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Satire: What I Learned From the President’s Speech

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I learned a great deal from the president's health care speech last night, much of which I believe it is my duty as a good American to share with other good Americans. (Bad Americans, please stop reading.) This is what I learned:

The man is so smooth, he could clean the barnacles off a boat simply by smiling at them.

Democrats are about the most fidgety people on the face of the earth. Someone should tell them to sit down, shut up, and listen. Honestly, they’d have been up clapping and cheering if Obama farted.

Republicans are so rude they even piss themselves off. It’s like being at a kindergarten recess. Not just the “you’re a fucking, goddamn, pig-headed, moronic, self-indulgent, socialist, anti-American, card-carrying commie liar,” which some guy in a bar next to me shouted at some point, but the snickering, booing, and an unintelligible remark from some Congressman from somewhere other than Illinois.

Health care is a good thing. We need it, particularly sick people who are likely to die without it. (Unless of course you have to go to a hospital where recent studies have found you’re 73% more likely to die from a hospital-based infection than whatever you were admitted for.)

American health care is not the best in the world; simply the most expensive. (Unless you’re a member of Congress or the President.) However, if we just do everything the president tells us, we will have the best health care system in the world, and it won’t increase the budget deficit by one thin dime.

The president will never make us give up our current health care plans — which really sucks since, personally, we’re paying an arm and a leg for health care that would kill a horse, which is nothing compared to this couple we know who are paying $300 each and every month plus a huge deductible for health insurance. That’s $36,000 a year plus probably ten grand in deductibles. They’ll probably have to get cancer of the entire corpus delectable for that insurance to pay off.

Insurance companies want to do the right thing, but this pesky little annoyance called profit is forcing them to kill sick people.

The president is not in favor of government-sponsored death panels. He figures the insurance companies are doing well enough at that without any government help.

The new regulations that will be imposed upon insurance companies will leave us with the same sense of trust and faith in them that we do in banks.

Anyone who wants an abortion will have to go to Mexico unless that person is an illegal immigrant. The president wasn’t clear about what pregnant illegal immigrants should do if they want abortions. Maybe go to Canada?

Health care is not a partisan issue, although it may be a religious one since some preacher out west is praying for Obama to die which is definitely not good health care. Republicans and Democrats can work together for the good of America. They can also bring about world peace which is a good thing except that it will deprive Miss America pageant contestants of one sure winner answer to the toughest question they get from the panel of judges.

No one is going to be allowed to say untrue things about the president’s health care proposals any more. If they do, Obama is going to call them out. Or ask them out. Well, it’s something to do with out and it doesn’t sound like a good thing. So from now on, we can be confident that we’re hearing the truth about health care reform.

Or, in the words of the immortal Country Joe and The Fish, “Whoopee, we’re all going to die.”

Finally, I learned that President Obama is the last president who will promote health care reform. I don’t know how he knows this. Maybe he talked with Nancy Reagan’s astrologer or channeled some spirit or maybe it’s true that the ghosts of future presidents walk the halls of the White House. Whatever, it’s pretty weird as well as scary given how much we need health care reform, so we’d better get our asses in gear and do something.

In Jameson Veritas

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About Mark Schannon

Retired crisis & risk manager/communications expert; extensive public relations experience in most areas over 30 years. Still available for extraordinary opportunities of mind-numbing complexity. Life-long liberal agnostic...or is that agnostic liberal.
  • Mark Schannon

    Hey there Jet. A little late seeing this. How’re you doing? Better I hope.

    And you don’t have to do anything with me–i’ve done enough to myself by myself, LOL.

    Cindy. Glad you liked article. I’m slogging through that book on evolutionary psychology & so far it doesn’t sound very radical.

    In Jameson Veritas

  • Mark,

    Oooops…just remembered I never replied to that article you sent (though I read it)…I wandered away for some reason b4 responding….acute induced partial attention deficit…yeah…that sounds like what I have.

    The article…very interesting, not just because of the evolutionary angle either, I’m serious about relating to that partial attention thingy.

  • Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark Mark… oh Mark, what are we to do with you?

  • Mark Schannon


    Glad you enjoyed it & glad you have a life outside the internet. And more times than I’d care to admit I share your view of the future.

    Silas, go get ’em. I can’t figure out the right wingers at all. Fiddling while Rome burns. Strange times we inhabit.

    In Jameson Veritas

  • Sorry I missed this when it first came out, but I have an alternate, non-internet life.

    Yikes. Was that a dig? Anyway, what did I learn from Barack Obama’s speech? I learned that Joe Wilson is an asshole who proves that Soutrh Carolina should not have been readmitted to the Union after the Civil War. I learned that Eric Cantor is a rude, self-centered piece of white trash who sets a bad example for the rest of us. Why should we legislate regulations against text messaging while driving when this effeminate little Napoleon-like twit sits through the President’s entire speech and Twitters like a high school girl in heat? Inasmuch as I’ve always respected Orrin Hatch, his little cell phone photo taking session during the speech was another example of how technology has infected our representatives to Congress and in effect has caused them to set a poor example for the rest of society.

    And, in an effort to be “fair and balanced”, Nancy Pelosi’s little emotional outburst yesterday proves to me once and for all that she should NOT be Speaker of the House. The problem is that Nancy Pelosi speaks the truth, it was her delivery that was all wrong. What happened to George Moscone and Harvey Milk was a tragedy. And, if there is a Hell, Dan White is there in his full glory. The vitriol generated from the far right is a cancer on American society. And, more specifically, the conservative, closeted gay community within the Beltway is a more aggressive form of that social cancer. As far as I’m concerned, it is high time for more moderate members of the LGBT community to call out and expose those people. While “fagot” may be politically incorrect, no epithet better defines them with Larry Craig being the High Priestess of hypocrisy.

    Do I sound pissed off? You bet I am. I’m disgusted with the hate, division and lack of civility. America needs a political bloodbath with campaign finance reformers leading the charge. The Christian community needs to purge itself of the extremists with the vengeance of Caligula.

  • Sorry I missed this when it first came out, but I have an alternate, non-internet life.

    Mark, I appreciate your wry sense of humor. As I am fond of saying these days, the only good thing about the future is that I’ll be dead for it.

  • Clavos

    I’m older than dirt, Mark.

    My PPO is an employer plan (my wife’s – I’m self employed), so it’s a so-called “gold-plated” plan which covers pretty much everything relatively inexpensively ($1,000 monthly premium). We’ve never been turned down for anything, and my wife gets a LOT of MRIs, PET and CAT scans, etc., plus twice a week full panel blood tests, weekly urinalysis/cultures, assorted sonograms, EKGs and EEGs, etc.). She’s been a Medicare patient for several years now, so the PPO is her secondary insurance now, but I didn’t bother to get Medicare because the PPO is better. It’s worth noting that my wife’s been sick much longer than she’s had Medicare, and the PPO covered everything back then, before Medicare.

    But, it IS an employer plan, not an individual one.

  • Mark Schannon

    Clavos, I don’t know how old you are, but I’ve suffered through HMOs & now have a PPO plan. Next year, our premiums will rise 33 1/3% to $2000 a month! That plus $5k each in deductibles. Add to that the insurance company’s tendency to loose expensive reimbursement forms. I’m about to contact the insurance commissioner in our state since we’ve mailed & faxed the forms to the idiots at the insurance company 5 times, no exaggeration, already.

    So, yeah, we can get great health care, but since we’re not getting employer health care, it’s all out of our pockets. We’re lucky we can afford it.

    And that’s what I find missing in all this bullshit from both sides of the debate–the outrageous behavior of insurance companies, their death squads, and the way they pervert the very nature of insurance.

    Phew. What a rant.

    Baritone, we came very close to the situation you’re in with your wife. It’s terrifying & absurd but you know it’s your own fault, right? I mean, you wouldn’t want some socialist commie president to put the screws to the insurance/medical conglomerates to start treating people fairly would you?

    Finally, can you see Pelosi gaffawing? Biden, sure, but Pelosi? But probably have the Dems would have farted along in harmony while the Reps held hearings.

    In Jameson Veritas

  • Clavos

    I am a VA patient, B-tone, but only for my service-connected stuff, though as a Category 1 patient I can have anything I need, including vision care and prosthetics.

    I still prefer the private doctors I have had for years, even though the VA here in Miami has great docs, some of whom also have private patients; my wife’s rehab doc is also the Director of Rehabilitation at the Miami VA; she’s one of a handful of private patients he has.

    My private insurance pays for MRIs, CAT scans, X-rays, sonograms etc., all of which I have regularly, and private insurance pays for them for everybody who has it.

    One point: when I speak of private insurance, I’m speaking of PPOs, not HMOs.

    HMOs were first established in the USA in the 20s and 30s, but didn’t really take off until the HMO Act of 1973 was passed during the Nixon administration. Though not run by the government, the Act did set up the regulations under which they are run today. HMOs are what most people are talking about when they talk about how bad health insurance is. I have had (and continue to have) a good PPO plan, with which I’m very satisfied. I have never been denied any kind of test or treatment by any of the many PPOs I have had over the last forty years.

  • No doubt that we pretty much have the corner on medical technology. And, yes, if you’re rich, or at least are fortunate enough to have really good health insurance, say, like employees of Eli Lilly Pharma, you can get great care.

    As a veteran, and as you know, Clav, we get damn good care.

    I have had something going on in my head (which a number of people I know would vehemently deny,) that is causing a kind of pressure in my forehead and affecting my vision. Upon relating this to my primary care doctor at the VA, she immediately order an MRI which I had just 3 days later. As it showed some kind of “spot,” she ordered a second MRI with “contrast” which I had the next day. A single MRI can cost upwards of $2500. (BTW – both were outsourced to a private provider having an open sided MRI as I am badly claustrophobic.) If I was not eligible to use the VA, there is no way that I could have had even one MRI, let alone two.

    But, hey, what am I talking about? The VA is government health care. Nevermind.

    And that’s the crux of all this, isn’t it? There are millions of people in this country who could not hope to get an MRI or any other hi-tech diagnostics. In their case, they might as well be in outer Slabovia.

    My wife is uninsured. She has had two abdominal surgeries owing to a perferated colon due to severe diverticulitis. The cost for those surgeries and all the attendant costs came to better than $38000. We will be paying for that until we die – perhaps beyond.

    She has a fairly painful hernia owing to a weakness in her abdominal wall that she is unwilling to have treated until she becomes eligible for medicaire after her 65th birthday in October.

    My older son lives in Germany. He has had a number of health issues – and he’s one of those younger, unmarried people who Dave and others believe should not be mandated to carry health insurance – and fortunately Germany does mandate that all who live within its borders – German citizen or not – have health insurance. It has saved him a great deal of money, and he has received good and prompt care. Much better care than what he could have received here if he had no insurance.

    Oh, and by the way Mark, had Obama ripped a good one, the Dems probably would have gaffawed while the Reps would have been appalled and would have sat up and tightened their sphincters even more. 🙂

  • Clavos

    Mark, I think most experts (those with MD after their names, for example) do agree that our health care is among the best in the world — for those who can afford it. As one example, our survival rate for my kind of cancer, prostate, is considerably better than European survival rates for prostate cancer. Ditto breast cancer.

    And it’s a fact that over 400,000 of the world’s wealthiest and best-connected people from other countries come to the US annually for medical care when they are REALLY sick.

    What is NOT good here, is the insurance system and the distribution of health care.

  • Doug Hunter

    I’ve looked up the data too many times and don’t feel like doing it again really. If you cared you’d look it up yourself. I can waste another hour regathering the information then you’ll just slightly modify your argument to say, yeah but…

    As I remember, for malignant cancers the bottom line was 20% higher death rate in the EU over the US. Heart attack survival rates were also markedly better here than a basket of countries. It’s out there for inquiring minds, but most just want to parrot the UN figure (37th or so I believe) that mostly accounts for who pays rather than ‘quality’ as a person might assume.

    The physician’s, facilities, and expertise to treat your disease are top notch here, some people just can’t afford it.

  • Mark Schannon


    Well, we must live in different countries, laddie! Your description of health care resembles not a whit what people around me are enjoying.

    And you need data to support you claims of superior health care in the U.S. I’ve read different stats.

    But at least give us swarmy liberals the decency of accurately portraying our positions. It’s probably more fun to create straw men & light them on fire–but it doesn’t further the argument.

    In Jameson Veritas

  • Doug Hunter

    Also, my families healthcare is purchased privately and is relatively inexpensive. I love my cheap access to the best quality care in the world. People in Europe are 20% more likely to die from common cancers because of their failed system. The US also has the best treatments for heart attacks and world class facilities for a host of other diseases. I will pay more in taxes under public plans than I spend now on healthcare and I will no longer be able to buy prioritized service. A lose-lose. (I’m sure Obamacare will be great for those leeches on society that are just looking for someone else to pay for everything)

    The world depends on the US for the lion’s share of medical research with 34 of the last nobel prizes going to the US while just 21 went to the rest of the world combined. The funds for research and infrastructure will be diverted to pay for those who refuse to pay for themselves and the world will be worse off for it.

    Thank goodness previous generations had more sense than this one and kept the system intact that has created the best healthcare system in the world and the majority of the best healthcare innovations. Plans to dismantly that system are being devised as we speak. Funny thing though, as liberals have continued to build the welfare state in fits and starts and restructure all those old conservative systems America’s star is fading. We’re becoming a European also ran lite, just treading water till the Chinese take over. All our children will be their slaves thanks to your spoiled entitlement mentality.

  • Doug Hunter

    “The for-profit health care virus cannot exist without feeding off and damaging public bodies.”

    It’s funny, those with a freedom loving bent view things exactly the opposite. Those darn people and their freedom, always spending money on the ‘wrong’ things. Why won’t they just work as willing slaves for the government and hand over everything they have for proper redistribution? If we could just eliminate free will we would have utopia for everyone.

  • I must confess that I didn’t learn much from President Obama’s health care oration.

    Here, however, is a teaching point from the September 12th march on Washington.


  • Mark Schannon

    Aha, Doc, you clever devil. I put the typo in there on purpose to see if anyone really reads articles before commenting.

    Or, my brain exploded just as I was typing and created the illusion of a zero.

    The delightful Lisa published the article, so it couldn’t be her fault.


    In Jameson Veritas

  • What??? Paying $36,000 a year for private health insurance??

    Not if they’re only paying $300 a month, they’re not.

    However, I suspect that’s a typo which can either be blamed on:
    (a) Mark’s Exploding Brain
    (b) BC’s Evil Editor

  • Mark Schannon

    Ruvy, Ruvy, Ruvy, the one fixed star in an every changing firmament.

    The bride & I are very close to 62, so we could move there & all you nice Israelis will give us money even though we didn’t earn a dime of it? Wow, talk about breaking stereotypes…

    Well, if not a move, we’re both talking about a visit.

  • And Ruvy, you be nice. I happen to still have hopes for Obama.


    I am being nice. And you wanna know a secret? I have hopes for the scumbag, too. I want him to push enough evil proposals against Israel, and I want the scum at the top here to bow enough to him that the locals get so disgusted, they vomit out the local puppets, escorting them to a necktie party.

    As for universal health care for the States, as much as I am for it (remember, I’m a syndicalist socialist, not some damned liberal), you guys cannot afford it anymore. You Americans are all too broke.

    Of course, in Israel YOU & the bride CAN get it: the day you arrive in Israel and go to the post office and pay 25 shekels or so to the National Insurance Istitute. And the day you hit 62, you file for Social Security and live off of it. The invite is open until Obama declares martial law….

  • Mark Schannon

    Hey Arch, aren’t you going to defend yourself against all these scurrilous attacks? You can’t let the liberals win.

    And Ruvy, you be nice. I happen to still have hopes for Obama. Hell, after 8 years of the Busher, I’d have hopes for Calvin Coolidge.

    STM, it blew our minds too when we heard what our friends were paying. They’re in Arkansas and there’s only one company who would take them. Hell, we pay $18k a year plus $5 each in deductibles. We got turned down by everyone except Blue Cross which has to take everyone–and then charge a fortune & lose all their claim forms (& I’m not making that up.)

    And good points, Jordan. We can spend all day pointing at the flaws in other countries’ systems or we can learn from others–take the best, ignore the worst, and improve our own.

    I have to confess I don’t understand why non-wealthy conservatives get so hysterical about health care reform. They’re getting screwed just like the rest of us. Makes me wonder what we liberals are delusional about…nah.

    In Jameson Veritas

  • STM

    Jordan: “I always figured Arch for one of those elderly “get off my doggone lawn” type seniors with hundreds of ulcers and a rubber ticker.”

    Lol. Me too. Must have been the Arch bit.

    I thought he might be an Alf Garnett/Archie Bunker-type character.

    Surely we can’t be that wrong

  • Jordan Richardson

    Hello, sir. It’s an uphill climb, but somebody’s gotta do it.

    In terms of Canada’s system, the wait times are certainly an issue and everybody knows it. A lot of the problem is related to regional issues, as giant clusters of our population have sunk to the bottom of the country and live near the U.S. border or in the majority cities which tend to be near the southern portions of Canada. Metropolitan areas are always going to have more medical traffic by virtue and a lot of our hospitals in these areas lack funding, especially in Windsor, Ontario.

    There are ways to gather more funding for the public health care option in Canada, however. A key problem that goes far beyond the regional issues is that of private care. Canada simply has too much private care and it is serving to roadblock the funding that could be jettisoned to the public care facilities.

    This conception is generally missed by Conservative groups in the U.S. because it doesn’t fit their mandate. When you have a group doing MRIs in Canada, for instance, and it is for non-essential care with large wait times, those groups are generally part of Canada’s private health care system. In fact, the Canadian Medical Association estimates that 75% of health care services are delivered privately. The kicker is that those same health care services are funded publicly. This, in my view, represents the biggest blockage to a full public option in Canada and a key reason as to why wait times remain such a significant issue.

    Private health care in Canada is for anything that the public system won’t cover. So a private bed in a hospital is covered by private insurance, as is the ambulance ride, cosmetic procedures, extra tests and MRIs, and so forth. These expenses all need to come out of pocket for the patient unless they are covered under some sort of work plan or other insurance coverage from BCAA or something. Socialized medicine, it is not.

    With our Conservative government signing contracts with more private groups to provide more private care facilities, it’s possible that the system will get worse. This will mean more wait times in public hospitals because the funding will continue to go to private, for-profit care facilities. According to the Canadian Health Care Coalition: “The for-profit health care virus cannot exist without feeding off and damaging public bodies.”

    It is Canada’s Liberals that want to shut down the private locations and buy up all the machines and equipment, but Harper’s Conservatives insist on keeping the profit-making mechanism working. That is why you see wait times growing and people heading to the U.S. more and more. Conservative for-profit politicking is crippling Canada’s health care system and the proliferation of this is giving American Conservatives a sort of false fear. It isn’t socialized medicine that causes our wait times; it’s a ridiculous hybrid of public/private care.

    As I’ve said countless times, I haven’t experienced much by way of wait times and don’t know many people that have. But with this continued pressure to privatize by Harper’s Conservatives, we could be seeing more wait times than ever.

    So to all those Americans worried about public health care options because of Canadian wait times, know that our wait times are a result of having a government more interested in profits for companies and less interested in continuing Canada’s great public health care tradition.

  • STM

    G’day Jordan,

    Here we are again, on another of our lonely crusades to bring light and love to America 🙂

  • STM

    What??? Paying $36,000 a year for private health insurance??

    Serious? Does that happen often? That’s insanity … and really, really shocking if it’s true.

    They should move to Oz, where my $220.65 a month gets my whole family top cover in any private hospital, pays doctors, covers the difference in any out of pocket costs not totally picked up by the government pays system and my $1000 a year levy on top of that paid in my taxes ensures I can also access the Medicare UHC system as well without, for instance in the event of an emergency, having to pay anything at all in one of the many excellent public hospitals (my wife works in one – in one of the world’s leading heart/lung transplant units). Forgot, too, that my $220.65 a week family premium covers ambulance as well.

    The end result: With a government safety net for cost of drug prescriptions, I have virtually no out of pocket costs (and contrary to Arch’s views about America having the best system, the hospital system here isn’t that different to the US and is better than Britain’s NHS).

    I’ve never heard of anyone being knocked back for cover, either. Ever.

    Actually, better still … don’t move here, the place is already too crowded with people knocking down the door to get in. Paradise lost is no longer paradise.

    Instead, just get a similar system for yourselves and a) wonder why you didn’t do it earlier; b) find out what you’ve been missing all these years.

    Come on guys, time to get out of that deluded train of thought that says if it wasn’t invented in America, it can’t be any good.

    Millions of us who don’t live there and aren’t unhappy about that (even if we think it’s quite a nice place) can tell you otherwise.

  • Jordan Richardson

    It is not uncommon for Canadians to have to wait weeks, even months to see a specialist or have procedures such as MRIs done.

    It’s also not uncommon for Canadians to not wait at all and essentially be whisked across the street to see a specialist immediately, as per my father’s recent experiences with his, er, guy part.

    It’s really hard to generalize about the entire system based on regional wait times, but as long as wait times continue to be the scourge of universal health care, the Right will continue to parrot the ideas as though we’re dropping like flies and not merely handling cases on MEDICAL priority basis instead of fiscal priority basis.

    Apparently, though, you believe that a system wherein those with the largest bags of cash win health care first is superior to one in which those with the most urgent needs, regardless of fiscal status, go first.

    Now you close off with the relatively intelligent comment that no system is perfect, which is good. But you have to ask yourself why the United States is the only country in the industrialized world to continue to reject some form of universal health care. Canada and Britain and Australia and Sweden don’t have perfect systems, but we do have better systems.

  • Jordan Richardson

    My guess, Arch old bean, is that you’re relatively young & have rarely needed extensive medical care.

    Strange. I always figured Arch for one of those elderly “get off my doggone lawn” type seniors with hundreds of ulcers and a rubber ticker.

  • zingzing

    ahh, ruvy… you’re just a barnacle on a boat, waiting to be scraped off… by a fart… it’s your own metaphor… fart of a metaphor… farts. ruvy. fart. now. do it. there ya go. farting ruvy. bite your lip while you do it, ruvy. uh. oh yeah. that one’s going in the archives. “ruvy’s greatest moments–the fart jokes.” golden.

  • they’d have been up clapping and cheering if Obama farted.

    You mean the sleazy liar did more than fart? Here I thought that it was his farts that could get barnacles off a boat!

  • Mark Schannon

    Nah, stop being nice to the Con…you’ll just encourage him.

  • Mark

    (sorry Mark — #2 was an allergic reaction to The Con’s more or less reasonable #1)

  • Mark Schannon

    Right on, Mark! Why didn’t Obama think of that? Maybe because he’s a closet commie & doesn’t want to burden his Socialist friends.

    Arch, enough with the straw men. Way too easy to knock down. When did I talk about a perfect system?

    First of all, this article was simply meant to entertain. Did you at least smile once? Come on, honestly now. Once?

    Here’s your argument simply put. We o.k., they suck, o.k. good enough for me.

    Of course that ignores all the outcomes research that seems to indicate other people fare better in other health care systems. God forbid we might learn something from another country! Why, that’s, that’s…Communism.

    My guess, Arch old bean, is that you’re relatively young & have rarely needed extensive medical care. My goodness gracious no, for then you’d be howling for change!

    But fear not.

    In Jameson Veritas

  • Mark

    I think that we should fly our un- and under-insured to Socialist countries for care. Then we could focus on selling our American medical services to those for whom it is designed — the rich. It’s a global economy, baby! Let’s take advantage of that fact.

  • Arch Conservative

    How do you define best Mark. If best is to be defined as possessing the greatest and most technologically advanced resource base for providing healthcare in the world then yes we do have the greatest health care system in the world by far and there is more than ample evidence of foreign heads of state, dignataries, and other prominent people choosing to come here for their healthcare rather than their own nation or any other nation.

    If you define best as allowing everyone to have access then no we do not have the best care in the world.

    Most people who rave about the Canadian system or Britsh NHS actually know very little about either of those systems. In both of those systems there is extreme rationing of care due to a much, much smaller infrastructure base than we in the US have. It is not uncommon for Canadians to have to wait weeks, even months to see a specialist or have procedures such as MRIs done. From England there are countless stories of citizens being denied treatment that is not deemed essential by the NHS.

    Is our system perfect? Of course not…far from it. But then again….neither is anyone else’s. They ALL have major problems that affect people’s lives. To think that some perfect system exists or even attainable is dishonest and/or a touch naive.