My favorite morning talk guy, Doug McIntyre on KABC Radio, briefly mentioned a little-known study put out by the Department of Justice that said prison inmates live longer than the rest of us.
Wow! Now, that was a better waker-upper than a triple jolt of java. Yet, it still t'wen't all that easy to get my head around that bit of irony at 05:23.
For years we've watched the pols from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to the President pay lip service the the health care crisis, all the while being in the hip pocket of the health insurance and pharmaceutical companies while netting nothing for us.
They all have the best health insurance "our" money can buy, and apparently so does every convict in country who is serving time, which we also pay for.
If the D.O.J. report is correct, and I have no reason to doubt its validity, and those of us on the outside don't live as long as those on the inside, the answer is obvious: We all commit non-violent crimes and get sent to jail.
After all it is us, the "inmates" of the country who haven't committed any crimes other than being good citizens, working hard, feeding our families, putting roofs over our children's heads and keeping our noses clean...providing we don't have a cold and can afford to go to the doctor, because there are too many of us who don't have health insurance.
Conversely, those who are in jail and have done all sorts of terrible things to get there, have health care coming out the wazoo, and -- to add insult to injury -- they live longer than we do.
It all boils down to war between us and them, and if we can't join in on their "best health coverage in the country", then we have to beat them at their own game by playing the system.
So, there it was. The answer to getting health coverage for every single person in the country from the smallest berg to the largest city, and it could not have been more clear or bold than if I had been staring at stark prison stipes.
Each one of us must commit a non-violent crime, get arrested, go straight to jail by pleading no contest or guilty. Once we're in the calaboose, health care is as free-flowing as, well...as prison stripes.
Starting with the beleagured smokers, we can parade en masse into the rarified air of Calabasas, and all light up until the cops come to extinguish us. Then we can march in formation to the local lock-up and get our physicals.
My family won't appreciate that too much, since no one will be home to cook dinner for them, but then health care comes with a price tag.
Anyone who owns a sofa, matress or pillows can walk into any police station, ask for the watch commander and rip off all the tags that say "do not remove under penalty of law," and -- without passing go -- it's straight into a holding cell.
The litter bugs can have a field day tossing ga'bage out of car windows, but they must make sure they do it while driving in front of a black and white or a Highway Patrol cruiser. The second or third offense must be good for a stiff fine and a long stay in the pokey.
The older, more ruthless among the younger set can get themselves arrested by extorting milk money from their classmates, while others can start blackmailing their classmates with tauntings of "if you don't do my homework for me, I'm gonna tell the teacher on you."
Then there's the crayon-wielding set. Childish graffiti everywhere. They can start in their room and move to nursery school walls, the pediatrician's office (oops I forget that one; they don't have health insurance). Okay, any place they can reach will do.
Or, maybe we can start teaching them to do a little shoplifting as one of mine did when she was smack in the middle of the terrible twos. She suckered the baby sitter into a game of hide 'n seek, escaped out the door and took herself to market, which was one street, two allies and one busy parking lot away. While looking for me, who wasn't there, she did a little moneyless shopping. When I and the police found her she was parked in a shopping cart where the manager had put her for safe keeping, happily munching on a package of puloined cheese.
If she could do it on her own, then we can certain start them off on the road to petty crime so they can be guaranteed a life sentence of health care. It beats the policy far too many of us have now: Take care, an! don't get sick.