Negotiating with Terrorists
President Obama: I’d really like the USA to have single-payer health care, the same as every other industrialized democracy. They almost all deliver better health results than we do, but none of them pays anywhere near as much money for it.
House Republicans: No way, José! That would be socialism, and we’ll never go for it!
O: OK, then, what would you support? What’s your plan for covering the nation’s 30,000,000 uninsured and 40,000,000 underinsured?
Rs: Well, how about this idea from the right-wing Heritage Foundation? We’d insist by law that everyone had to buy insurance thru private providers. And, to make sure that none of those lazy leeches could whine that they couldn’t afford it, we’d raid the Treasury to provide big bux to subsidize them, thereby further rewarding our big corporate donors.
O: Would that work?
Rs: Yup. We had a Republican governor (guy name of Romney) enact it in Massachusetts, and they love it there.
O: And you’d actually vote for something like that?
Rs: Sure, like you’d ever propose it or go along with it.
O: Well, that’s it, then. I give up. We’ll do it your way.
Rs: But ... but ... We didn’t think you’d actually do it!
O: It’s more important to ensure the health of the American people than to use this issue as a political football.
Rs: It would balloon the federal deficit.
O: Actually, the CBO ran the numbers, and — while it’s nowhere near as efficient as Medicare, which has administrative costs below 3% — it would actually save hundreds of billions of dollars overall thru competition (your basic Republican business model) and emphasis on prevention.
Rs: It can’t possibly be constitutional to require people to buy insurance.
O: The Supreme Court said it is. Besides, the states do it all the time with auto insurance.
Rs: If you manage to pass this, it’ll be your political ruin. We’ll call it Obamacare, and everybody will tie your name to it as we rail and spew against it and lie about it.
O: Obamacare, eh? I kinda like that. Better than “I don’t care”, for sure.
[Scene 2, 2013. They meet again.]
O: Well, your plan is now the law of the land. Whaddya think?
Rs: We hates it, we does, the Obamacare. We votes against it, my precious. We votes against it again! [Repeat 40 more times.]
O: But now every American will have access to affordable health care. I was certain you’d be pleased.
Rs: Nooooo, we hates it, we does. You must kill it, kill it now. We will kick over all the furniture and take our ball home and puke if you don’t.
O: Aww, poor babies! Upset tummies? Follow the Alka-Seltzer advice: “Try it, you’ll like it!”
Rs: Arrrrrhhh! Government health care? No, no, no, no, never ever ever ever ever. We might learn to likes it, we might. Kill it, kill it, kill it.
O: But it’s not government health care, remember? It’s private health care provided by private doctors and hospitals, paid for with insurance provided thru the private sector.
Rs: People hates it, the Obamacare.
O: They only feel that way about the name. If you ask them about each individual piece of what it actually accomplishes, they’re in favor of it, usually by huge margins.
R: No, no, no! We don’t wants to hear this. Kill it. Kill it now!
O: Sorry, it’s the law. We’re going ahead with it.
Rs: Obama is being mean to poor elephantses. He refuses to negotiate with us.
O: Negotiate!? Why should I negotiate? I already capitulated. This is YOUR PLAN!
Rs: Owwww, it burns, it does. It burns! Poor elephantses. Poor, poor elephantses. We don’t want to play this game any more.
O [aside]: Y’know, Dubya warned me not to negotiate with terrorists and blackmailers. I should spend more time listening to those Republicans. Sometimes they really do know what they’re talking about.