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Dave Barry on Health Reform

13 Jan

Dave Barry is one of the most hilarious syndicated humor columnists of which I am aware. He recently did a year-in-review piece for Slate. You can read the whole thing here. The part that made me chuckle the most–or at least the part that is most relevant to reproduce on this blog–was his take on health reform. Here it is:

“Let’s put this year into a full-body scanner and check out its junk, starting with …

JANUARY
… which begins grimly, with the pesky unemployment rate remaining high. Every poll shows that the major concerns of the American people are federal spending, the exploding deficit, and — above all — jobs. Jobs, jobs, jobs: This is what the public is worried about. In a word, the big issue is: jobs. So the Obama administration, displaying the keen awareness that has become its trademark, decides to focus like a laser on: health-care reform. The centerpiece of this effort is a historic bill that will either a) guarantee everybody excellent free health care, or b) permit federal bureaucrats to club old people to death. Nobody knows which, because nobody has read the bill, which in printed form has the same mass as a UPS truck.

The first indication that the health-care bill is not wildly popular comes when Republican Scott Brown, who opposes the bill, is elected to the U.S. Senate by Massachusetts voters, who in normal times would elect a crustacean before they would vote Republican. The vote shocks the Obama administration, which — recognizing that it is perceived as having its priorities wrong — decides that the president will make a series of high-profile speeches on the urgent need for: health-care reform…..

Speaking of celebrations in…

MARCH
… Democratic congressional leaders, responding to polls showing that the health-care bill is increasingly unpopular with the public, manage, with a frantic, last-minute effort, to pass the health-care bill, or, at least, a giant mass of paper that is assumed to be the health-care bill. This leads to a triumphant White House signing ceremony, the highlight of which is Vice President Joe “Joe” Biden dropping the f-bomb moments before being hustled off by aides to have an important meeting with somebody important.

Everyone at the ceremony agrees that the new law is historic and will become hugely popular with the American people once they have the opportunity to hear a few dozen more high-profile speeches about it from Obama. But opposition is “brewing” in the form of the Tea Party movement, consisting of regular Americans who are fed up with costly big-government programs except for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. These activists are determined to elect a new breed of representatives who are not career politicians or even necessarily sane…..

Getting back to reality: The 2010 election season enters its final days with polls showing that Congress enjoys the same overall level of voter popularity as hemorrhoids. Incumbents swarm out of Washington and head for their home districts to campaign on the theme of how much they hate Washington, in the desperate hope that the voters will return them to Washington. Obama, basking in the glow of the health-care reform act, offers to campaign for Democratic candidates, only to find that many of them have important dental appointments and are unable to join him on whatever day he is planning to visit. Adding zest to the Republican stew is the presence of many Tea Party candidates, including Delaware Senate hopeful Christine O’Donnell, who at one point in her campaign releases a TV commercial that begins with her stating, in a calm and reassuring tone, that she is not a witch….

The economy remains the big theme as the congressional elections enter the home stretch, with incumbents from both parties declaring their eagerness to go back to Washington and knock some sense into whatever incompetent morons are in charge. Polls show that the voters are in a very cranky mood, which tends to favor outsiders such as the Tea Party candidates, although O’Donnell definitely hurts her chances in Delaware when, during a televised debate, she turns her opponent into a toad….

Speaking of gory, in …

NOVEMBER
… the elections turn out to be a bloodbath for the Democrats, who lose the House of Representatives, a bunch of Senate seats, some governorships, some state legislatures and all of the key student council races. Also, a number of long-term Democratic incumbents are urinated on by their own dogs. Obama immediately departs for a nine-day trip to Asia to see if anybody over there wants to hear about the benefits of health-care reform.”

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Posted by on January 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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