Single Square Now, Single Payer Later

If you live in Brooklyn and it’s a hot summer day, do yourself a favor and don’t bother going to Coney Island for a dip in the ocean or a stroll on the boardwalk, because if you’re a well-hydrated woman you could run into a pesky problem inside the ladies’ restroom.

The state of New York has such a budget shortfall that park administrators at Coney Island have decided to cut corners by leaving toilet paper dispensers empty.  Park attendants are herding people with full bladders onto “ration lines” where one sheet of single-ply, Sheryl Crow-friendly toilet paper is meted out to women dying to get into a stall.  Men don’t even get a solitary square.

Word to the wise – toting along adult-sized baby wipes is especially important if Coney Island patrons plan to drink large quantities of cold soft drinks on warm summer nights while riding the Cyclone.  Park-goers are left with two choices: bring an extra fanny-pack full of Charmin® for a stroll on the boardwalk, or wear a bathing suit and plan to intermittently break for a quick dip in the salty foam, saying “I’ll be right back, I need to cool off.”

One woman, shocked that toilet paper was being rationed, said “Never in my life have I experienced anything like this. I walked toward a stall, and a bathroom attendant stopped me by shouting, ‘Hey, mami! There’s no toilet paper here,’ and she whipped out a big roll for me to grab some.”

A New York City Parks and Recreation spokesperson insists that toilet paper is stocked daily: “There’s no need to ration, and we’ll make certain our staff does not do so” – another tepid denial coming from another bureaucratic apologist.

Despite the budgetary crisis, the bathroom attendants still on the payroll maintain that the taxpayer-funded Parks Department isn’t adequately stocking the Coney Island public boardwalk with enough toilet paper, thus the bathroom attendant-controlled single-ply quotas.

New Yorkers pay some of the highest taxes in the nation. Their reward for doing so is having government spend more while they’re hung out to dry, having to BYOTP to the beach, boardwalk, and amusement park. Not only are New Yorkers being deprived of basic hygienic provisions, but now when patrons really have to use extra care washing up after using the facilities, the hot water is also turned off.

Even so, there is a larger issue which all Americans had best take heed of that has nothing to do with toilet paper and everything to do with the government’s inability to manage even a single stall in a public bathroom.  Although still a few years off, a similar scenario is likely with government managing America’s health care.

Both state and federal governments cost too much and provide little. Vulnerable Americans needing to use the bathroom at the mercy of an attendant dictating to them what they can and cannot have for the most basic of human needs is a foreshadowing of what lies ahead if a single-payer system is implemented. Americans are destined, in a time of crisis, to find themselves paying a very high price for single-ply/single-sheet health care, doled out by a government employee who’ll be told to leave the dispenser empty and watch over how much everybody gets.

Like the shocked woman in the Coney Island lavatory who marveled, “Never in my life have I experienced anything like this,” just wait until nervous mothers across America whose children have ear infections are told by their neighborhood drugstore that the weekly allotment of penicillin is gone and the next shipment doesn’t arrive for 48 hours.

Similar to walking into a restroom for the first time to find toilet paper being rationed, there will also be a first time when Americans, accustomed to easy access and high quality, will “walk toward a doctor’s office or emergency room” like a beachgoer rushing toward a restroom, only to have a bureaucrat inform them: “‘Hey, mami!’ There’s no room at this hospital.” And then traumatized Americans will be placed on ration lines where government workers will dole out certain healthcare procedures like sheets of cheap bathroom tissue.

In the words of a Coney Island tourist from Denmark named Benedikte Friis, after being handed a whisper-thin sheet of toilet tissue the consistency of crepe paper: “It’s very weird that someone decides how much paper you get because they don’t know what situation you’re in. You might need more!”

Precisely! And who better than Benedikte would know that you get what they give you, and ‘they’ could care less ‘what situation you’re in’ or if ‘you might need more,’ a situation similar to how it is in highly-taxed, government-munificent Denmark. Only here it will be worse, because Americans live in a country with 295 million more people than Denmark, run by a government far too similar to the one that runs the toilet paper-deprived park in Coney Island.

With bureaucrats on a par with bathroom attendants set to manage the nation’s health system, Americans are destined to endure a future full of such poor-quality medical care that even tourists from socialist Scandinavia will be shaking their heads and thinking that what’s going on here is more than a little “weird.”