Friday, May 6, 2011

The TSA Healthcare Plan

I recently got to try out the new airport body scanner. No, I’m not going to complain about strangers checking out my hot, naked body; it seems most complainers wildly over-estimate how many people want to see them nude. I suspect the task is tedious and boring and causes most workers to kick the internet porn habit. I am here to praise the scanners and promote their usage.

I walked into the scanner and placed my hands over my head as instructed. I winked at the woman behind the control screen and said, “Yeah, that’s all of me.”

“I can see your gut just fine through your shirt,” she answered.

The machine whooshed around me, and I felt more like I was stuck in a revolving door rather than a nuclear reactor core as some people have stated the danger. As I stepped out, the control woman yelled at another worker, “Left knee. Check the left knee.”

Bewildered, I stood still while the officer slid his hand around my leg just above my knee.

“You can go,” he said.

He had barely touched me plus I was wearing shorts so I couldn’t hide a whole lot. But something got her attention. What could it have been?

“Is it cancer?” I asked.


“A tumor? These are giant x-ray machines, right? I assume you can see medical conditions?”

“Move along.”

But that got me thinking that we should combine airport security with health care. Not only should we scan for weapons, by why not just give people a full MRI? After security clears you, a doctor could then check out the image and either wave you on or steer you to a back office for further consultation.

The benefits would be tremendous. People like me who fly once or twice a year would no longer have to get an annual physical. The constantly traveling businesspeople could get cheaper health insurance. The government could cash in its frequent flier miles to force poor people to fly somewhere once a year to ensure they get health care. Plus they would be forced to fly to cash-strapped cities (like all of the ones in Texas) where they could help jumpstart the local economies.

Let’s assume the worst in my scenario and assume that it turns out I have gangrene in my left knee. Check out these great options:

 I could change my flight to Minnesota and go straight to the Mayo Clinic. (let’s also pretend airlines couldn’t charge rebooking fees for medical conditions)

 While sitting in the middle seat in coach, I could just gnaw off my leg to solve the problem.

 I might decide to upgrade to first class.

 I might decide to fly to Tahiti.

 I might upgrade my room to a suite in Vegas and bet everything I had on the craps table (assuming the El Cortez has upgrades)

 The airlines might add skydiving to the inflight entertainment menu to get more fees and provide dying people with that once in a lifetime experience.

Regardless, I would have options rather than just dropping dead on my keyboard like I probably will someday.

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