What Obamacare Means to the Jerk Who Stole My Girlfriend
The government hates sick people. With the historic decision on June 28 to uphold the Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court has effectively given Obama the authority to wipe his fancy loafers all over your constitutional right to be ill. If you are sick and he finds out, he'll try to change you, he'll try to make you healthy like everyone else, Obama and his cronies will try to turn you into another cog in the machine of well-being. Before long you won't even be able to take showers in your own home without the government kicking down the door with some prescription-strength dandruff shampoo. Is that what you want? The government watching you shower? Because that's your future, my friend.
"Look, either you can shower here or you can shower back in Washington. It's your choice."
The new health care reform law ensures that every American has health insurance and that insurance companies can't discriminate against people with preexisting conditions or drop people who become sick while covered. Essentially it's designed to allow everyone the health care they need, whether they can afford it or not. On the surface this all seems reasonable; that is, until you cut through the glossy veneer to the heart of the matter, forcing it to bleed out the ugly truth, as I have with my journalistic scalpel. Below is the full, unedited interview I did with someone close to the issue: a doctor. He is a licensed physician who is in favor of the ACA, and I think you'll find that thanks to my hard-hitting questions, even his best efforts to dress up the new law reveal how flawed it actually is. I don't mean to insist that he's an idiot by any means, but if, say, an ex-girlfriend of mine/current wife of his happened to read this and see my intellectual maturity and superiority over a goddamn doctor, then I wouldn't fault her for running back to me. That's just biological imperative.
Me: Thanks for inviting me over.
That Doctor: We both know I didn't. You insisted it be here.
Me: Thank you, you too. Listen, before we get started, there are just some preliminary questions I have to ask you to give my readers some context.
That Doctor: The readers of your little blog?
Me: What type of doctor are you?
That Doctor: I'm an internist.
Me: What does that mean? You just get coffee for real doctors?
That Doctor: Not an intern. An internist. I focus on the prevention and treatment of diseases.
Me: Do you deal with insurance companies regularly?
That Doctor: I do. I would say about 90 percent of the patients I see are insured.
Me: Great. And do you have any comment on the rumor that the loose skin on your neck looks a little like a testicle sack?
That Doctor: ...
That Doctor: I made the rules under which I would do this interview very clear.
Me: It's important for the readers of my little blog to have an accurate picture of you in their minds. I've heard that people sometimes equate the folds and coloration of your ears to labia, do you think that's a fair assessment?
That Doctor: No one has ever said that.
Me: I just did.
That Doctor: So the Affordable Care Act.
Me: Ugh, what about it?
That Doctor: I don't know. This is your interview. Do you agree with it?
Me: Do you?
That Doctor: Yes.
Me: Then no, I hate it.
That Doctor: I'm sorry to hear that.
Me: What's so great about it anyway?
That Doctor: Well to start, 30 million people who couldn't previously get affordable health insurance will have it now. That's not just exciting news for sick people, it's also a huge step for preventative care in this country. I think there are a lot of people who are already insured who think this will hurt them in some way, when it won't. It removes lifetime and annual limits, no one can be dropped just for getting sick. It's all upsides, even for people on Medicare, it give seniors a discount on prescri- What are you doing?
Me: Jesus, you're nosy. I'm just going through your drawers, detective. Is that illegal? I think this letter opener is mine.
That Doctor: That one. With my initials on it.
Me: Yeah, I can just go ask her if she accidentally took it with her. Your wife. I used to see her naked, you know. I bet she could clear up this whole letter opener mess right now. Is she here?
Granted, my memory is hazier than I would like.
That Doctor: She's not here.
Me: Hmm. Probably for the best. The fire is still too hot to touch I guess.
That Doctor: I knew this was going to be a waste of time.
Me: I'm going to take it just in case. If it turns out to be yours, she can just come pick it up at my place. Anytime. My weeks are pretty open. Tell her that.
That Doctor: Why don't you tell me what is it you hate about the ACA?
Me: It's gross. If everyone can afford to get treatment then I have to share my doctor with poor people. How is she going to have any time to see me when I think one of my knees might be pointier than the other if she's always busy cutting tumors out of homeless people and making eyeglasses for runaway kids?
He has to be blind, right? I mean look at that shoe and sock combo.
That Doctor: Alright. OK. I can only really rebut about 30 percent of what you just said because the rest was nonsense. I think what you're saying is that as an insured, healthy person, you won't see any of the benefit, only the side effects, right? But plenty of healthy people will still benefit from this new law. My wife for instance-
Me: It sounds filthy when you say it.
That Doctor: On average women have to pay significantly more than men for health insurance. It's blatant sexual discrimination, but it's a result of women going to a doctor more frequently than yo- well, than most men. The job of an insurance company is the same as any other company, they have to make money. So my wife pays 30 percent more than I do for insurance and now that she's pregnant, her insurance is refusing to cover her maternity benefits. What's the point of even having insurance if they can just refuse it like that? Well, under ACA that discrimination would be illeg-
Me: Shut your goddamn mouth.
The Doctor: What?
That Doctor: ...
That Doctor: I'm not sur-
That Doctor: Is this about the pregnancy?
That Doctor: Are you sure you want me to answer that?
Me: Did you force her?
That Doctor: Of course not. Are you ... are you counting in your head right now?
Me: What's the longest a woman has ever been pregnant for? Are there three-and-a-half-year pregnancies?
That Doctor: It's not yours. That would be impossible.
Me: Well, don't smile when you say it! This is bad. This is really bad.
That Doctor: So anyway, with the health care reform law, she-
Me: Fuck health care reform. What's expensive in here? This thing, this lamp thing, is this expensive?
That Doctor: Why?
Me: Because I need to break something important to you before I pass out from anger.
Are those feathers? Maybe I'll just leave it and hope they catch fire and burn your house down.
That Doctor: I think this interview is over.
Me: Jesus, this has got to be the strongest lamp ever created.
That Doctor: I feel sorry for any of your readers who were genuinely looking for information about the law. This has been the worst interview I've- will you please put that down.
Me: Why don't you make me, sack neck!
And just like that our interview ended. In a lot of ways my visit with the doctor was a good metaphor for what the American people can expect when looking for care under the new law. We will all, sadly, get sick at some point, and when that influx of patients is so overwhelming for physicians, instead of finding comfort and healing from the health care system, instead we will find that it has secretly impregnated our ex-girlfriends. Don't be surprised either when it throws you out the front door of its house and skins your knee really badly on the steps. Thanks a lot, Obama.
It seems pointy. Does it seem pointier than normal to you?
For more from Soren, check out A Bizarre New Trend in Advertising: Sexualizing Illness and A Guide to Giving Blood and Winning Back the Woman You Love.