Friday, March 26, 2010

Broken News: Obama heralds passing of health care bill: "Look out Chile, we're coming for you"

WASHINGTON DC—After the final reconciliation measures were passed by the House yesterday and signed into law by the President early this morning the health care battle, at long last, seems to be over. The war, however, is just beginning.

At an afternoon press conference, President Obama pledged that these newly passed reforms were just the opening gambit in what he called a full-fledged assault on the United States not having as embarrassing a world health care ranking as it previously had.

“People of America,” the President began. “This is not the end of the road, merely a humble beginning. With the dreams of generations and the hopes of millions behind it, I say this: no longer with American health care languish in the low thirties of World Health Organization rankings, near such counties as Slovenia or Cuba. No, America is on a trajectory that will carry us at least into the low-30s or so. To the nations of the world, to Denmark, to Chile, to Australia I say, we are coming for you and we will not be stopped!”

In closing he added, “I’m serious. We’re fucking gunning for you, Chile! That #33 ranking is ours!”

The short speech confirmed what many had assumed to be one of the larger, unmentioned goals of the health reform movement: negating the “No, try 37th” response from other countries that greeted the American declarations of “US health care, #1 in the world, baby!” often punctuated by a “Yeeeeee haaaaaaaw,” the sounding of an air horn, the pained howling of a basset hound, the waving of a foam “#1” finger, or the throttled revving of the engine of a Harley-Davidson.

Indeed, while evaluating the fiscal impact of the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the Congressional Budget Office factored in a decrease in the level of shame and self-delusion afflicting one who made the grievously inaccurate, yet unsurprisingly common assertion about about the supremacy of American health care.

As to to why the President has set his sights to squarely on usurping Chile is another question entirely.

“I know people might see Chile’s #33 ranking and ask if that isn’t too low-hanging a fruit and if we shouldn’t place our aims higher,” observed Douglas Elmendorf, head of the CBO. “Actually, strike that. Americans certainly wouldn’t be thinking about fruit; when they think of Chile they think of baby-back ribs or jalapeño poppers or something. Hence, the need for health reform. But still, I think that if this protracted legislative process has taught us anything it’s that the President is extremely pragmatic.”

“Extremely, infuriatingly, maddeningly, counter-productively pragmatic,” Elmendorf grumbled. “Besides, do you think we could honestly make a run at Finland at #31? Scandinavian health care? Uh-uh. Chile is the safe bet.”

Health analysts noted that Chile’s recent propensity for apocalyptic earthquakes and the general US-backed instability of the entirety of Latin America make it a prime target.

“They’re just one more 8.0 away from sliding into the sea,” observed health policy analyst Dana Garrett. “Given these new reforms and a spot of good weather, we ought to be able to crawl up a few spots and wait for Mother Nature to do the rest. If we can trust to the inveterate alcoholism of the Australian people, not to mention their well-known propensity for drag racing through the post-apocalyptic wastes of their homeland, we might have a decent shot at #32.”

Spokesmen for the government note that this should be a happy time for the country.

“Look, soon we’ll be able to hold our heads up with a mild sense of pride in what we begrudgingly allowed our health care system to become,” said White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. “Be happy. Not as happy as you would have been had Congress and the President decided that something other than mandatory enrollment in the insurance industry's programs with minor tweaks to the law saying they can’t be as huge a group of bastards anymore, but happy nonetheless.”

Sources within the government say that the President hopes to have usurped Chile’s position by 2015 and have the country ready to make a move on Finland by the end of his second term, provided the insurance and pharmaceutical industries allow further tweaks to the health care system and factoring in a retasking of the CIA’s earthquake causing satellite to Helsinki.

No comments: