There was a moment during Wednesday’s presidential debate when I laughed out loud and nearly came up off the couch. Okay, there were several of those moments, but I find this one particularly amusing. The subject was Medicare and their plans to shore it up — cut it, replace it, whatever. And Mike Huckabee came up with the greatest public policy statement ever: Let’s just cure cancer and it’ll be fixed!
HUCKABEE: We need to be focusing on what fixes this country. And I’ll tell you one thing that we never talk about — we haven’t talked about it tonight.
Why aren’t we talking about — instead of cutting benefits for old people, cutting benefits for sick people — why don’t we say, “let’s cure the four big cost-driving diseases…
HUCKABEE: …”diabetes, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s?”
QUICK: Governor, I’m sorry…
HUCKABEE: If you do that, you don’t just change the economy, you transform the lives of millions of hurting Americans.
And then he returned to it a bit later:
HUCKABEE: Well, and specifically to Medicare, Becky, because 85 percent of the cost of Medicare is chronic disease. The fact is if we don’t address what’s costing so much, we can’t throw enough money at this. And it’s why I’ve continued to focus on the fact that we need to declare war on the four big cost drivers because 80 percent of all medical costs in this country are chronic disease. We don’t have a health care crisis in America, we have a health crisis.
And until we deal with the health of Americans and do what we did with polio — when I was a little kid, we eradicated it. You know how much money we spent on polio last year in America? We didn’t spend any. We’ve saved billions of dollars.
You want to fix Medicare? Focus on the diseases that are costing us the trillions of dollars. Alzheimers, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Eradicate those and you fix Medicare and you’ve fixed America, its economy and you’ve made people’s lives a heck of a lot better.
Now why the hell didn’t someone else think of that? Let’s just cure cancer, heard disease and diabetes! It’s so simple! Hey Huck, how do you plan to do that? *awkward silence* He certainly isn’t going to advocate massive public investments in medical research. Heart disease is the single biggest killer, but he damn sure isn’t going to offer some program to get people to eat healthy and exercise more — I mean, Michelle Obama tried that and she instantaneously and magically transformed into HITLERSTALINMAO. To be fair, though, she is black and he’s not.
I know what he’s gonna do. His plan will be to unleash legions of faith healers on the country. It’ll be like Americorps, only for faith healers. He’ll name Benny Hinn to the cabinet as the Secretary of Faith Healing and have him train an army of people in how to blow down whole auditoriums with their holy breath and how to make people fall on the ground and pretend to be passed out with the mere touch of your hand to their brow. Before you know it, there’ll be no cancer, no diabetes, no heart disease.
I can’t believe no other candidate has ever come up with this brilliant “let’s just cure all the diseases” plan. And once he has accomplished that, he’ll roll out his plan to magically cure pollution with holy water and his plan to rescue unicorns who fart rainbows from the endangered species list.