This is one of the saddest, yet happiest, stories that I have written about in a long time. Only about 12,000 people live in the little town of Monroe, Ohio but a remarkable 11-year-old girl that lives there is capturing hearts all over the nation. Madison “Maddie” Smallwood has been battling bone cancer for several years, and the long-term prognosis does not look promising. Facing that kind of challenge would be way too much for many young girls her age, but not for Madison. She has decided that she is going to live life to the fullest no matter how long she has. So she has made a “bucket list” and is trying to complete as many items on it as she can while she still has time. And no matter how her story ultimately plays out, she will always be remembered as a warrior that was an inspiration to millions of Americans.
This is what can happen when you go to a socialized healthcare system. A lot of people out there believe that the United States has a free market healthcare system, but that is actually not true. The percentage of the population that receives government-subsidized healthcare is rapidly approaching 50 percent, and the healthcare industry may be the most heavily regulated sector of the entire U.S. economy. Every year the rules, red tape and regulations seem to get even worse, and every year health insurance premiums rise much faster than the overall rate of inflation. If we don’t start applying free market principles and start getting healthcare costs under control, our entire healthcare system could very easily implode.
If you could become an elf, would you do it? You might argue that elves do not exist, but one man has spent thousands upon thousands of dollars on surgeries, hair removal, creams, dyes and bleaches in a determined attempt to transform himself into one. 25-year-old Luis Padron of Buenos Aires, Argentina says that he “became obsessed with the world of elves, angels and fantasy beings after being bullied as a child”. Now he is spending about $5,000 a month so that he can permanently look like an elf, and he has told the press that “I consider myself trans-species”. Body modification has become one of the hottest global trends in recent years, but is this a case where someone has taken it way too far?
Now, federal law prohibits health insurance companies from discriminating against transgender people, and it bars insurers from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions. That makes it possible for more transgender people to purchase private plans. And in states that expanded their Medicaid programs, those with low incomes may get free coverage.