Friday, March 10, 2017
GOP Health Care Flim Flam in 'three phases'
“Rep” Congress, salesman: OK, Mr. Citizen, we’re ready to replace the car we sold you. Unfortunately, as you know, it doesn’t run very well, and it costs you way more to operate than you were promised.
Joe Citizen: No s*** Sherlock! That’s what I’ve been telling you for years! I complained in 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016. Gah! What does it take for you folks to listen?
Congress: No, you’re right. As you may know, your complaints got my predecessor fired—
Citizen: That was over four years ago!
Congress: Yes, I know, terrible; but the company has a new president, and he takes a different view. That changed everything.
Citizen: Well, that’s great to hear, finally. So what’s the deal?
Congress: Well, here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to completely replace your car! Your new car will work much better, it will get you where you need to go – and won’t take you places you don’t want to go. We stripped off the extras you didn’t want—
Citizen: And which you made me pay for all this time!
Congress: Yes, terrible. And, the new car will be cheaper! All the things we promised you! Here’s the paperwork…
Citizen: Wait – what’s all this? It’s awfully hard to read…
Congress: Oh, don’t worry about that; all these contracts have, you know, codicils and addendums. Perfectly normal. “Fine print.”
Citizen: Hmm. I think we better look this over.
Congress: Oh, absolutely! Take all the time you need. Say, would you like some coffee? We have an espresso machine now! Would you like a Caramel Kiwi Latte? I’m having one…
Citizen: Err, no thanks. What’s this? This says that today, I’m only getting parts of my new car. What’s that about?
Congress: Oh, that? Well, you see, we can only deliver your new car in three stages…
Citizen: three stages?
Congress: Yes, I’m afraid those are the rules.
Citizen: So what does that mean? How will these three stages work?
Congress: Well, first, let me tell you, it’s gonna be great! You’re going to love it! Your modified car is going to be awesome! You—
Citizen: Hold on. You just said “modified car” – you promised me a new car.
Congress: Oh yes, well, eventually…
Congress: Yes, don’t worry! Here’s how it works. We’re going to take your car, and we’re going to install some new parts on it. We’ll make it work, trust us. We’ve gotten in a good supply of baling wire and duct tape! This duct tape, boy, my dad could do wonders with this stuff!
Citizen: But you promised me a new car.
Congress: Oh yes, for sure. But, see, we have to wait. That’s phase two and three. See, next we are waiting for the President to tell the research department to issue new rules, so that we can get rid of those extra items you didn’t want…
Citizen: New rules? You mean…
Congress: Yes, our service department isn’t allowed to take them off. Not yet. But we’re working on it.
Citizen: So when does that happen?
Congress: Oh, soon, soon!
Citizen: Do you think I’m stupid? You guys – in fact, you yourself! – have been telling me that since 2012!
Congress: Well, you got me. I shouldn’t have said that then. But I mean it now! And, then…
Citizen: Wait. Something weird just happened. There’s…there’s an asterisk floating over your head! How did that happen?
Congress: (under his breath: “Dang!”) Er, that’s… “The Footnote.”
Citizen: “The Footnote”?
Congress: Yes, it’s right here. (Points to even smaller writing at the bottom of the footnote.)
Citizen: (Straining to read) “New rules and regulations will be issued pursuant to directives of the President of the Corporation regarding accessories and mandatory options, at the discretion of the President, according to his timetable, provided they are in accordance with existing corporate policy, and are not overturned or modified by the Board of Directors.”
So what does that mean?
Congress: Oh, it’s nothing to worry about…
Citizen: I’m not so sure about that. Tell me what it means, or I’m walking out.
Congress: Wait! Don’t be hasty! Look, all that means is that the new regulations, that we need to give you the full car you want…well, it’s like this…we…ahem…
We don’t know exactly when they’re coming.
Citizen: (Eyes narrowing) And? I can see there’s something else.
Congress: Well, there’s just the slightest chance that the new rules won’t be found to be…legal.
Citizen: Wait, what? What did you say?
Congress: It all depends on the head of the review board. She’s a swell gal, that Sue Premecourt! I’m sure she won’t find any problems. Not this time!
Citizen: But what happens if she does?
Congress: Well, then we may not be able to give you the full package, but look! No reason to get dire! It’s gonna be just fine! Just fine!
Citizen: And at that point, I have my new car?
Congress: Well, not exactly. That’s only phase two. There’s still phase three.
Citizen: “Phase three?” What the h*** is this? Why is it in three phases? Why can’t you just give me a new car, like you promised?
Congress: Well, see, it’s like this. We have a board of directors, and, boy! are they a strange bunch! Under the rules of the company, we have to get 60% of the board to sign off on a bunch of this. It's all the fault of this one fellow, Filibuster. But not all! No Sirree! Only on some of it! That’s why we’re doing it this way.
We can give you parts with only a majority of the board – so that’s phase one. The stuff with phase two? Those crazy birds won’t even get to look it! And all the stuff the board doesn’t like…well, we’re saving that for phase three! We’re no dummies!
Citizen: So let me get this straight – the reason you aren’t doing it all at once, is because you can’t get it past the board of directors, right?
Congress: Yes, but just some of it, only some…
Citizen: But without that “some,” I don’t get a new car, right?
Congress: Well…technically. But it’s fine, really! Say, how about I turn on the TV? Steve Harvey’s doing this special on Dallas Cheerleaders – you don’t want to miss that, huh?
Citizen: No thank you. I’m still wondering about the rest of the car you owe me.
Congress: Oh, but I already explained that. That’s phase three. It’s all baked in. Nothing to worry about.
Citizen: But you said the board might not approve phase three. Because of that Filibuster guy.
Congress: Oh, but it’ll be fine.
Citizen: How? How do you get past Filibuster?
Congress: Well, that's a trade secret! But believe me, you'll have a new car. Or, at least, you’ll have most of your new car. At least a majority. Maybe two-thirds. It's gonna be great, I guarantee it!
Citizen: No, I want to know: what do you do about the Board? That seems to be the real problem. You can't do anything about that?
Congress: Oh, I didn't say that. The members of the board are elected, so...
Citizen: So, you're saying we could get new board members?
Congress: Well, yes, technically...
Citizen: And who votes on that?
Congress: Well...you do.
Citizen: So, why don't we do that?
Congress: Oh, that's too haaard! This is better, really! We've got a secret plan for getting past Filibuster. (Winks)
Citizen: Uh huh. And if not... then all I’m getting is "most" of a new car? But I’m getting rid of all those expensive options, right?
Congress: Well, that’s one of those things that the Board has to approve. I shouldn’t tell you this, but ole Sue has been a little unpredictable lately…
Citizen: And what about my payments – they’re going down, right? You promised me that four years ago!
Congress: Well, see…that depends on Sue…and and also, getting phase three through. That Filibuster, he's a tough bird.
Citizen: This is really screwed up! So tell me, what, exactly, am I getting today? Right now?
Congress: Floor mats!
Citizen: (Incredulous) FLOOR MATS?
Congress: But they’re really nice Floor Mats! And you’ll only pay another $99 a month! Isn’t that a sweet deal? Wait – Mr. Citizen? Where are you going?
(Sigh.) Sheesh. There’s no pleasing some people!