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Today is: Saturday, October 25, 2014

Tag: health care

Republicans Claim Victory in Passing Healthcare Reform

WASHINGTON — In an apparent about-face, members of the Republican party are not only embracing the recently passed healthcare reform legislation as their own, but insisting its success stems from two minor provisions GOP leaders insisted be stricken from the bill on a technicality.

The minor provisions, dealing with Pell grants for low-income college students, were deemed to be improperly included in the so-called “fix-it” bill after being brought to the attention of the parliamentarian by Senate Republicans, and were subsequently deleted.

Although the bill passed both houses of Congress without a single Republican vote, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell claimed victory at a fundraiser last night. “With the deletion of these two wayward provisions,” he declared, “we at last have affordable health care for all Americans.”

House Minority Leader John Boehner expressed his dismay at the way Democrats are “trying to take credit” for the job the Senate Republicans did in finding the errant provisions.

“Will we let the Democrats claim victory, when it was the Republicans who reshaped the legislation with the discovery of this technicality?” asked Boehner. “Hell No!”

In a CNN interview, RNC Chairman Michael Steele told Larry King that the deletion of the two provisions is “the result of Republican ideas and conservative values.” He predicted Democrats will have a “tough time” in the upcoming midterms elections “once the remaining, properly included provisions of this historic Republican health care package kick in and sick people are getting healthy.”

In a letter on his website McConnell explained to constituents who are suffering with life threatening conditions, that their health insurance companies can no longer drop them due to the “historic Republican deletions of two minor provisions, which led to the passage of major health care reform in this country.”

McConnell said that were it not for the Republicans, the Democrats would have let the legislation pass with the two minor provisions still intact. President Obama, he noted, had no problem in keeping the provisions in the bill, even though they did not pass parliamentary muster.

“The Obama administration is a failed presidency,” added Boehner. “I believe that’s the last black president we’ll see for several centuries.”

Confused Tea Party members have gathered in Washington D.C. to figure out what position to take. “We’re basically against the legislation — I think,” said one member, “but, I suppose we’ll be giving this whole issue another look.”

Violence against elected officials has died down, as the nation’s vandals wrestle with determining which party deserves bricks hurled through the windows of its field offices.

“With health care reform under our belt,” McConnell told reporters, “the GOP looks forward to devising more innovative ways to take credit for not passing legislation to meet the challenges facing future generations of Americans.”

Americans Turn to Haiti for Medical Care

PORT-AU-PRICE, Haiti — Scores of ailing Americans arrive in this impoverished country by the hour, seeking life-saving medical treatment — unavailable to them in the states — from the best doctors and nurses to be found anywhere in the world.

Bookkeeper Jerry Arlindi always considered himself fortunate to be covered by the “cream of the crop” health insurance policy provided through his employer. When he was diagnosed with liver cancer last September, however, insurer Blue Shield sent him a letter denying coverage, calling the disease “too icky for us to handle.”

Without proper medical care, Arlindi knew he would die within the year, but lacked the financial resources to get treatment on his own. After months of anguish, during which time he wrote his will and said “goodbye” to his friends and family, a devastating 7.0 earthquake struck the tiny island nation. Things started looking up.

Arlindi called it “a gift from God.”

“The best doctors in the world have set up shop in Haiti,” he noted, “and they’re providing their services for free.”

To stay alive, Arlindi knew he would have to travel to the devastated third-world country.

He signed up as a volunteer at the local Red Cross chapter. After a brief training period, he was on a plane, arriving at the Port-au-Prince airport last Thursday.

So far, his trip has been a success. Last night he was operated on by a team of Belgian surgeons aboard the USNS Comfort, the Navy’s floating hospital. Doctors said they were able to remove all the malignant tissue, and even “a few growths from under my chin.”

“He was lucky,” said Dr. Arngun Bertelsmann. “It’s unlikely he would have survived another week without the surgery.”

Arlindi is recuperating alongside dozens of Haitian earthquake victims, lying on a hammock under a large makeshift canopy on the warm shore of the Caribbean.

Over 3 million Americans with serious medical conditions will come to Haiti over the next 12 months, according to some estimates. Bertelsmann said those numbers will ensure that he and his colleagues have enough volunteer work to keep them busy for years.

“I am grateful to the United States,” he said, “for allowing me to practice my trade 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with no sleep.”

Impressed with the quick and effective treatment received by Arlindi and others, Blue Shield has begun referring all its customers who have “health related issues” to Haiti for “treatment, cure and/or burial.”

“It’s innovations like this,” said a spokesperson for the insurance giant, “that allow Blue Shield to hire and retain the highest paid executives in the health care industry.”

GOP Opposes 'Public Option' for Haitians

WASHINGTON — Republican lawmakers today strongly condemned President Obama’s use of a government funded “public option” to provide medical aid to Haitian earthquake victims.

“We don’t want the government to get between Haitians and their doctors,” said Congressman Buck McKeon (R-CA). “The Haitian people should be free to choose their own health care plan in the context of a free-market.”

Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) likened sending American doctors to aid the sick and poor in Haiti to the Canadian health care system.

“The government’s going to botch it up,” asserted McConnell.  “Haitians have no choice as to which doctor will tend to them, and the doctors, in turn, have no incentive to provide quality care to the Haitians. You think the doctors have flown hundreds of miles to care for these people out of the kindness of their hearts?”

McConnell proposed legislation that would allow Blue Cross and Blue Shield to offer health insurance to the Haitians, giving individual victims of the disaster an opportunity to select which plan best suits them and their families.

Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin remarked that U.S. assistance for Haiti sounded to her like socialism.  Saying she has the best interests of the island nation at heart because she can see it from her living room window, Palin added that requiring Haitian businesses to provide health insurance to their employees would be “disastrous to the thriving Haitian economy.”

In a segment on his daily radio show, Rush Limbaugh accused the President of “kowtowing” to the Haitians.

“What are we doing in Haiti?” asked Limbaugh. “The President is throwing away millions of dollars in humanitarian aid to care for impoverished, dying people as a way to distract Americans from the fact that his party will be losing their majority in the midterm elections.”

Limbaugh said the Haitians are a proud people who would rather be left alone to bleed to death on the side of the road than endure a health care system administered by the same bureaucrats in Washington who bungled Medicare.

“This is just another bailout,” decried former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. “It’s unfortunate Obama has chosen to save thousands of lives on the backs of the American taxpayer.”

A massive “tea party” has been planned on the steps of the collapsed National Palace in Port-au-Prince.  “We encourage the Haitian people to join the revolt,” Gingrich told a small crowd of parched and wounded Haitians. “Send a signal to President Obama not to mess with your health care.”