Ruminations, December 29, 2013
--Monty Python meets Obamacare
The Obama Administration and Democrats in general have been accusing their opponents of bad-mouthing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – and there is some truth to that. In springing to the defense of the Act, however, Obama and the Democrats must feel that to concede any significant flaws is to admit that the Republicans have been right. While Obama and the Democrats have tried to put together a plan which will solve everyone’s healthcare problems, from a political point of view, they cannot admit that anything (other than the web site) is wrong. The result from this perspective is that if anyone looks silly, the Democrats do because they refuse to admit obvious faults. And since they hold the majority in the senate, no one will fix the flaws.
One would think that in the interests of the American public, Obama would declare that the Act is dead and that it requires a do-over. But it doesn’t work that way; politics trumps common sense.
It calls to mind a Monty Python skit where a Mr. Praline (played by John Cleese) tries to return a dead parrot to the pet store owner (played by Michael Palin). It is obvious that the parrot is dead and yet, like the defenders of Obamacare, the shop owner refuses to admit the flaws and makes excuses. The sketch, with modifications to address the Obamacare situation, might read something like this:
A customer enters the shop.
Mr. Praline: I wish to complain about this Health Plan what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very boutique.
Owner: Oh yes, the, uh, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Plan ...What's, uh...What's wrong with it?
Mr. Praline: I'll tell you what's wrong with it, my lad. It’s dead, that's what's wrong with it!
Owner: No, no, it's uh, ... it's resting.
Mr. Praline: Look, matey, I know a dead Health Plan when I see one, and I'm looking at one right now.
Owner: No, no it's not dead, it's, it's restin'! Remarkable plan the Patient Protection and Affordable Care, idn'it, ay? Beautiful coverage!
Mr. Praline: The coverage don't enter into it. It's stone dead.
Owner: Nononono, no, no! It's resting!
Mr. Praline: All right then, if it's restin', I'll wake it up! (Shouting at the plan) 'Ello, Mister Obamacare! I want to keep my present policy. I've got a lovely premium payment if you show...
(Owner hits the plan)
Owner: There, it moved!
Mr. Praline: No, it didn't, that was you changing the rules!
Owner: I never!!
Mr. Praline: Yes, you did!
Owner: I never, never did anything...
Mr. Praline: (yelling and hitting the plan repeatedly) 'ELLO OBAMACARE!!!!! Testing! Testing! Testing! Testing! This is your systems test!
(Takes computer monitor and thumps it on the counter. Throws it up in the air and watches it plummet to the floor.)
Mr. Praline: Now that's what I call a dead health care plan.
Owner: No, no.....No, 'it's stunned!
Mr. Praline: STUNNED?!?
Owner: Yeah! You stunned it, just as he was wakin' up to handle the volume! Obamacare stuns easily, major.
Mr. Praline: Um...now look...now look, mate, I've definitely 'ad enough of this. That healthcare system is definitely deceased, and when I purchased it not 'alf an hour ago, you assured me that its total lack of movement was due to it bein' tired and shagged out following the prolonged application process.
Owner: Well, it's...it's, ah...probably pining for the birth control pills.
Mr. Praline: PININ' for the BIRTH CONTROL PILLS?!?!?!? What kind of talk is that? Look, why did it fall flat on his back the moment I got it home?
Owner: Obamacare prefers keepin' on its back! Remarkable plan, id'nit, squire? Lovely coverage!
Mr. Praline: Look, I took the liberty of examining Obamacare when I got it home, and I discovered the only reason that it had been sitting on its perch in the first place was that it had been NAILED there.
Owner: Well, o'course it was nailed there! That’s to fix the glitches! If I hadn't nailed that plan down, it would have nuzzled up to the Republicans, and VOOM! Feeweeweewee!
Mr. Praline: "VOOM"?!? Mate, this health plan wouldn't "voom" if you put four million volts through it! It's bleedin' demised!
Owner: No no! It's pining!
Mr. Praline: It's not pinin'! It's passed on! This Obamacare is no more! It has ceased to be! It's expired and gone to meet its maker! It's a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed it to the perch it'd be pushing up the daisies! Its metabolic processes are now 'istory! It's off the twig! It's kicked the bucket; it’s shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible!! THIS IS AN EX-HEALTH PLAN!!
Owner: Well, I'd better replace it, then. (He takes a quick peek behind the counter) Sorry squire, I've had a look 'round the back of the shop, and uh, we're right out of health plans.
Mr. Praline: I see. I see. I get the picture.
Owner: (pause) I got a stimulus plan.
Mr. Praline: Pray, does it cover health care?
Owner: Nnnnot really.
Mr. Praline: WELL IT'S HARDLY A BLOODY REPLACEMENT, IS IT?!!???!!?
Owner: N-no, I guess not. (Gets ashamed, looks at his feet)
Mr. Praline: Well.
Owner: (quietly) D'you.... d'you want to come back to my place?
Mr. Praline: (looks around) Yeah, all right, sure.
Quote without comment
Dennis the peasant in the 1975 movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail: “Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government! Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses …”