Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich promises to colonize the Moon if he is elected. I guess he will let the hard questions be answered by NASA, but I suspect he hasn’t really thought this through.
For instance, are we claiming the Moon as a territory of the United States? We ARE the only ones who have been there, so I suppose that’s just as good a reason as any. Hard to believe we’re considering taking a place over that no one else wants… what do we know about the Moon that other governments don’t?
Many questions need to be answered before I become a Moon colonist. For instance, if the Moon becomes American territory, can its residents vote? And can Moon children grow up to become president some day? But the important question for me, as a mother and a person destined to become old, is, “What will my Moon citizen health care options will be?”
Let’s say your family volunteers to help populate the Moon. On the way there your child comes down with the flu. You cannot receive medical benefits until you complete your mandatory six-month quarantine period. And besides, the medical plan considers this a “pre-existing condition” since it happened before you landed on Lunar soil. Luckily, you discover that Moon dust actually deters the development of the flu virus and your child gets well quickly. You have dodged a bullet this time!
See, this whole Moon colony idea is just a wee bit premature. If we take a few decades and get some really smart people with no presidential aspirations whatsoever together to plan this brave new world, we might be able to fix a few things that aren’t working so well down here on the mother planet. This could be our one chance at a “do-over.”
That will never happen.
I suspect that what the government will do is set up some of their cronies in various industries with exclusive rights to provide services to the Moon colonization project. There will be a race to be the first bank, the first casino, the first Moonrover dealership, and the first health care provider.
I would not be surprised to learn there is already a bidding war between Highmark and UPMC over who gets that first health care contract. Those two not-for-profit healthcare systems are already duking it out for total control of the market. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the first highly produced commercials for their Moon Medicine Research team rolled out during the Super Bowl this year.
No, there will be no improvements in how things run on the Moon. Because we still don’t have consensus down here about what’s broken, and the really smart people who know how to fix things are staying away from politics in droves.
We are going to start a new society up there and we’re going to screw that one up too.
- Newt Gingrich’s Fantasy Moon Base Is Illegal (gizmodo.com.au)
- To the Moon, Newt! (slate.com)
- The Morning After: To the Moon! (entertainment.time.com)