Archive for the ‘health care reform’ Category

Republicans Announce New Health Care Reform Bill

November 28, 2009

Written by: Garry Cooper

Senate Republicans, wary of being seen as the party that blocked health care reform, today unveiled an 11th hour health care reform plan that guarantees insurance for every American citizen. “Unlike the Democratic versions which will insure only about 95% of all Americans, our bill will insure 100% of Americans,” said House Minority Leader John Boehner. The bill accomplishes this by defining an American as any citizen who has health care insurance.

“By purifying our definition of American,” said Boehner, “We will ensure that the poor, the lazy, the sickly, and illegal immigrants, including those who are legal, will not be entitled to any benefits. This will motivate those who want to become the New Americans to get a job, get strong, make enough money to buy insurance, or go back where they came from, and it will make our country even stronger for the generations yet to come.”

Senate Republicans, worried about being associated with any kind of health care reform, originally expressed hesitation about supporting the bill, but Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell was finally persuaded to go along after fellow Republicans agreed to attach a rider changing his title to Senate Alternative Leader.

“I’ve never been comfortable being associated with the term minority,” said McConnell.

The compromise was devised by Senator Joseph Lieberman (?-CT), who said, “This bipartisan effort shows that unctuous sanctimonious statesmen can work together for the good of each other, regardless of party affiliation.”

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Health Care Reform Bill Passes

November 13, 2009

Written By: Garry Cooper

Opponents of health care reform suffered two significant blows last night. The first came when the House of Representatives passed a health care reform bill. The second came just seconds later, when the chin of House Minority leader John (Don’t Call me Robert Mitchum) Boehner (R-OH) dropped suddenly and thousands of dollars in insurance company payoffs, stashed into its cleft, fluttered to the ground.

An embarrassed Boehner remarked afterward that he had not intended to put the money into his chin cleft but that his pockets had already been stuffed to capacity. “I had no other option,” said Boehner, “I prefer to not wear my money belt in public.”

Republican reaction to the passage of health care reform was bitter. “Apparently the House of Representatives has lost sight of exactly who it’s supposed to be representing,” said House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA), “If the House wishes to abdicate its responsibility to speak for the underdog minorities at a time when the increasingly marginalized insurance companies are fighting for their very existence, who will be left to protect them? I want to assure our friends in the insurance industry tonight that the Republican Party will not abandon them.”

Meanwhile in the Senate, which will soon vote on its own health care reform bill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) proposed including a magnifying glass with each copy of the proposed bill. “This will help people find the public option we fully intend to include somewhere in some form in the bill,” he told reporters. Reid insisted that a provision in his bill will ensure that it does not add one penny to the deficit. “As part of our health care reform bill,” he said, “We are going to hold a nationwide lottery, and the lucky 250 winners will comprise the pool of people eligible for the public option.”

Whirled News Reporter Found Alive

November 5, 2009

Written By: Garry Cooper

Whirled News has returned after a long absence, caused by an injury to its chief reporter in Washington, DC two weeks ago. The unintended hiatus began when its Washington Bureau Chief, acting on his own time, joined a health care reform march and met with 5 Democratic conservative congressmen inside the Senate Building.

“I told them I represented health care reform,” he said, “and by the time they finished cutting me up, I was still alive but had been whittled down to two feet tall. My own family no longer recognized me.” In a speech later that day, President Obama expressed gratitude to the Congressmen for sparing him. “Keeping the reporter alive and still able to breathe shows what we can accomplish if we exercise good will and make a sincere effort to work with each other,” he said

Meanwhile it was reported that Senator Joseph Lieberman’s rabbi met privately with him at an undisclosed Connecticut location. “I had a frank and serious discussion with Joe about Judaism and social responsibility,” the rabbi said. “But I got the feeling he didn’t understand a word I said.” The rabbi refused to comment further on the meeting except to add, “He really is a sanctimonious little shit.”

Democrat Senators Explain Public Option Opposition

October 2, 2009

Written By: Garry Cooper

Democratic Senators Kent Conrad (D-ND), Blanche Lincoln (D-AK) and Max Baucus (D-MT), who voted down the public option for health care yesterday, insisted that they are not necessarily opposed to a public option. Sen. Baucus who, over the last six years, leads every member of Congress in donations from health care and insurance companies, insisted that he voted against the public option only because he knew the entire Senate could never pass a bill with a public option in it.

“I don’t have any automatic opposition to the public option,” said Baucus, “I’m just being pragmatic. If I could figure out which backers of a public option could come up with comparable money for me, I’d certainly be open to changing my position.”

Senator Lincoln, who is currently trailing in polls in her home state, where support for the public option is running high, pointed out that she did not vote against the public option. “I didn’t vote at all,” she said, “So no one can accuse me of taking a principled stand for or against anything.”

The three senators insisted that as far as they are concerned, some kind of public option is still on the table. “We are firmly committed to insuring that every American has a choice in health care,” said Conrad, “Currently, those without health care can choose between bankruptcy and dying, but we’re not going to rest on our laurels! We definitely want to add a public option to the mix. I have proposed setting up hospital tents in open fields where anyone in need can come for emergency health care, as long as they can prove citizenship and have a note from their doctor. Unlike other public options, this will not add a significant cost to our budget, especially if we keep the hospital cots close enough together so that patients can rely on each other’s body heat in winter in order to save on heating costs.”

Meanwhile Senator Charles (Snaken) Grassley (R-IA), who had previously pretended to join in bipartisan negotiations on health care, vigorously argued with fellow Senate Finance Committee member Charles Schumer (D-NY), whose public option amendment Grassley helped vote down. Asked whether he opposes Medicare, Sen. Grassley said he did not because Medicare was successful and already “part of our social fabric.” Asked why he then did not vote in favor of a public option, Grassley explained that Medicare’s success proved that a public option would eventually kill off insurance companies and that would be wrong. Senator Schumer attempted to ask a follow-up question but he could not pick his jaw up off the table in time.

Health Care Reform Activists to Protest at Clinics

September 21, 2009

Written By: Garry Cooper

Health care reform activists today borrowed a page from the strategy of antiabortionists and announced plans to block the entrances of doctors’ offices used by Republican members of Congress and Senator Max Baucus (D-MT).

“We’re going to stand in the way of these people’s access to health care until they make it available for everyone,” said a leading health care reform activist. “And we’re going to picket the entrances to ERs too if these Republican congressmen or Baucus happen to show up there seeking medical care.”

A panicked Sen. Baucus immediately responded, defending the health care reform reported out of his Finance Committee. “We merely wanted to raise the bar higher for middle-class and lower income Americans because every major study shows that exercise is an excellent way to remain healthy,” he said, “And jumping is one of the best exercises there is.”

Meanwhile President Obama continued to insist there will be a public option. “I want to assure every American that there will be a public option as part of this health care reform package, even if we have to pass out magnifying glasses for most people to be able to see it,” he asserted. Republican congressmen however threatened to scuttle the bill if the magnifying provision passes, pointing out that giving away magnifying glasses would add an unacceptable cost to the bill.

Republicans Come Out in Favor of Universal, Public Option Health Care

September 9, 2009

Written By: Garry Cooper

In a major reversal, congressional Republicans today came out in favor of both universal health care and a public option. “Unlike the Democrats, we favor genuine universal health care,” said House Minority leader John (“Don’t call me boner”) Boehner, “We propose starting by offering health care to Venusians and Martians.”

Calling the Republican plan “a compassionate one for our nation’s poor and uninsured,” Boehner said that offering the public option first to Venusians and Martians “would give us a chance to see how a public option works without conducting a dangerous social experiment on our nation’s most vulnerable people.”

As part of the Republican proposal, Venusians and Martians would be offered both a public option and the opportunity to purchase private insurance. “Universal access to health care is likely to be something new to them,” said Boehner, “And we want them to clearly understand from the outset that socialism isn’t the answer to anything for anyone anywhere in the universe, except for a few countries here on Earth who haven’t yet learned that important lesson.”

The Republican plan also calls for $175 billion in seed money for insurance companies for start-up costs on Venus and Mars. “The logistics of setting up a viable health care program on Venus and Mars are considerable,” said Boehner, “And we want to be sure that the playing field is level for our nation’s insurance companies when they go up against our government. These people have been helping our nation’s sick for years and deserve our compassion and consideration.”

Asked whether that $175 billion shouldn’t be spent on providing health care for the uninsured here, Boehner replied that in the long run the money would be better spent by setting up a program that works for future generations as well. “A lot of these uninsured are sickly and are going to die soon,” he said, “The Republican party is committed to looking toward the future.”

Compromise Reported on Health Care Bill

September 7, 2009

Written By: Garry Cooper

Congressional negotiators moved closer today to agreeing on a health care reform bill. Final details were still being discussed, but the broad outline of the bill calls for an $8 billion ransom payment to the insurance industry in exchange for returning health care to the American people. Although many Democrats expressed reservations about the large cash outlay, they appear likely to agree to the deal.

“Millions of Americans had given up hope, especially with the death of Ted Kennedy, and my increasing vacillation about a public option, that they would ever see health care again,” said President Obama.

“This is a good bill, a fair bill,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), “Surely no one expects the insurance industry to give up its annual billions of dollars in profits in exchange for nothing.” But McConnell cautioned that there was still disagreement with Democrats over a key provision of the ransom payment. “We believe the payment should be yearly and not a one-time payment,” said McConnell, “If there’s any money left over, the people who are really sick and not just trying to get something for nothing will get a little of it in the form of low-interest loans.”

McConnell characterized the tentative bill as a “win-win” situation. “People who have complained about their health care coverage can soon rest assured that the insurance industry will now just take the money and not provide anything,” he said, “So they won’t have to fight with insurance companies any more. And those who’ve complained that the American health care system has the highest administrative costs of any health care system in the industrialized world will see those costs virtually disappear. And now we can give the insurance companies a well-deserved rest after their years of service to the American people.”

Other worries remained however. After years of captivity by the insurance industry, many experts fear that the health care has suffered so much that when it returns, it will be only a weak shadow of the Canadian and British health care systems. And it remained unclear, after the several billion dollar ransom payment, how much money would be left over to bring it back into any viable condition.

“If it’s too weak to survive then it’s too weak to survive,” said McConnell, “As Republicans, we’re willing to give it the same opportunity we give everyone in this country—a chance to survive on its own.”

President Obama however sought to reassure the American people. “Yes, the health care system will be weak for a while,” he said, “But I intend to infuse it with strong doses of flourishing oratory and robust promises, and that’s as good as chicken soup any day.”