Abbot and Costello on Obamacare
(c)2011 by Tom King
Costello: Funny names?
Abbott: We like to call them “clarifications. Now, first we’ve got the term “popular mandate”.
Costello: Like the all those people out there on the sidewalks with the signs and the tea bags?
Abbott: Exactly. We call what they are doing “schilling for big corporations” instead. See, those people are not really grass roots protesters. Instead, we call them astro-turfers. The big insurance companies pay them to march up and down and pretend to be mad about health care reform.
Costello: You mean they’re not really mad?
Abbott: Nooooo, they’re just pretending to be mad so the insurance companies can make more money.
Costello: They sure look mad to me!
Abbott: That's why we call them astro-turfers. That way we make sure everyone knows they are only artificially mad so they can earn those corporate dollars for "schilling for big corporations".
Costello: Hey, I need a job. Do you think they’ll pay me to do that.
Abbott: Now why would you want to do that?
Costello: Cause I haven’t had a job since 2009.
Abbott: Well why didn’t you get one of those new green jobs created by the stimulus?
Costello: They must have not been stimulating in my neighborhood.
Abbott: Well you can’t work for the astro-turfers.
Costello: Why not?
Abbott: Because they don’t tell you where to go to sign up.
Abbott: They don’t want everybody to know who’s paying them.
Costello: Then how do the people know where to go to get their paychecks?
Abbott: Oh, that’s easy. They just go to the corporations.
Costello: So, couldn't I go to the corporations and get paid?
Costello: Why not?
Abbott: Because you couldn’t find them.
Costello: Why not?
Abbott: Because they’re secret?
Costello: Then how do the people that schill for the big corporations know where to go get paid?
Abbott: They just go to the corporations!
Costello: Now don’t you start that again!
Abbott: I was just trying to tell you…..
Costello: You’re trying to confuse me…………
Abbott: Hey, I just thought of something. Maybe you could work for the Community Healthcare Standards Board.
Costello: Now that sounds like something I could do. What does a community healthcare standards board do?
Abbott: They decide who gets health care and who doesn’t.
Costello: Is that like those death panels the people outside schilling for the corporations are talking about.
Abbott: No, no. These are community healthcare standards boards. There is no such thing as a death panel. The community healthcare standards board determines whether or not it's worth spending the government's healthcare money on treating your illness or not.
Costello: I thought everybody gets health care.
Abbott: They do, unless, of course, the community healthcare standards board says they don't.
Costello: What happens to them? Do they die?
Abbott: We don’t like talk about that.
Costello: I'll bet you don't. But what about the people that the community healthcare standards board says that they don't get health care - let me ask you something...
Costello: They shoot them?
Abbott: No, no, I didn't mean they would shoot them. I meant....well, They just die of natural causes that's all. We call it a successful outcome of an end-of-life planning process.
Costello: End of life planning? So the board says they don't get healthcare for whatever reason and then they die. Is that right.
Abbott: Mmmmmmm, that's about right.
Costello: Then how is that not a death panel?
Abbott: Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh, they’ll hear you.
Abbott: The people outside delivering a mandate, I mean, schilling for the corporations.
Costello: I know, I’d like to deliver somebody a mandate!
Costello: Well one of those mandate guys....
Abbott: You mean corporate schills....
Costello: I mean one of those guys out there that looks like he's not just pretending to be mad, told me that that if I didn’t want to pay the government to be on this health care plan that I'd get audited by the Internal Revenue Service!
Abbott: We call that "health care program cost recovery-analysis".
Costello: Are they still going to look at my books?
Costello: Then how is that not an audit?
Abbott: Because it's a health care program cost recovery-analysis.
Costello: Why not call it an audit? It's easier. People know what an audit is. It wouldn't be so confusing!
Costello: So you call it something else so people won't know what you are doing?
Abbott: Not exactly.
Costello: How is it "not exactly"?.
Abbott: Because we're doing it for their own good.
Costello: I'd like to give you something for your own good......
Abbott: That's only because you don't understand it.
Costello: (aggravated) Because you're trying to confuse me!
Costello: I don't think I like this Obamacare thing so much.
Abbott: Oh, we don't call it Obamacare anymore.
Costello: Why not?
Abbott: We call it "Affordable Healthcare".
Abbott: Because that's what we want people to think it it.
Costello: And what do you want people to think it is.
Costello: So is it?
Abbott: Is it what?
Costello: Is it affordable?
Abbott: It will be once we get all the young people signed up.
Costello: Why do they want young people to sign up?
Abbott: To pay for the old people's healthcare.
Costello: Isn't that going to make the young people's healthcare cost more?
Abbott: We don't talk about that.
Costello: I be you don't.......................So tell me this. I'm a young person. How do I sign up for Obamacare?
Abbott: Affordable Healthcare
Costello: (with a snarky tone) Affordable Health care then?
Abbott: You just go to the Healthcare.gov website and sign up.
Costello: I went to that place on my computer. It's broken!
Abbott: You broke a website that cost the taxpayers 677 million dollars? Shame on you.
Costello: I didn't break the website. I was just going to sign up for Obam....Affordable Healthcare like they told me to. It was already broken when I got there.
Abbott: Well you know you only have another month to sign up.
Costello: (defiantly) Or what?
Abbott: What do you mean or what?
Costello: What happens if I don't sign up?
Abbott: Well, if you don't sign up the IRS will make you pay a fine.
Costello: So how long is it going to be before the website is fixed?
Abbott: The White House says it should be up and running in just 90 days.
Costello: (incredulously) It's going to take them three months to fix it?
Abbott: Just three months and it's only going to cost another 400 million dollars.
Costello: And if I don't sign up in one month I have to pay a fine.
Abbott: That's right.
Costello: So let me get this straight. The government spent 677 MILLION dollars on a website that is broken and won't be fixed so I can use it to sign up for another 3 months and if I don't sign up in one month, I have to pay a fine and they're going to spend another three or four HUNDRED million dollars to fix it?
Abbott: But you'll save money.
Costello: My friend Joe signed up for Obamacare.
Abbott: (interrupting) Affordable Health Care
Costello: I DON'T THINK SO.
Abbott: Calm down, calm down.
Costello: Tell my friend Joe to calm down.
Abbott: Why is he excited?
Costello: Because his healthcare went up $300 a month.
Abbott: But it's better healthcare...
Costello: It must be, because Joe's deductible is $5000
Abbott: But that will make sure everybody gets quality healthcare.
Costello: How are they going to make sure everybody gets all this healthcare we're supposed to get?
Abbott: All healthcare will be managed by the government.
Costello: So the government is going to ration health care?
Abbott: We call it allowing time for adequate patient processing.
Abbott: You see people will have to go down to special centers to be qualified for healthcare and there will be long lines.
Costello: You're making people stand in long lines on purpose?
Abbott: Suuuure! If people are standing in long lines, they aren’t using up all the health care. The more people standing in line, the fewer people actually using health care. That way no one will be using up more than their share of health care.
Costello: How will they know if I’m using more than my share?
Abbott: Because you’ll have an ID card? That way everywhere you go and use healthcare, a big computer in Washington will know how much you used.
Costello: Just me?
Abbott: No, no, no. Everyone will have a healthcare ID card. When you get that it will be so convenient. Why with your own ID card, the government can go straight into your bank account to take out money to pay for your health care and you don't have to lift a finger.
Costello: What? So, now the government is going to hire bank robbers to take money from my bank account to pay for something I don't want in the first place?
Abbott: Oh, no. Those aren't bank robbers. We call them IRS agents.