Thursday, March 02, 2017

GOP launches effort to replace Obamacare with something that works (Satire)

Republican leaders in the House and Senate held a press conference today to announce their plan to replace the failing health care system in the United States.  Speaker of the House Paul Ryan spoke about their comprehensive solution by describing the thinking process that went into the development of the plan.

“After much deliberation and thought, we have come to a consensus that Obamacare has failed our great country, and that our citizens deserve better.  The principles that guided the development of this plan were articulated very well by his speech on Tuesday night.  Those principles are to expand choice, increase access, lower costs, and at the same time, provide better health care," Ryan said.

“This new plan will allow our young people to remain on their parents plans, will not discriminate against preexisting conditions, will provide choices in the marketplace for health care insurance and doctors, will pay doctors and health care facilities fairly for the wonderful work they do taking care of our citizens, and will help state governments provide for their people by moving decision making power out of the hands of a federal bureaucracy.”

Ryan pledged that nobody currently covered by a plan that came from the Affordable Care Act would lose coverage, and that the 20 million people who still do not have coverage will get access to a doctor soon under the new plan.

“Families in our country are hurting, and we have to fix this dire problem with a solution that works for everyone.”

When asked for specifics, Speaker Ryan said “everywhere you now see Obamacare or the ACA, you will now be required to call our healthcare system by a new name.  You can call it Trumpcare if you like, but after consultations with our base, we have come up with a new name that pleases everyone.  Let the word go forth that the new standard of care on our nation is the American GAS Act.  This will solve all of our problems, I guarantee it.”

Democratic minority leader Nancy Pelosi responded to the Speaker's announcement by asking reporters to look carefully at the details of the legislation and inform the American people that as citizens it is our responsibility to be aware of what is happening on Capitol Hill.  “The exact details of how much tax money it will take to change all references in our laws and administrative procedures, not to mention mandating that all media outlets begin using the new name for our health care system, Trumpcare, is not known yet, and we look forward to those discussions.”

When asked what Pelosi thought of the change to the American GAS Act, she replied, “I will need to speak with Speaker Ryan about what he thinks it stands for, but I'm confident that it means what I think it means after the President's speech.  America gives a shit.  I suppose the base that he was referring to was the oil and gas industry, and they came up with the idea because that industry wanted more advertising.  But then you never know.”

“But please realize,” she concluded, “that this new Act by Congress does not actually repeal any of the aspects of the previous law.  Because all of those provisions are extremely popular with the American People, and even this President is smart enough to realize that removing health care access from people is a bad idea today.  So we'll see what happens but I am of course hopeful for our future.”

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The most terrifying words...

In 1980, while running for US President, Ronald Reagan described the nine most terrifying words in the English language. "I'm from the government and I'm here to help." This was a libertarian battle cry, and it described a world where the free market reined supreme.
It also told the people of my country that we were on our own. That the government was not here to support them, that it didn't care whether we worked or starved, lived or died. That our incoming President of the United States did not care whether we worked or starved, lived or died. Being eleven years old in 1980 I remember watching this speech on television, but I don't remember my grandparent's reaction. Probably because they had left the room in disgust. Being of the Greatest Generation, they knew exactly how much of a lie that was.
In 2003, I heard nine words over the telephone that terrified me. "The results came back, and your cancer is confirmed." I have never been so scared in my life. I was actually at work, and so the first person that I was able to talk to was my supervisor and department director. They could see how scared I was. And they had my back. My employer based health insurance covered it. Without that insurance, my wife and I would likely have had to sell our condo. But not everyone has an employer with the resources and willingness to provide great health insurance to their employees. And so many of our people don't have employers at all, either self employed or not employed. What were they supposed to do if they ever got a phone call like that?
That's why I started getting politically active in 2003. That's why I worked my way up the ranks within the Democratic Party to Chair of my local party organization, and that's why when Bernie Sanders put out the call for Medicare for All in 2015, I dropped everything to help him. Longshot, yes. But my fight with cancer was a shot across the bow, and I wasn't going to take no for an answer.
At the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, I stood watching and listening on Thursday night hoping that the winner of the Democratic Primary would say the right thing. These are the words that she used: "If you believe that every man, woman, and child in America has the right to affordable health care, join us." I sat down, devastated. I said then and I say now that we need to do better than that.
This morning I was checking my phone, and someone I got to know during the campaign told me the four most terrifying words in English language. "I don't have insurance." This is a mother with kids, someone who cares about her community and wants to build her community. And she is worried about getting sick. This is not acceptable. This is not tolerable. This is why I fight, and will not stop fighting until we never, EVER, hear those words from anyone in our country again.