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.”