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Posts Tagged ‘Health care’

I feel like my posts from the last couple of days have been incomplete, and suggested that people were exaggerating the impact of the coronavirus. I do think it’s wrong to panic, but that doesn’t mean I think you should ignore advice to stay inside. Your risk of dying might be small, but by congregating, you are increasing the risk to more vulnerable populations. I am going on for items like groceries usually during periods where there aren’t a lot of people around.

Don’t panic. Be safe. Keep social distance. And then feel free to enjoy my advice about not panicking during the markets.

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The Republican-controlled House of Representatives, having postponed legislation for a few days to observe a more civil tone after a weekend of violence, has returned to work in a spirit of compromise and unity with the Democrats across the aisle, introducing a new piece of legislation showing the shared convictions of a nation coping with loss.

It is known by its unifying title, the “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act.”

“Hey, wait a minute …” said Democrats. “That’s not very nice.”

A largely symbolic piece of legislation, since the Democrats still control the Senate, Republicans tweaked it a bit so it read instead, “Shooting Down the Health Care Act Act.” In lieu of that, they suggested the “Cutting Life Support on the Health Care Act Act,” and “Killing Health Care Reform In A Bathtub,” and the “Returning to a Belligerent Posture Following A Weekend of Mock Civility Act.”

“After the tragic events of last weekend, we have hopefully returned to a new era of friendship, noblesse oblige and tact,” said majority leader Eric Cantor as he introduced the “Terminating the Health Care Bill With Extreme Prejudice Act.”

Were those bills to stall, Republicans say they would introduce the “Euthanizing the Health Care Reform Act With An Overdose of Morphine and Digitalis,” and theĀ  “Guns Don’t Kill People, The Health Care Reform Act Kills People Act.” Like the others, these bills aim to remove last year’s main Democrat achievement, a law aimed of insuring 95% of all Americans by offering subsidies to small businesses and increasing the age at which children can no longer remain on their parents’ insurance plants. If that bill fails, Republicans say, they will continue to pursue a spirit of concordance and compromise by floating a bill, again largely symbolic, called theĀ  “I Fuck Your Health Care Bill in the Eye Socket Reconciliation Act,” and if not that, they’ll try the “You Talking To Me? Health Care Reform Assassination Act.”

Other titles for future legislation, should these not pass, are the “Beheading the Democrats’ Stupid Health Care Legislation,” the “Snuffing Out the Health Care Reform with a Pillow Act,” the “Throwing Lit Matches At Democratic Faces Act,” the “Sowing Discord For Cheap Political Points Act” and “The Patriot Act.”

Again, all mostly time-wasting, symbolic titles that won’t go to Senate and really don’t do anything other than promote the new spirit of harmony.

“Americans after this weekend are showing a new unity,” said John Boehner as he introduced the “Screw Unity and Screw U Act.” We cannot let a few deranged individuals upset our Democracy and spread dissension, and that’s why we support this new bill, subtitled ‘The Democratic Criminals Are Assaulting Your Liberties Act.'”

After those bills die predictable deaths, having served absolutely no purpose at all, Republicans say they may simply call it the “Supporting Gabrielle Giffords By Repealing Legislation that Gabrielle Giffords Supported Act.”

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What were some of the highlights of President Barack Obama’s address to Congress Wednesday night?

8:15 p.m. Obama thanks the health insurance industry for making the 111th Congress possible.

8:20 p.m. Obama name checks a distinguished pantheon of Americans who have so far totally failed to bring you decent health care, including Teddy Roosevelt, Teddy Kennedy, John McCain, Hillary Clinton, George Bush and Alan Alda.

8:25 p.m. Obama stops and smokes a cigarette.

8:30 p.m. Obama excoriates those who have tried to kill reform altogether by spreading lies about the health care bill. Though he doesn’t name them personally, those people pretty much admit their guilt by sitting down and not clapping for this statement. We thank those people for telling us who they are.

8:40 p.m. Obama stops briefly while the field crew sweeps the floor and dances to “YMCA”

8:45 p.m. Obama stops to remind people that the Bratz dolls still dress like sluts

8:50 p.m. Obama suddenly inserts orders for American children to kill their parents according to plans laid out in his Tuesday speech to classrooms. “You know where the forks are. Like we talked about. On three!”

9:00 p.m. Obama is heckled by South Carolina Republican Rep. Joe Wilson for the “take her home like a six pack” joke.

9:01 p.m. Wilson yells “You lie!” after Obama says that illegal immigrants are not covered by the health care bill, after Obama says Teddy Roosevelt was president, and after Obama reads the list of specials in the Congressional cafeteria

9:10 p.m. Joe Biden still has something in his eye

9:15 p.m. Obama says that amid the health care debate, America has seen Congress at its worst (when it does nothing) and at its best (when it does nothing).

9:16 p.m. Rahm Emanuel eats a severed human hand.

9:18 p.m. Wow, after three beers … Nancy Pelosi man … I’m just sayin’.

9:20 p.m. Obama thanks the pharmaceutical companies for making Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh possible.

9:25 p.m. Obama wonders aloud why such strident political ideology is hindering progress. He just can’t imagine why influential Republican swing voter Sen. Charles Grassley, for example, would be so ideological about this health care bill.

9:30 p.m. Obama makes some controversial statements about how much his health care plan would cost, saying a lot of it was money already being spent anyway. This rankles Republicans who insist that only they be allowed to run up crippling deficits, because they do it for good reasons, after all.

9:31 p.m. Katie Couric says Obama shouldn’t kiss so many people what with swine flu running rampant.

9:31 p.m. Actually, kissing up to pigs happens a lot in this business.

9:32 p.m. Republicans several times fail to get up to clap, showing that, as an abrasive and loud minority, they are not afraid to use their thumb-sucking petulance as a weapon.

9:35 p.m. In response to Obama’s remarks, several Republicans hold up copies of a booklet which, given their complete lack of interest in reforming health care, is probably a copy of the new “Harry Potter.”

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Jaycee

Jaycee + Dugard

Jaycee + Dugard + Kidnap

Jaycee + Dugard + slave

Jaycee + Dugard + pictures

Jaycee + Dugard + pictures + compound + tents + garbage + toilets

Phillip + Garrido

Phillip + Garrido + rapist

Phillip + Garrido + castrate

Jaycee Dugard + captive + 18 years

Jaycee Dugard + pictures + adult + location

Jaycee + Dugard + daughters + pictures

“Why can’t I see Jaycee Dugard’s daughters?”

“Why can’t I see Jaycee Dugard grown up?”

“Why can’t I see Jaycee Dugard grown up right now?”

Chris Brown + Larry King

Chris Brown + Rihanna + “domestic violence” + “don’t remember”

“Does Chris Brown not remember beating up Rihanna?”

“How can I remind Chris Brown he beat up Rihanna?”

“Chris Brown” + “mailing address”

“Larry King” + “functionally retarded”

“Whitney Houston” + comeback + suck

Garrido + neighbor + complain + police

police + search + lazy + “not thorough”

“Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office” + “functionally retarded”

Jaycee Dugard + brainwashed + Stockholm Syndrome

“Why did Jaycee Dugard stay with captors?”

“Why did Jaycee not run?”

“Why did Jason dump Melissa?”

“Why did Japan attack Pearl Harbor?”

geisha + maid + sex

Will I be kidnapped?

Will I suffer from Stockholm Syndrome?

Could I be brainwashed?

“Stockholm Syndrome” + brainwashed + “Glenn Beck” + “Fox News”

U.S. + “universal health care” + No. 37 + “laughingstock of world” + “Glenn Beck” + “Fox News”

“Where can I get universal health care?”

“Where can I get universal health care in Boise, Idaho?”

“Boise Idaho” + “bus station”

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What factors led to the end of our marriage and/or the end of health care reform legislation in Congress?

–*We failed to articulate our goals to each other.

–*We kept fighting over money.

–*There was a lot of mutual suspicion about what the other side wanted.

–*We turned to outsiders for help and they turned out to have their own selfish interests.

–*One side didn’t know how to think for him or herself unless Glenn Beck told him or her first.

–*…or Oprah.

–*We weren’t sure how to handle the necessary abortion issue.

–*Every time we tried to talk about things reasonably it deteriorated into shouting matches.

–*Each of us accused the other of patronizing and sabotaging the other in public.

–*There was a lot of increasingly nonsensical, paranoid and loony right-wing talk coming from one side.

–*”I don’t need another mother.”

–*”I don’t need another father.”

–*Turns out one of us was a racist.

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (API) Nurse Claire Simonton, an RN at local Hazelton Hospital, has seen many types of patients in varying conditions cross the threshold of her emergency room over the past four years. She’s dealt with overdoses, gunshot wounds, toys swallowed by children, etc. But nothing prepared her for the frankly sickening sight last Friday night when Dr. Saul Jacobs wheeled out an EKG machine for a 15-year-old girl who’d come in with a broken arm, witnesses said.

“Wait a minute,” said Simonton. “That’s an EKG.”

“Yeah,” said Jacobs. “Do you have a problem with that?”

“An EKG?” repeated Simonton, her jaw practically lying on the floor at the utterly flagrant use of an unnecessary procedure meant to overcharge the insurance company. “Really? an EKG.”

“You know, we just want to be sure the girl’s OK.”

“With a broken arm? You’re worried about her having a heart attack? Am I on crack? Am I going blind? Or am I actually watching you bring in an electrocardiogram for this girl?”

Simonton and Jacobs sat picking over this mordant rhetorical question for several minutes while the patient, Nancy Wallis, sat in confused silence holding the broken arm, an injury she’d sustained in a Friday night fender bender.

“I just want to make sure I understand this correctly,” said Simonton, laying on the ironic sing-song rhythms, Jacobs thought, a little bit thick and with a great deal of sanctimony, “That girl has a simple broken arm, and probably just needs a splint. But we’re going to give her an EKG. How about doing an echo-cardiogram as well? Or how about a PET scan on her brain? Or why don’t we do extensive blood work and a stand-up MRI?”

“Well it can never hurt.”

Really?”

“I wish you’d stop saying it like that.”

Simonton and Jacobs traded such barbs for several minutes using lots of patronizing rhetorical flourishes and sneers in the five minute conversation, their icy exchange playing out against the backdrop of the most farcical aspects of American health care, specifically doctors’ declining fees for service, an economic fiasco that has them scrambling to overbill insurers and rip them off however possible through procedure miscoding, double billing and other kinds of accounting shenanigans.

“Gee,” said Simonton looking over the girl. “You don’t seem like you’re about to die of a heart attack at all. How strange. And here I thought you were 80 years old. I guess nobody can really be sure about anything these days unless we’ve first checked it with outrageously expensive modern medical equipment. Why as far as I know, you might have a heart like an 60-year-old obese smoker on steroids.”

“I’m not sure what’s going on,” said the patient. “I just busted up my arm a little. You guys are freaking me out.”

As they wheeled the EKG over to the girl and began performing the expensive procedure, Nurse Simonton continued her stream of wry badinage.

“Oooooh!” said Nurse Simonton. “Her heart looks good. In fact, it looks like any heart you’d find in any 15-year-old girl. How’d that happen, I wonder?”

After 30 minutes the exchange ended when Jacobs went home for the night, first delivering a parting shot.

“You really ought to watch your mouth in front of the patients,” he said.

“Take it up with my union rep, asshole,” answered Simonton.

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–*Did you really just say that?

–*Am I going crazy?

–*Why me?

–*Why am I even discussing this with you?

–*Why am I here?

–*Why God, why?

–*Did my capsule land on Planet Idiot this morning?

–*Pollution can cause frogs to change sex? Who knew?

–*What are you, a socialist?

–*You don’t want to kill my special needs baby, do you?

–*You don’t want to pull the plug on my grandma with special language in your 1000 page health care bill, do you?

–*Do you always talk out of your ass or was I addressing the wrong end?

–*You’re not actually going to read that health care bill, are you?

–*Do bears shit in the woods?

–*Are bears the only ones who’ve read Obama’s health care bill?

–*Why does my country have to be the only one without universal health care? Am I a bad person?

–*We wouldn’t want to kill the health care bill with mendacious sloganeering now would we?

–*Are you an idiot?

–*Do you see demons?

–*Is this thing on?

–*Is that all there is?

–*Hath not a Jew hands?

–*Doth Caesar lie so low?

–*Can I get an amen?

–*Is that a baby gherkin in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?

–*Is that a goiter or do you just have American health care?

–*Is that psycho woman on Fox hot or what?

–*Is it Friday yet?

–*Do I have ADD or what?

–*Are we in denial?

–*Are we communicating?

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