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A Retort Contest!

So. There’s this Health Care Finance Reform Bill. Y’all have heard about it? And it’s immensely complicated, largely because—You know how the Big Dig attempted to take a major highway that ran on an elevated road over Boston and put it instead through an underground tunnel, and do it without ever shutting off traffic on that highway? The plan here is to take a way of paying for health care in this country that (a) leaves ten percent of the population without any way of paying for needed care, (2) taints an enormous chunk of medical decisions with bizarre structural incentives, both financial and procedural, that result in diminishing actual health for more millions of people, and (iii) diverts lots and lots of money from business and households that are more productive than the insurance industry into that industry, to take that way of paying for health care and alleviate the excesses of it without shutting off traffic to the insurance companies. It’s doable. But it’s very expensive, complicated, time-consuming, and chunks of hospitals will probably crush people’s cars for years to come difficult to oversee.

So the bill is two thousand pages long. It’s a big stack of law. I mean, it’s not all that big a stack of law, when compared to other law, but if you have a basic contempt for legislation (as most Republican legislators seem to have), the big old lump of law is bad in itself. But Paul Waldman (in asking Please, Enough With the Length of [the] Bill) has covered the substance of that already. I’m just hear to talk about the rhetoric.

This was a quote cleverly designed to make the news: “This [stack of paper], twenty pounds is the size of many people’s turkey next week. That’s what most people in North Carolina think about the bill, too.” That’s Senator Burr of NC (video), in a press conference thingy that did not allow any supporter of the Bill to immediately respond. So I’m opening it up as a Retort Contest for Gentle Readers!

My Best Reader actually started it off with

And most people in North Carolina would be thankful for health care, too, if they could get it.

My entry is

I guess the Senator hasn’t been to a food pantry lately. There are a lot of people in his state who won’t be able to afford a twenty-pound turkey, much less health care. But we can do something about it.

Let’s have yours. Rules: You do not have to actually support the Bill to enter the contest, but the Retort should be from the point of view of a supporter. The Retort can be crude, profane or obscene, but it should be to the point. Dick jokes are OK, as are jokes involving the name, background and colleagues of the Senator from North Carolina, but should be connected somehow to the Bill. Let’s keep it to, oh, fifty words or shorter, ideally. And entries will be taken (via comments on this note of course) until the end of the day on Wednesday, so feel free to pace up and down coming up with just the right mot.

The judging will be by a panel of Undead Zombie Celebrities (Zombie Cicero! Zombie Barbara Jordan! Zombie Williams Jennings Bryan!) who will give points for brevity, wit, savvy, viciousness, unanswerability and sweet, sweet brains. The prize will be—should YHB come up with an actual prize? I’m in a good mood, I just might.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,


Fuck you, clown!

The meat of the bill is to provide health care for those who otherwise can not afford it. Its length is just gravy.

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