health care


Hey, everybody, while world leaders were busy hanging out in Cophenhagen and pretty much being the biggest non-story of the year, we got ourselves a health care bill!

Granted, we don’t have a perfect health care bill. We don’t have the health care bill that I would have asked for in a perfect world. But we don’t live in a perfect world. We live in a strange, imperfect, and often downright unpleasant world. And we got a strange, imperfect, and occasionally downright unpleasant health care bill.

But you know what? It’s a start. And despite what some people would argue, people who I sympathize with and whose frustration I understand, it’s much, much better than nothing.

But the Senate legislation, which shouldn’t have much of a problem clearing the next few cloture votes it has ahead of it, does still have some questions to answer. For example – will insurance companies be required to provide coverage for new and terrifying genetically engineered bacteria like this one?

The Associated Press is reporting that Wall Street banks, among a variety of other businesses throughout New York, have received shipments of the hard to find H1N1 flu vaccine. The firms got access to the vaccine because they have their own staff doctors, and plan to dole out vaccinations to those employees who most need them: the elderly, people under 24, pregnant women, and the most high risk cases of all – middle aged white dudes who took home 7 figure bonuses for fucking up their jobs in a manner that no one would have even thought possible three years ago.

Before we all shit ourselves, it’s not a ton of doses – 1,200 in all between Goldman and Citigroup – but it does seem like a waste to inoculate Wall Street bankers, as your average Wall Street employee is a sub-human reptile monster whose icy blood is already a poor breeding ground for the H1N1 flu virus.

While we’re on the topic, though, a nod must go in the direction of Morgan Stanley. The investment bank received 1,000 doses of the vaccine, but returned it to the CDC when it became clear that they had received their shipment before the local hospital. And OK, they probably only did it to avoid a PR kerfuffle and not look like the craven, dog hearted fiends at Goldman and Citigroup, who sustain themselves on the suffering of humanity. But they did it, and the bar for these guys is so low at this point, that is enough to earn kudos.

Virginia Foxx, despite spelling her name with a double x in the traditional ‘stripper or pornographic performer’ style, is actually NOT a stripper. Rather, she is a caricature of the old lady from the ‘Where’s the beef?’ commercials if she went off her meds and decided to spend the recent of her brief, mean time on Earth strangled hippies with her ancient, claw-like hands. She also has the honor of being the craziest, most offensive member of Congress to come out of the Carolinas recently, which is really and truly saying something.

After calling the Matthew Shepard murder a hoax and repeatedly using the phrase “tar baby” on the floor Congress, Foxx recently declared the prospect of health care reform to be a bigger threat to the nation than “any terrorist right now in any country.”

Now, I’m no fear-monger, but I have to take issue with the fact that Virginia Foxx (again, not a porn star, despite what her name would lead you to reasonably assume) certainly appears not to hate or fear terrorism at all. Which is just wrong headed. If there’s one thing the last eight years have taught us, it is that nothing is scarier than terrorism. Nothing, anywhere, ever. The very word “terrorism” is, grammatically speaking, literally two thirds PURE TERROR and one third suffix. Nothing is scarier than that. Not health care reform. Not swine flu. Nothing.

So why doesn’t Virginia Foxx hate terrorism? Does it have something to do with her confusing stripper name? That’s a question only she can answer.

But until she can answer it, I think she should step down and relinquish her seat in Congress to someone who we know hates terrorism. For example, this bear in India’s Kashmir, who killed a pair of militants who were holed up in his cave. That bear fucking HATES terrorism. Hates it so much he mauls terrorists, or even just militant guerilla rebels, which are a lot like terrorists, kind of, to death. So even if he is Indian, and a bear, he is a True American. Not like Virginia “Probably Never Been An Adult Film Star But Totally Spells Her Name Like One” Foxx.

Not to be confused with the Stanley Cup of Liberty or the Wrestlemania of Emancipation, the Super Bowl of Freedom is coming up. What exactly a bunch of right wing whack jobs from Virginia, their gonads bursting with the gubernatorial victory of a sociopath who views women in the workforce as iron clad proof of Satan’s work here on Earth, descending upon the nation’s capitolgnashing their teeth and shouting “SOCIALISM! SOCIALISM! THERE”S A COLORED IN THE WHITE HOUSE! SOMETHING ABOUT A HEALTH CARE PLAN I DON”T REALLY UNDERSTAND! MY TAXES! SOCIALISM!!!” at every elected official they turn their bloodshot eyes on has to do with the high holiday of professional sports in the US. Then again, if you’re practicing the politics of free association like Michelle Bachmann, you don’t really think about these comparisons before you make them – words just kind of come out of your mouth and then you punctuate them by shouting “Freedom!” Or you just howl, “Fly, my pretties!” and wingnut conservatives start shrieking and throwing feces everywhere, though that is ultimately a short ride from their natural state.

The title does tell us a couple of important things about the tenor of the event, though. It will be heavily hyped but probably not really that entertaining. It will steal the media spotlight for like a week despite actually meaning fuck all in the lives of most Americans. It will be heavily subsidized by corporate interests intent on getting their own message across. And, with perhaps the most potential for entertainment, a key player will be arrested or mysteriously disappear just before everything goes down. Anyone want to take bets on who? And speaking of bets, if it’s the Super Bowl, what’s the spread on a confused old woman striking Alan Grayson repeatedly with her purse?

What, you ask, will be the next victim of the dreaded A/H1N1 swine flu? Why it’s the nascent US economic recovery, of course, which will have it’s young life snuffed out as the highly contagious pox applies it’s sturdy, pestilent boot to the throat of the holiday tourism and travel industries.

The theory goes that should people get infected, or just get nervous enough about getting infected, with A/H1N1 flu, that rather than fly out to Aunt Dottie’s for a plague wracked Christmas with the family, people will stay comfortably in their homes, whacked to the gills on nog and Robitussin, giggling softly at the yule log burning away on the television set.

This is a bad thing for the economy, because these legions of happy, healthy, mildly fucked up people will not be buying plane tickets or shopping at Pottery Barn or facing wracking intestinal spasms after a family meal at Old Country Buffet. And that’s BAD FOR AMERICA! It could soften GDP numbers for the all important Fourth Quarter by as much as 1%, which means that next year, instead of Christmas, we will all simply gather around trash can fires and reminisce about the times before the total collapse of the world economic system, and instead of presents, we will just ask Santa to keep us safe from the roving gangs of bikers as who stride the barren wastelands of America like horrific pagan gods.

Is that what you want, you cowardly bunch of drug addicts?

On top of tourism worries, there are concerns that productivity will suffer as employers, many of whom are already working with skeleton crews, will not be able to keep up with increased holiday demand should employees begin calling out sick, crippling American business with their shiftlessness and cough syrup induced hallucinatory shenanigans.

Which is an utterly reasonable concern, considering that I have every intention of calling in flu ridden and spending the birthday of our lord and savior zonked out of my gourd on Nyquil at a matinee of Sherlock Holmes.

Good news for everybody who doesn’t have A/H1N1 swine flu yet -recent studies suggest that just one low dose of the vaccine could stop you from contracting the highly contagious but so far mostly mild strain of flu. Isn’t that awesome? Now instead of dying in your sickbed, you can live to see the total collapse of society brought about by legions of sniffling rioters who didn’t get vaccines.

Sure, it’s a mixed blessing, but look on the bright side – at least you won’t fall victim to some filthy animal disease.

Max Baucus wants to get health care done, like for really real this time! In fact, he wants it so bad, that he took the three day Labor Day weekend away from the Senate Finance Committee, who spent the last few days working on a health care bill instead of barbecuing. Because Max Baucus hates barbecuing. And freedom.

But it worked, and Baucus has finally crafted a health care bill that’s been strategically leaked to the press today!  The likely result of the Baucus plan? General crappifying of health care coverage for the poor and  – you guessed it – no public option! And if it doesn’t get passed, Baucus is likely to cancel Christmas for the entire Senate and most of the American West. Take that, President Obama and your fancy speech tomorrow night!

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