Tag Archives: healthcare reform

Keeping America Ugly

Now that healthcare reform has been passed into law, we’ve seen full-blown outrage from conservative commentators, teabaggers, and unnaturally orange-skinned people (…a tax on indoor tanning??  How will we keep the Jersey economy afloat?).  This trifecta has argued that as healthcare poison gets jammed down our throats, the country will almost certainly spiral into a welfare state of doom.

Even though I can’t identify with teabagging, Beck-watching fist pumpers, I do have some concerns about the healthcare reform.  On the whole, I agree with the concept: everyone should have access to healthcare.  But like any government plan, this reform is riddled with unintended consequences.  By forcing insurance on the 46 million who are currently uninsured, we also introduce moral hazard into the system: now that those people have insurance, they may be more likely to do stupid things, like give birth to octuplets or get the (golf) clap from Tiger Woods.

To solve this problem, there should be a greater focus on preventative measures.  For example, I am a rather repulsive high-volume eater.  When we go out to eat, my family often orders 7 entrees for 4 people.  One time, we were asked to move to a bigger table so that the restaurant could accommodate all the food.  A few months ago, a friend and I went out to dinner in Union Square, where we split a fried appetizer, each ate a huge entree (I got a pork chop), and then ordered a bread pudding to share… but the dessert was so good that we ordered another one (and ate it all).  That night, I had to sleep sitting up in my bed.

I never count calories, I rarely exercise, and I’ve been known to unbutton my pants at the dinner table.  Essentially, I am a rather disgusting example of American excess, flying in the face of our mission to Keep America Beautiful.  But even with all that, I’m not (yet) a blubbery whale.  I can still fit into clothes that I wore in high school, and I can wear skinny jeans without being ironic.  At the same time, I’m totally testing the system.  Eventually, nature and logic will have its way with me, and I’ll end up ferrying my fat self around on a scooter that you will pay for through your taxes.  So in order for you to make me change my atrocious ways now, you need the system to punish me.  Because unless it’s costing me something  significant today, I won’t stop eating mac and cheese in bed.

There are promising preventative statutes included in the plan now (like the tanning tax), but we could use more of these so-called Pigovian taxes: cigarette taxes, alcohol taxes, soda taxes, candy taxes, etc.  I’m sure that the ultra-conservative Pigou Club would argue that the negative externalities associated with unhealthy people is minimal… but now that we have a universal healthcare system, perhaps they’ll reconsider.

Punishing bad behavior is controversial, yes.  But I ate 3 steaks in 3 days this past weekend, and I think we can all agree — that’s not just bad, it’s ugly.

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Booty Calls for Reform

For over a year, I have been receiving emails from BarackObama.com.  I’ve received all types of messages, from ones imploring me to vote, defending TARP, and refuting “scare tactics”… to other messages peddling Obama holiday mugs.

On Monday, I received the following e-mail from Jeremy Bird at BarackObama.com: “Your place Wednesday night?”  Whoa.  Easy now, slugger.  I expect to get these types of messages from Match.com and spammers selling fake Viagara, but not from Barack Obama.  

I realize that Obama’s image has taken a hit with the recent town halls, but trying to seduce your followers with cutesy e-mails about healthcare reform might not help.  I half-expected to see an emoticon wink at me in the subject line, followed by a message flaunting “Booty Call for Reform” mugs.

I’m hoping that Obama’s speech will help Americans better understand healthcare reform, including me.  And yes, Jeremy, I’ll be at my place tonight. 😉

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The Six Degrees of Barack Obama Brainwashing America’s Children

As Labor Day Weekend has passed, it’s officially the end of summer.  College football season has begun, Congress will be back in session soon, and I have retired all my white clothes.  So now it’s back to politics as usual.  The Obama administration is confronting several challenges this fall, including the ever-contentious healthcare bill.  Not since Adam vs. Kris has the public been so vehemently divided.

But even though Obama is facing his worst approval rating since being in office, the administration is taking steps to push through his ambitious agenda.  On Tuesday, Obama  plans to address schoolchildren in a controversial back-to-school speech.  The “controversy” has been stoked by conservatives who fear that Obama is trying to brainwash our kids with socialist talk.  Well if that’s true, I’m definitely not letting the POTUS around my [hypothetical] kids.  I mean, who does he think he is, Big Bird?  What other brainwashing is Obama capable of?

To investigate this brainwashing claim further, I decided to look at some of the top stories from Labor Day weekend.  It appears the Obama conspiracy machine is even stronger than we thought.  We always knew that the mainstream media was in his back pocket; but now, it looks like Obama’s encroaching upon Kevin Bacon territory.

The following is an example of Obama’s liberal mind control with the top stories during Labor Day Weekend: as you can see, it all comes back to him.

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(Starting at the top, going clockwise)

  • Obama Brainwashes Kids: On Monday, Obama released the text for his speech to schoolchildren, emphasizing the importance of education, and encouraging kids to stay in school.  This is ironic, given…
  • Sam Bradford Injures Shoulder: On Saturday, last year’s Heisman Trophy winner injured his shoulder after being slammed to the ground during a game versus BYU.  Bradford, who would have been the probable #1 pick in this year’s NFL draft, instead chose to stay in school.  Hmm, there goes millions of dollars — but at least he has a University of Oklahoma education!  Yet, Bradford’s injury was not the only football story of the weekend…
  • Shawn Merriman and Tila Tequila Battle it Out: On Sunday, San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawn Merriman was taken into custody following a domestic dispute with TV personality Tila Tequila.  It’s another classic case of angry football player beating his intoxicated, bisexual reality star girlfriend.  The likely aftermath is that the charges will get dropped, Merriman will go on to the Pro Bowl, and Tila Tequila will get another VH1 show out of it (my suggestion: “A Stranglehold on Love, With Tila Tequila”).  It’s not often that you get earnest headlines like the following: “Tequila denies being drunk.”  But the 4’11” Tequila was not the only undersized girl to survive a beating this weekend…
  • Melanie Oudin Shocks Russia: American tennis upstart Melanie Oudin, 17, stunned three Russian opponents on the way to her first US Open quarterfinal.  Playing three grueling three-set matches within the week, Oudin knocked off opponents who were, on average, bigger (five inches taller), stronger (fifteen pounds heavier), and older (at least five years, with Petrova and Dementieva both a full decade past Melanie’s 17 years).  The fact that all three opponents were Russian is interesting, given…
  • More Troops Requested in Afghanistan: The 1979 Soviet War in Afghanistan lasted nine years, and is frequently referred to as “Russia’s Vietnam.”  Can we avoid the same fate, or is the U.S. headed for Vietnam II?  Last week, Gen. McChrystal, who is leading American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, requested that more troops be brought in to stabilize the country.  Obama is expected to confer with advisors on the troop increase this week.  However, he will be without one of his most trusted advisors, Senator Ted Kennedy…
  • Candidates Emerging for Senator Kennedy’s Seat: A special election for Kennedy’s Senate seat has been scheduled for January 19, 2010.  Joe Kennedy (Ted’s nephew) has already said he won’t run. Vicki Kennedy (Ted’s widow) has privately denied claims as well.  So if it’s not a Kennedy, who will it be?  Rumored contenders range from Martha Coakley (Massachusetts attorney general) to Curt Schilling (of bloody sock lore).  But if Kennedy’s Senate seat falls into the hands of a (gasp!) Republican, the Dems may not get the 60 votes needed to stave off filibusters and pass healthcare reform.  Which brings us right back to…

Obama.  That’s right.  Not only is Obama turning our children into liberal monsters, but he’s monopolized the news as well.  Thus, this proves that the Obama spin machine is genius when it comes to keeping his brainwashy policies top-of-mind.  So, keep an eye on your kids now that they’re back in school.  I know that my [hypothetical] children are getting nowhere near Big Bird Obama.  Or Shawn Merriman, for that matter.

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Are We Regressing?

EVOLUTION3

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Are You Ready for Some Football? (As In, Are You Ready for A Public Option?)

On Tuesday, the biggest story of the day was whether the public option had officially come out of retirement.  Last week, after President Obama downplayed its importance as just a “sliver” of healthcare reform, the public option had all but cleaned out its locker.  Political pundits immediately jumped on the story, claiming that the White House was “ready to drop [the] public option” and that Obama had “killed” it.  (The killing was all done with the blessing of the death panel, of course.)

On Tuesday, however, the public option made a comeback.  Robert Gibbs told press correspondents that Obama indeed “prefers a public option” and that it’s still a “priority.”   Sixty House Democrats sent Kathleen Sebelius a love letter,  imploring her to save the public option.  Even Howard Dean made the rounds, saying that reform would not be possible without it… Yeeeaaaah!

Given the denials, the backpedaling, and all the ups and downs, polls show that Americans are getting sick of this talk.  We just want to know what will happen next.

favreWell, here is where a Brett Favre analogy can help.  Favre is a Hall of Fame quarterback specializing in football and flippy floppies.  He retired from the Green Bay Packers in March 2008, un-retired in August 2008 to play for the Jets, re-retired from the Jets in February 2009, and then un-re-retired just yesterday, announcing his intention to play for the Vikings.

With the public option, we’ve already done the retirement waffle dance.  Now, it’s gametime.  If we follow the Brett Favre Story, then we have a few more months of “will they” or “won’t they.”  Once it’s decided upon that the public option will be included in the healthcare bill, it’ll keep things close… but in the end, it will ultimately fold under pressure.  It will naturally stay in the pocket too long, get kicked around by angry Republicans clawing for a win in 2010, and toss up an ill-timed pass into coverage that will get intercepted by a watered-down bill of “reform.”  Then, defeated once again, the public option shall retire to a field of diminutive co-ops, rising healthcare costs, and Wrangler jeans, forever reminiscing about the days of Obamacare and greener pastures by the bay.

It may be a stretch… but Favre did throw 22 interceptions last year.  This won’t end well.

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Healthcare Reform for The Old and the Lethargic

During the past week, we found out about two high-profile affairs (Rick Pitino and Bernie Madoff), learned the fate of two embattled NFL athletes (Michael Vick and Donte Stallworth), and watched as Miley Cyrus danced on a stripper pole.  Yes, the second week of August had sex, sports, and scandal…

And yet, all anyone wants to talk about is healthcare reform. (That makes me happy, even if it means we have to hear from people like Katy Abram.)

daysofourlivesOf course, healthcare reform has been a pretty juicy topic.  Much of the past week was a soap opera of sorts, with quite a bit of melodramatic yelling, crying, and confusion.  Did Barack put out a hit on Sarah Palin’s son?  Did Chuck Grassley just stab Barack in the back?  Are Sarah and Chuck getting it on in the Aetna executive boardroom?

Like every good soap opera, we have an array of villains and the constant threat of violence (thanks Second Amendment!).   But unlike currently televised soap operas where it’s easy to spot the villain (it’s the man with the bulging neck), the healthcare reform soap leaves it up to you.  Are you convinced that wily Sarah is making up incendiary lies to discredit Barack?  Or do you think Barack wants to euthanize the elderly?  It’s a tough call.

Either way, I’m excited to see how this ends.  Will Sarah’s premonition come true in Guiding (Grandma’s) Light?  Will we see Chuck and Barack make up in One Life to Give?  Will our universal healthcare plan see defeat in As the World Turns Socialist?

I know one thing: this is way more exciting than General Hospital.

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The Sleeping Giant Has Been Awakened!

I wish all town hall participants would be gracious enough to come on national TV and get completely undressed like this.  I almost felt bad for Katy Abram, since she was obviously overmatched.  At one point, she offered up the following as her excuse: “Maybe I’m just not that smart.”

Well… you ARE fighting a mission to deny your parents Social Security and Medicare on the grounds that if George Washington didn’t come up with it, then it must be a dangerous, socialist tool that will turn Americans into Russians.

But at least you admit to it.

After watching this, I tried not to immediately judge Katy… Perhaps she was intimidated by Larry O’Donnell, who is my new favorite MSNBC anchor.  But then I saw this clip of her from Sean Hannity’s show (below), where once again, she sounds like she’s reciting pop-up books about the Founders.  As Hannity showers her with praise, Katy espouses her great affection for the Constitution and all things George Washington.  I’m guessing that G-Dubs is cringing in his grave (he only rolls over for Arlen Specter).

Then, a twist!  Hannity reveals that Katy had once voted for Clinton!  And she admits that in her youthful, photojournalist days, she believed in abortion!  Oh God… The GOP have stopped printing the ‘Katy in 2012’ signs.

Thankfully, she met that husband of hers, who (in addition to managing all the money) guided her towards the righteous, tax-free, Republican way.  Or else Katy Abram would have continued down the fiery path towards un-American liberal hell, and nobody would know who she was today.

After the Hardball interview, I bet she would prefer the latter.

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