Obamacare:  Is the Public Option Really a Pain in the Privates?

Mick Zano

Yesterday, a guy standing on a corner in downtown U.S.A asked me, “Would you sign this petition to support universal healthcare?”

And I said, “Unlike the rest of the country, I’m rather ambivalent about the whole thing.  Our current healthcare system sucks ass, but more government bureaucracy is rarely the answer.  Besides, the Dems are never going to get the bill passed, because Dems are, by their very nature, pussys.”

Now, I didn’t actually say that last sentence to that young college idealist.  I did say something arguably similar, such as, “Nice dog.  What’s that a retriever?”

But the other statement was implied.  If he was really listening, he would have picked that up. 

Back during the Bush fears people protested the dismantling of the Bill or Rights, wars of choice, and the freakishly frightening expansion of executive power (FFEEP).  They marched into town halls dressed in pink or some such, and I applaud them for it; heck, I was one of them.  I can accessorize in pink with the best of them.  Today, across our great nation, we had an organized group of political assassins invade our town halls to derail the debate itself.  Under Bush, town hall meetings were designed to disseminate White House talking points to a chosen few, prescreened sycophants.  Nothing would be derailed with a Bush protest, because there was no discussion, only proclamations and bullshit-ridden mandates from the neococoon.  No worries if you didn’t hear it over the screaming libertards, folks, we’ll repeat the message on Fox News a hundred more times by Thursday.  On the contrary, for this healthcare fiasco, folks went into town hall meetings to dismantle the actual debate itself. They didn’t want to even talk about the real issues, because America might choose “unwisely.” 

Translation: my personal stock portfolio might suffer.

The fact is, we were assailed by ringers, people in cahoots with Republicans and insurance companies, whose soul purpose was to scare the living shit out of the terminally dimwitted (maybe death panels could have practical purposes, hmmmmmn…I’m just saying).  The debate really comes down to this: behind door number one we have our current healthcare system, which is putting small businesses out of business everyday.  The rates are increasingly unaffordable and by 2050 Warren Buffet’s cryogenically frozen ass is anticipated to be the last insured American.  And even he will probably be bitching about his skyrocketing co-pays.  Door number two: for Obama’s plan you could keep your insurance or you could use a government run option similar to our VA system (which even Bill Krystol admits runs well). That’s about it.  A little healthy competition.  Maybe it wouldn’t be this huge government take-over.  But, of course, you don’t know what Obama’s plan really entails, because all you heard was: death panels, socialized medicine, Mexican Radio (1983) Wall of Voodoo. (I still can’t figure out that last one).

“But government isn’t the answer; it’s part of the problem.” 

There you go again…

That statement is ubiquitous in my worldview, but for most it seems only relative depending on who is in power.

Death Panels? AHhhhHHHhHhhhhh! They’re trying to kill my Alaskan Governor with Down Syndrome!

Oh, really…it’s her son that has…er.  And she’s no longer Governor.  Well, this is embarrassing.

 Death panels?  Really?  I have never heard anything so ridiculous derail public discourse since, well, insert any Discord post here.  In our current healthcare system, insurance companies and doctors determine whether or not you get the procedures approved or not.  Er, sounds eerily similar.  Or, if you do get the procedure approved, your insurance covers only a percentage, and they foreclose on your house to pay the difference.  It’s very American.

A certain faction of our population is in complete denial about the realities and limits of our current healthcare system and even our own mortality as human beings.  Every day doctors and administrators choose who gets what procedures.  Those “death panels” already exist as Advance Directives (which covers end of life choices).  A thousand page document and that’s the best you could do?  Well, it did work.  Truth is not nearly as important as the end result these days.  Very Crankvellian. But you keep scurrying around Chicken Littles; you’re so much fun to watch.

I run around and yell the sky is falling, when the sky is actually falling.  You yell the sky is falling when Fox sends “the transmission”.

I work in behavioral health and, as our budget slides into the abyss, we are deciding every day who gets what services in mental health land.  More and more crazy people wander our streets because our current system has more gaps in it than the combined malls of America.  Sorry, folks, but offering free service worked when this was a vibrant country with assets backed by things of actual worth. Hint: this is not that time.

Fact: today a homeless man in Tucson is not entitled to every procedure known to man to save the liver he decided to kill with several Maersk freighters worth of vodka.  Fact: the same would be true for with the public option.  And, yes, your insurance is only going to cover certain procedures.  Most of us normal peeps are not entitled to mega coverage, all the latest equipment, and a team of specialists headed by Dr. House, nor is it feasible.

Jon Stewart recently interviewed the originator of the death panel nonsense (you mean, Palin didn’t start it?) and, believe it or not, she’s even making less sense than old Sarah.  Stewart had to rip a page out of her hand to read the very phrase of Obama’s policy that made everyone go stark-raving mad.  The targeted phrase was something like: “the doctor can talk to you about life sustaining processes and end-of-life choices.” Here is the math:

Life sustaining processes + choices + stupidity + propaganda = death panels

I can see that.  I just forgot to carry the logic, is all.

I don’t trust the government either, but you cats are whacked. Look, I remain passionately ambivalent on this issue. As I’ve said before, we should focus on insuring our children and the truly disabled (aka, Republicans).  We’re going broke, so the plan needs to be realistic.  If that works, maybe healthcare coverage could be expanded to include the Discord staff and their families.  But why are so many people afraid of changing healthcare when the present system sucks ass so bad?  What’s worse than sucks ass?  OK, the next plan might suck balls, which is arguably worse.  Fox News started mass hysteria over a decision between a healthcare system that sucks ass and a healthcare system that sucks balls.  Well done.   

Obama’s plan might have added a great option for some and could have saved many many lives.  We’ll never know, because we never had the debate.  But wasn’t it heart warming to see stocks in United Healthcare and Pfizer rally the other day, when it became clear that the public option was failing?  Of course, the rest of the DOW dropped like a certain Republican senator’s pants at a truck stop men’s room, but it was still a feel good moment for the patriotards.  Perhaps you and Senator Craig should get a room.

I would like to point out, here and now, that you are not the tools of entrepreneurialism, but rather you are the tools of super capitalism, or maybe your just tools.   Most of you are so far removed from super capitalism it would take real math, Stephen Hawking, and a warp capable vehicle to even reach.

You will vote against your own interests time and time again. Soon you will probably not be insured or, if you manage to hold onto that precious policy, it will be jeopardizing your company’s very existence to maintain your benefits.  Can you say raise freeze? And, as time goes by, the insurance companies are going to get better and better at this game and you will lose more and more coverage as your premiums climb into the stratosphere.   So you won’t be able to pay the cover at the door and you’ll miss part of the ultimate Vegas experience.

My health insurance premium should not be as high as my rent.  The insurance company plans to fix that.  Soon it will be higher than my rent.  Enough is enough. I’ll show them.  I’m going to move into my hospital’s MRI machine.  Hang up my Hendrix poster and roll a fat one. 

This is what we are all facing as this current healthcare system continues its present trajectory and buries itself deep within our collective bowels. Oh, wait that procedure is not approved under your current policy either.  Sorry.

It should be interesting to see what is next on Obama’s agenda and what nonsense will be fabricated to derail it.  Fox News could get the patriotards to fear Jello products if they wanted to.  Stop the Jello menace!  Jello will lead to socialized gelatin extremism.  Then the t-shirts will adorn the Drudge Report: Jello is UnAmericun, Jello is Pudding Us On.  Oh, I can’t wait.

Jello is American as apple pie, damnit.  I won’t sit here and listen to you bad mouth an American Confectionary Institution!

I will try to stay ahead of this game.  As Obama proposes his policies, I will try to guess the Fox fear fabrication (FFF) to come. That should be fun and educational.  Well, not for half of you.  But to continue to prove, once again, that I am not a pessimist: here is my good news/bad news installment for the week: 

Bad News: Fact: an estimated 52 pubs are closing in England EVERY day. 

Good News: Fact: ninety percent of U.S. currency tests positive for cocaine! Par-tay!

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Mick Zano

Mick Zano

Mick Zano is the Head Comedy Writer and co-founder of The Daily Discord. He is the Captain of team Search Truth Quest and is currently part of the Witness Protection Program. He is being strongly advised to stop talking any further about this, right now, and would like to add that he is in no way affiliated with the Gambinonali crime family.