see her right away. Like most doctors, he was unwilling to discuss the matter fully on the phone. Mary Jane started to really push on the gas, trying to make her Smart Car go faster than its usual top speed of 25 mph. She glanced down at her gauge, and remembered that due to the month's electricity rationing, she was unable to plug her car in. Despite her worry, Mary Jane slowed down to the speed limit of 15 mph for fear her car would run out of juice.

After an eternity, Mary Jane arrived at the OB-GYN center that was in her sector. She sat in the reception area for about two and half hours after her arrival. The room was very crowded, since Ontariogan's other center was shut down after several outbreaks of hepatitis from examining equipment and gloves being used over and over again without being sterilized.

Finally, as the third hour of waiting had begun, Mary Jane's number was called. Nervously, she went to the receptionist's cubicle that was  encased in bullet proof glass. Executive order 102365 called for all medical receptionists to be protected by bullet proof glass, especially after the Vancouvereattle incident occurred, when an irate cancer patient killed a receptionist. It was quite the scandal. A handgun hadn't been seen in CanAmerica since the Second Amendment was repealed on Freedom From Random Violence Day.

"Umm..hello ?" said Mary Jane quietly. The receptionist, engaged in her conversation on her GE/Apple/Microsoft/i-phone, ignored her.

Pushed to her limit with pregnancy hormones coursing angrily through her veins, Mary Jane angrily knocked on the glass to get the receptionist's attention.


"I'm sorry," Mary Jane said sadly. "It's just...Well....I'm a little nervous. Dr. Charrington called and said he needs to see me right away."

"Your name ?"

"Mary Jane Sanchez Cohen"

The receptionist hacked away on her keyboard for about two minutes. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, she looked up.

"Go to room 101. Counselor O'Brien will see you."

"Counselor ? I came to see my OB, not some counselor."

"Ma'am...That's what I have. Please report to room 101. Follow the green line, please."

Annoyed, Mary Jane did what she was told. Along the way, she muttered many curses, but was careful to keep her voice down. Executive Order 7896-A made cursing against the law, and since she hadn't worked in almost a year, a twenty Amero fine would mean not eating for the rest of the week, even with her Entitlement Code being raised to Orange.

Arriving at room 101, Mary Jane nervously knocked on the door.

An older man in medical scrubs answered the door. His face was weathered and weary and his hair was combed neatly. It seemed to Mary Jane that the man was made of metal, not human flesh. Something about this guy just isn't right, she thought to herself.

"Hello," Mary Jane said. "I'm Mary Jane Sanchez Cohen."

The man motioned her to sit down. The stark room had no decorations, not even the tasteless, generic paintings that are usually found in doctor's offices. All that stood in the egg-shell white room was two leather chairs, a big, black metal desk, and a GE/Apple/Microsoft Greenleaf  Thoughtpad on the desk.

"I'm Counselor O'Brien. I have unfortunate news for you. I regret to inform you that that your section's CanAm Health Board has deemed it necessary to terminate your pregnancy. Your required amniocentesis has shown that your fetus has a 9% chance of having Tay-Sachs disease and an 11% chance of being born with spina bifida. Ultrasounds were inconclusive, but the Tay-Sachs and Spina Bifida scores are above the allowed limit."

"Wait a minute! I'm not even Jewish! At my required Lamaze class, they told us that only Jewish couples had to worry about Tay-Sachs!"

"Also, French CanAmericans. According to your file, your mother was born in Quebec, was she not ?"

"Well, yes, but my father..."

"Doesn't matter. Before your husband was killed on the Malabar front, he tested positive for the gene. However, AMSOC records show he was called for duty before his scheduled sterilization. Accidents do happen, it seems. Your scheduled termination date is 30 March at 0900 hours. Be sure to have your Nat-ID card with you and someone to drive you home. If you do not have anyone to drive you home, we will provide you with transportation home for 20 Ameros."

"I'm seven months pregnant! That's a little late, isn't it ?"

"Executive Order BF6002360006 gives the CanAm Health Board broad powers to determine when a pregnancy may be ended, especially if the fetus is determined to be too costly to be born. A baby with Tay-Sachs usually dies anyway. It's best to discard it and start again. I understand at your age that may be hard to do. This is why Executive Order 2296-B was written, to discourage women from having babies in their forties. Your fetus's gestational age puts it about 18 days before the order was enacted, so I can't find you in violation."

"His name is Hunter...."

"Who ?"

"My baby's name is Hunter, sir. I'd appreciate it if you called him Hunter, and not 'it'."

"It is a fetus, not a living person. It's best if you start thinking that way now, so the procedure won't be so traumatic for you."

"What if I refuse ? What if I don't allow you to murder my son ?"

"Again, it is not a person, like you or me. It's like having your appendix removed if it were to become inflamed. Would you be so attached to a rupturing appendix ? Now, keep in mind, it is a Class C Felony to give birth without consent of the CanAm Board, which would carry a one year reduction in your Entitlement and could subject you to possible Reeducation. Is that tumor in your womb really worth it ?"

Counselor O'Brien droned on, but Mary Jane wasn't listening. She knew it would be futile to resist, and she would be looked upon as a pariah since matters like this quickly became news, especially since the HIPAA laws were overturned by Executive Order 9665-AB. Everyone in town would know that she selfishly brought a baby into the world that would need extra care, and during a Doctor Union strike, things could get ugly. She and little Hunter would never be at peace. After a few moments, Mary Jane's rationalization mechanisms kicked in. Everyone has a right to health care and it would be selfish of me to take health care away from Board sanctioned babies. Health care may be a right, but it is the duty of the citizens to make sacrifices so everyone can have access to health care.

Finally, after an awkward pause, "Does it hurt ?" Mary Jane asked sheepishly.

Yup...Government run health care....It's to die for!


Coco said...

Tay-Sachs prenatal screenings results are certain - not a percentage. Also, prenatal screenings are done much earlier in the pregnancy. This story is rubbish intended to scare instead of educate.

Absolutely Nobama said...

Is that right ? Governments don't make up rules as they go along ?

Yes, you pointed out a mistake, but I still stand by my story. But, thanks for reading and do come back! I like spirited debate!