Here’s Occam with useful (if unconventional) tips on hosting health care house parties and key parties 🙂
I recently attended a talk by former Obama campaign manager and Democratic party operative David Plouffe. Among other things, he discussed the importance of grass roots organizing in the election of the president. Plouffe is not content simply because his candidate is in office, however, and talked with enthusiasm about other grass roots efforts currently occurring around policy issues. Specifically, he talked a great deal about the latest craze sweeping the nation: healthcare reform house parties.

A healthcare reform house party does not sound like the most raucous assemblage of debauchery and you may question the use of the word “party” to describe the event. Nevertheless, understanding the issues about our healthcare system and what potential reform will and will not look like is an important part of your roll as a citizen scientist. More than ever you need to understand the legislation that will potentially become law. For example: under the proposed plan, democrats get plum placement on eventual waiting lists and industry experts estimate that Ted Kennedy, Robert Byrd and Jimmy Carter alone will use 60 percent of all available health resources. So you must consider, if you are not already a Democrat, switching parties. Also consider getting elected to congress.

These facts and more are important for your planning. And if you wish to host such a “party” you need to be prepared with all the tips you need to be successful. Occam’s Razor is happy to give you the following advice for your gathering:

*Pass around photos of British teeth so you can all observe actual evidence of the wonders of socialized medicine.

*If you’re on the fence about setting up a prostate exam area, keep in mind that fewer men than you think may blanch at the prospect of getting one.

*As this event is health-related, the beer, Doritos and donuts you serve will all be covered by your medical spending account.

*Michael J. Fox is a popular guest at health-related events. Be advised, however, that at all costs you SHOULD NOT invite him – he will try to pick up every woman in attendance, bore you all with interminable monologues on the hidden acting genius of Tina Yothers, and will refuse to take off his shoes in your home.

*If the party lags, turn it into a “key party” and learn about the “health” of someone other than your own partner.

Lastly, be sure to check the lungs of all your guests, to make it as doctor-office-like as possible. Have you noticed your doctor’s obsession with this? What on earth is the medical profession’s issue with checking lungs? I think the first two years of medical school are spent on just two topics and these things are presented as paramount to anything else…if you remember two things when you start your practice, they tell med school students, you will remember this:

Topic 1 – make your patients get naked. It matters not the reason for his visit, make him take off all of his clothes and put on that paper thing.
Topic 2 – check lungs.

I envision the brilliant young minds paying scores of thousands to learn about curing cancer and advancements in bioengineering and they get two solid years of this. It must be frustrating, but apparently it sticks. Every test they take reads like this:

Your patient says his toe has fallen off and he has it in a jar of ice. You should first:

A. triage, stat
B. cleanse wound, begin reattachment
C. Investigate if his “El Insuranceo de Pedro Loco” insurance card of crayon on construction paper is legit
D. Get him naked; check his lungs

(answer: D)

Patient says he needs a scopolamine patch to prevent sea sickness for an upcoming boat trip. He merely wants this and nothing else. He had a complete physical three days ago and is an Olympic decathlete. Two months prior he set a world record for lung capacity and was declared by the International Commission on Breathing as “World’s Best Breather” and has been given the Golden Lung Award by the American Lung Association. He has entered your office naked. You should first:

A. Give him his scrip and send him on his way (he will strongly want you to pick this option…do you take the bait?)
B. Get him dressed, check lungs
C. Keep him naked
D. Check lungs
E. Both C and D

(answer: E)

What mysteries of the universe exactly are unlocked by listening to someone’s lungs? Why should we think that all key elements of human biology are funneled through the lungs as opposed to, say, the right elbow? It’s just a trick! And they try to throw you by saying stuff like, “okay now breathe real deep….okay, now normal….now real deep and hold it….” THIS MAKES NO DIFFERENCE!

(However, I will say that they must be doing something right…they can charge $500 for 10 minutes of getting you naked, squeezing your testicles, sticking something up your bottom and sending you on your way, whereas a prostitute gets paid half that for doing the same stuff and has to do it for a whole hour.)

So citizen scientists, I hope you now find yourselves fully armed to have your own successful healthcare reform house party. Please direct my invitations to the comments field below; I’ll bring my key, just in case.

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