John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News
After titillating the media for the past few days with hints of a “big announcement,” Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius told an audience in Atlanta that her office was taking a “historic step to aggressively deal with mental health issues under the Affordable Care Act.”
Undaunted by a spattering of audible groans from the audience, Sebelius plowed ahead explaining that “studies show that nearly 50% of Americans have serious mental health issues that have gone untreated. People who should be on medication are not currently receiving this benefit. People who should be institutionalized are not receiving this benefit. We are going to fix that.”
The Secretary promised that “as soon as we get the bugs worked out of the computerized sign-up process we will be able to begin meting out these benefits to those who need them.” She brushed aside suggestions that some of the intended beneficiaries might not want the services she is vowing to impose on them. “People with untreated illnesses pose a risk to society that we cannot afford to ignore. Protecting the 50% of the population that is not afflicted with mental health problems is just as important as treating those who are.”
One measure reported to be under consideration would be to add anti-psychotic medications to the water supply. “One of the biggest difficulties in medicine is getting the patient to consistently and reliably take the drugs that are prescribed for him,” Sebelius pointed out. “If we add medications to the water supply people forgetting to take their meds will be a thing of the past. We already add fluoride to the water. The success of that program shows that removing the human element from the medicating procedure is the way to go.”
In related news, Sebelius labeled fears that increased government control over health care would lead to “passive extermination” of the seriously ill elderly as “exaggerated.” The fears were reignited by a report on how the UK’s National Health Service held 80-year-old patient Ron Jee without food or water for four days waiting for him to die.
“People are making a big deal about how this patient was crying and pleading for help during his treatment,” Sebelius said. “That is the narrow view. The broader perspective is that our resources are finite. Food and water expended on those who’s lives have little value to society subtracts from what we then have available for higher value individuals. Surely, the good of the whole outweighs the brief suffering of the few.”
Obama Apologizes for Taking Advantage of People’s Stupidity
Unable to persuade everyone that the numerous recordings documenting him promising that those who like their current health insurance could keep it were doctored to cut off a qualifier limiting the promise to “only if it hasn’t changed since the Affordable Care Act was passed,” President Obama apologized for “taking advantage of people’s stupidity and abusing their trust in me.”
“If I had said at the outset that tens of millions of Americans would be forced off of insurance plans that we consider sub-standard we never would’ve been able to get Congress to pass the law,” Obama explained. “It should have been obvious to anyone who gave the matter any thought that a huge portion of existing plans, especially those that only covered catastrophic events in exchange for low premiums, would be rendered null and void by the new law. Many of those holding those policies are now experiencing feelings of regret that they supported me and my program. I’m sorry if these people feel they’ve been duped, but it was necessary for the good of the country.”
In related news, reports critical of the launch of the Obamacare website that point out that we landed more people on the moon than we’ve registered through the websites in Delaware, Kansas and Alaska combined were labeled “unfair comparisons” by Presidential Press Secretary Jay Carney. “The missions to the moon were all financed and directed under a ‘single-payer’ plan. If you recall, the GOP opposed a single-payer approach to healthcare insurance. Without this opposition all the key decisions would’ve been totally in the hands of the Government. We wouldn’t have to deal with individuals bungling their sign-up or declining to participate.”
President Says He’s Done More for America than Any of His Predecessors
In an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd, President Obama complained that he is being unfairly blamed for the failures of his signature Obamacare legislation, “especially since I have probably done more for this country than any prior President has.”
“My critics are whining about the glitches in the website that are impeding the process of getting Americans signed up for health insurance,” the President said. “They say that the new plans are too costly, that people are being forced to buy coverage for events that will never happen to them—like getting abortions or sex-changes that their faith prohibits. Well, the website will eventually be fixed. And even if the events never happen to the persons forced to pay for coverage they will happen to others. What many overlook is that a big part of the new healthcare law is to shift the focus away from selfish individual concerns toward a greater sense of social responsibility. Before we’re done we will all be our brothers’ keepers.”
Obamacare wasn’t the only accomplishment the President felt was under appreciated. “I have kept America safe by ordering the assassination of uncounted dangerous enemies,” he boasted. “Even the great FDR balked at attempting to take out Hitler—opting instead to incur millions of casualties on both sides over a three-year struggle. Granted, he didn’t have the capability for surgical strikes launched from drones, but still, he carelessly took taking out high value individual targets off the table.”
“I ended two wars—one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan,” Obama continued. “No other President has done that. This ought to shut up those who say I didn’t deserve the Nobel Peace Prize.”
“And another thing people overlook is the millions of Americans who are no longer looking for work,” the President added. “Workforce participation is smaller than it’s been in over 30 years. People are confident that the burdens of labor can be avoided. Under policy initiatives I have instituted they know that they will be fed, housed, clothed and entertained without having to endure the drudgery of toil. The proportion of the population receiving food stamps, welfare, and public housing has risen every year since I was elected. When am I going to get the proper recognition for that?”
IRS Excuses Self for Fraudulent Payments
Reports that the Internal Revenue Service pays billions of dollars a year to those who don’t deserve them were dismissed by IRS officials as “unimportant” and “a distraction from more important concerns.”
An Inspector General’s report issued this week revealed that the IRS paid over $4 billion to identity thieves. Examples of the fraudulent payments include 655 tax refunds sent to a single address in Lithuania and 343 to a single address in Shanghai, China.
The massive number of refunds sent to single addresses might be expected to set off “red flags” at the Agency. Commissioner, Daniel Werfel said “they did, but we had more on our plate than just trying to interdict ordinary con artists. As others have explained, the Administration had tasked us with the responsibility to scrutinize organizations that posed a threat to the government. We had to prioritize our limited resources. These cases of petty theft just fell through the cracks.”
The organizations garnering the IRS’ attention were “right-wing political groups that might have seriously threatened the continued existence of the current Administration,” Werfel said. “The billions in erroneous payments represented a small fraction of the money available to the Government. These extremist groups were, in our opinion, the greater priority.”
NYC Mayor Pledges to Boost Abortions
New York City’s freshly elected Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) pledged to make New Yorkers’ access to abortions “my top priority.” The City already has one of the highest rates of abortion in the country with an estimated 41% of pregnancies ending in elective termination of the fetus.
Asserting that “excessive human population is the greatest environmental threat to our planet,” de Blasio vowed to “remove every impediment, no matter how minor, to a woman’s opportunity to do her duty to fight this scourge on the planet.”
One of the largest impediments to freely available abortions is, according to the new Mayor, “the existence of pregnancy crisis centers that try to steer expectant mothers toward alternatives to abortion. They’d like everyone to believe that giving birth and putting the baby up for adoption is a more humane way of dealing with unwanted children. What they don’t want these expectant mothers to acknowledge is that giving birth burdens the planet with another mouth to feed, another human who will grow up to rape the environment.”
In addition to putting these “sham” women’s health centers out of business, de Blasio promised to continue outgoing Mayor Bloomberg’s policy of barring doctors from declining to perform abortions. “The right to practice medicine is a privilege granted by the Government,” de Blasio declared. “We cannot allow those wanting this privilege to insert their own conscientious objections to implementing the unrestricted right to abortion that this state has determined belongs to every woman. New York is a progressive state, not a haven for red neck captives of religious delusions.”
A Satirical Look at Recent News
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