Health Care: What will you not do for your country

Now that the nation's hospitals have offered to give up $155 billion in future Medicare and Medicaid payments and America’s largest private health care insurers say they'll give back as much as $2 trillion by reducing the growth rate of health care spending by 1.5% per year during the next decade, all to help defray the cost of President Barack Obama's health care plan, I've decided the least I can do as an average citizen is not to opt for expensive elective surgery during the same period.

Between now and 2020, therefore, I pledge not to get hair transplants ($10,000), Invisalign braces ($5,000), a neck and profile lift ($5,300), calf implants ($4,500) or buttock augmentations ($18,000 -- I know that sounds expensive, but I'm giving up a trip to Brazil), rhinoplasty ($5,500), otoplasty (as you age, your ears just get bigger and bigger -- $2,800 each or $5,600), and liposuction (hips -- $2,400; outer thighs -- $3,000; buttocks -- $1,800); plus non-surgical fees (figure $128,000 spread out over all these procedures), for a grand total of $189,100.

Doesn't sound like much compared to the billions and trillions being donated by the hospitals and insurance companies, but if even 1% of 300 million Americans make the same contribution I am, we will save $567,300,000,000, and be happy to do it.

Actually, I'm even willing not to have these procedures every year, increasing the savings ten fold!

So, my fellow Americans, the challenge is this: ask not what your country cannot do for you, ask what you can not do for your country.

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