Universal Coverage or not?

Here is an excerpt from my novel, Universal Coverage. Think about it while Congress throws the Constitution out the window and your freedom in the trash.

The phone rang. He stared past it at the framed stock certificate on the wall. Something happened between the time his father received his dividends and this day. Smith never envisioned he would face disaster without a penny saved or a dollar in reserve. Nor had he expected to lack the gasoline to go wherever he wanted. The idea that whatever he needed might not be at hand was an absolute impossibility.

This was not the future he’d anticipated nor the one he’d been promised. He wasn’t supposed to be giving a little to get a little. He was supposed to have on demand care without ever seeing the bill. That’s what Universal Coverage meant. That’s what he voted for. That’s what twelve percent of his pay bought.

Without a doubt, it paid for financial security. He wasn’t flush with cash, but nor was he in danger of losing his house, his vehicles, or anything else. He hadn’t so much as seen a bill for any of Timmy’s checkups. But what it did not buy was the timely installation of his son’s pacemaker, something he wanted more than anything else.

He picked up the phone. “Hello?”

“It’s me, Ralph. My cell must have dropped our call. Did you come up with something good for my girl?”

“No,” Smith answered.

“No? Oh, okay. I got it. You need some time. No worries. I won’t say anything to her now. I’ll wait until I hear from you. That way I can sell it to her as a special surprise. How does that sound?”

It sounded pathetic to Smith, who conjured up a witty retort but let it fade inside his growing shame.

“Have a good weekend,” he said, hanging up.

The only person who deserved the money was the doctor who implanted Timmy’s pacemaker. Anyone else was nothing more than a parasite taking something for nothing. Smith was ready to part with any of his worldly possessions, and if he had to mortgage his soul to make Timmy well, he’d do that, too. Either way, he’d be damned if he peddled his wife’s baubles for better odds against the sharks who ran the Universal Coverage pool.

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Published in: on March 17, 2010 at 12:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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