John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) reports that a study comparing out-of-pocket costs under Affordable Care Act health insurance policies will likely exceed costs under employer sponsored plans by an estimated 130%.
John Castellani, president and CEO of PhRMA, expressed concern that “millions of Americans may be priced out of receiving the medicines they need. This completely contradicts the Administration’s promise that the Affordable Care Act would provide coverage equivalent to or better than what people had prior to the new law.”
Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services Bill Corr disputed the implication that the health of Americans would be negatively affected. “Most of the prescription drugs people take are unnecessary,” Corr asserted. “Some are outright harmful when all of the negative side effects are taken into consideration. So if higher out-of-pocket costs reduce the consumption of these drugs not only will we save money, we will save lives.”
“If the general public had known that boosting consumers’ out-of-pocket drug costs in order to discourage consumption was an intended outcome of the President’s health care reform I doubt they would’ve supported its passage,” Castellani observed. “I certainly know our organization wouldn’t have supported it.”
“What these outsiders may have believed is not important,” Corr replied. “The key was to reform our nation’s health care system by whatever means necessary. The ACA is now the law of the land. We will carry out its provisions as the President deems appropriate. If this cuts into drug manufacturers’ profits, so be it.”
In related news, health insurance executive Marcus Merz, CEO of PreferredOne, says another accomplishment of Obamacare will be “to help people break away from the idea that they should have a range of choices when it comes to who will treat them. Choice adds to the cost of health care. The less of it there is, the more we save.”
Senator Proffers More Evidence of Encroaching Dementia
Repeated rants against the Koch brothers appear to be insufficient to calm Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev). “What’s needed,” says Reid, “is a Constitutional Amendment aimed specifically at stopping them.”
“These two men are an existential threat to America,” Reid argued. “They are, perhaps, the single biggest factor behind global warming. We cannot afford to treat them like ordinary citizens. Extraordinary measures must be taken to stave off their attacks on our Government.”
The “attacks” Reid wants to stave off are studies that contradict Administration policies and candidates that vie to unseat Democratic officeholders—both funded by donations from the Koch brothers.
“The Koch brothers are hiding behind the freedom of speech that our Constitution guarantees for true patriots,” Reid asserted. “They will continue to exploit this loophole until we take action to close it.”
The Senator contends that “a simple revision to the First Amendment that would abridge freedom of speech for only the Koch brothers would do the trick. Everyone else’s freedom would remain untouched. Only these two malefactors of great wealth would be impacted.”
“Amending the Constitution in this way would enable Congress to pass legislation aimed specifically at sanctioning the nefarious activities of the Kochs,” Reid explained. “And courts would be barred from overturning these laws because the Constitution would explicitly permit clamping down on the Kochs.”
IRS Emboldened to Resist Cooperating with Congress
Rather than cowing the IRS into cooperating with Congressional inquiries, the House’s citing former IRS official Lois Lerner with contempt seems to have emboldened further resistance. “The notion that this ‘slap-on-the-wrist’ is going to make us turn on our friends is ludicrous,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.
At issue is correspondence between the IRS and high-ranking Democrats–including Sen. Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Reid (D-NV), Sen. Bennet (D-CO), Sen. Landrieu (D-LA), Sen. Pryor (D-AR), Sen. Hagan (D-NC), Sen. Begich (D-AK), Sen. Shaheen (D-NH), Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO), Sen. Franken (D-MN), Sen. Warner (D-VA), Rep. Braley (D-Iowa) and Rep. Peters (D-MI)–who are alleged to have pressured the Agency to crack down on conservative political organizations in the run up to the 2012 elections.
“We will not provide ammunition for the GOP’s efforts to denigrate these great men,” Koskinen vowed. “The Party of the Government must stick together if we are to fend off this anti-government conspiracy. Even if it weren’t the right thing to do, people can surely see that it is the sensible thing for us to do.”
“The President has the power to use deadly force against those who would act to discredit his Government,” Koskinen pointed out. “Many of those who posed such a threat are now dead on his orders. Being held in contempt by Congress is nowhere near as potent a deterrent. They even balked at sending Lois to jail, which they had the authority to do. So, I think I’ll risk defying Congress rather than disobeying the President.”
In related news, retired Gen. Michael Hayden, former Director of the NSA, admitted that the Obama Administration has been using so-called metadata as the foundation of its “assassination-by-drone program.” “Metadata absolutely tells you everything about somebody’s life,” Hayden said. “You don’t have to actually listen-in to what people are saying or read their emails or texts. As long as you know who is talking and where they are you can launch a drone strike against them.” Ironically, the Obama Administration has tried to mollify critics of its spying on Americans by assuring that it is not listening or reading, but only collecting metadata.
President Ups Pressure for Immigration Reform
Determined to maneuver Republicans in Congress into supporting immigration reform before the November elections, President Obama ordered the release of 36,000 illegal alien criminals. The crimes committed were for offenses other than entering the country illegally, including 116 homicides, 426 sexual assaults, 303 kidnappings, 1,075 aggravated assaults, 1,160 stolen vehicles, 9,187 dangerous drug possessions, and 24,822 driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
“By denying these undocumented immigrants legal status we force them into the shadows where they must struggle to support themselves,” the President complained. “The vast majority accept low-wage work cleaning our homes, mowing our lawns, and serving our fast food. But some can’t even get these slavery-type jobs. They are forced into lives of crime. It would be unfair to hold this against them while Congress—a virtual co-conspirator—repeatedly refuses to enact corrective legislation.”
The release of these criminals outraged Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala). “After pleading for latitude in dealing with so-called ‘harmless’ undocumented aliens, the Administration now goes ahead and sends dangerous criminals out into the streets of America’s cities and towns,” Sessions complained. “This goes beyond dereliction of his duty to enforce the law. It is a malicious attempt at extortion.”
Administration Official Doubts Benghazi Probe Will Get Anywhere
National Security Adviser Susan Rice says she doubts that the newly organized House of Representatives probe into the 2012 attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi will make any headway.
“Look, they can’t make us tell them anything we don’t want to tell them,” Rice bragged. “We know exactly what happened that day. They don’t. Any notion the Republicans may have that subpoenas will compel testimony we don’t want to give is totally off-base.”
“They say they want documents,” Rice said. “Well, we’ve already given them 25,000 pages of documents. What, these aren’t the documents they were requesting? So what? They say they want witnesses. We already had Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testify. She was the highest ranking person involved during the Benghazi event. There is no need for any lower ranking personnel to be called especially since the Secretary conclusively proved that at this point whatever happened that day doesn’t matter now.”
“Do they think that our show of defiance and refusal to cooperate will win them PR points?” Rice asked. “Get real. The media are on our side. The whole thing is just a colossal waste of time.”
In related news, Rice contended that “GOP opposition to Administration policies is America’s main weakness. It prevents the President from presenting a united front to our overseas adversaries. Neither China nor Russia have to face the kind of domestic cabals of disloyalty that President Obama has had to contend with. Until we find an effective way to eliminate this disloyalty the nation’s foreign policy will lack total effectiveness.”
Democrat Rallies to Defend Veterans Administration
Undaunted by recent revelations of veterans dying while waiting for treatment at VA Hospitals, Senator John Tester (D-Mont) insists that “the VA is doing a pretty darn good job.”
“What a lot of people, especially those hammering the VA, are overlooking is that while some vets died a majority lived,” Tester declared. “Obviously, and vets should know this, any operation as large as the VA is bound to have some casualties. Not everyone can be saved. Rather than become obsessed with those who aren’t saved why don’t we applaud those who are?”
A Satirical Look at Recent News
John Semmens is a retired economist who has written a weekly political satire column for The Arizona Conservative since 2005. He says working on his satires is one of the ways he tries to honor the liberties that our nation’s Founding Fathers tried to protect.
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