Shut Up and Hand Me the Wrench!
The Future Of Medicine Under Obama Universal Coverage for Health (O.U.C.H.)
By William Kevin Stoos Thursday, July 16, 2009
- Satire

The year was 2019, in the third term of the Reign of Obama the Secular. Owing to a radical Supreme Court stacked with four Obama appointees who declared the Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution unconstitutional, Obama was well on his way to becoming the first President since Roosevelt to be elected to four terms. A generation that voted for free stuff in 2008, begat another generation of voters who wanted free stuff. In time, the amount of voters wanting free stuff—and knowing they would get it from the Great One—reached a tipping point. They soon outnumbered those who worked, paid taxes, and created jobs. For the next decade they continued to vote for politicians who promised free stuff. Of course, this ensured that the King of Free Stuff, Obama the Secular—who never met a government program he did not like—would be re-elected for life.

By 2019, the government had acquired Government Motors—which produced the Obamobile—a tinny, scaled-down, politically-correct Smart Car powered by chicken manure, which got 150 miles per gallon and rode two people and one sack of groceries comfortably. If you did not hit anything harder than a marshmallow, did not want to ride farther than ten miles, and did not need to carry anything, the Obamobile was great—and guaranteed not to crush you in an impact less than 5 miles per hour. The government also owned the press, which had willingly volunteered to merge into a new federal agency comprised of ABC, MSNBC, CBS, and NBC, named “The Department of ObaMedia.” Its mission it was to herald the accomplishments of the Great Leader, produce Obama Infomercials, and explain new government controls on the peoples’ lives. All banks were nationalized and combined into one mega bank—“ObamaNational.”

Slowly, imperceptibly, the government chipped away at individual freedoms until, in time, there was very little not controlled by the government. Obama’s official motto for the Socialist States of America: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” was ratified by Congress eight years earlier—at the same time the name of the country was changed by Executive Order. “In God We Trust” was deemed too offensive by those who were worried that atheists might be insulted. While the new motto suited those who wanted free stuff just fine, to the minority who worked hard, created wealth and jobs, paid taxes, and financed the hungry beast known as the Socialist Federal Government (or, “Uncle Sugar,” as it was affectionately known), it was not such a great thing. Soon the country was running out of people who created wealth, and had a surplusage of people wanting free stuff. Paying 80% of your income to the government was not such a good deal any longer. Those who still wanted to work, had to work two or three jobs to make ends meet and pay for all the free stuff.

By far the largest segment of the federal budget—health care—drained the country more than anything else. In the year 2010 of the Reign of Obama the Great, Congress—stacked with representatives elected by people wanting free stuff—passed what was, in retrospect, the ruination of the former United States of America: “Obama Universal Coverage for Health” (O.U.C.H.). Under O.U.C.H. employers were forced to provide health insurance coverage for their employees, or pay a large fine. In time, those few businesses able to survive in the Reign of Obama, opted to provide the cheaper O.U.C.H. coverage for their employees. People who did not have jobs were automatically eligible for O.U.C.H. benefits. Those who worked for a living but could not afford private insurance and lured by the promise of a “low cost” [sic] government health care plan, elected to sign up for O.U.C.H, (aka, “Obama Care”). In time, private insurers could not compete with the low premiums charged by the government. After all, under O.U.C.H., the premiums were set by federal legislation, medical doctors were compensated according to a strict schedule set by federal law, and health care was doled out under a quota system in order to control costs. A newly-created mega-agency, Division of Euthanasia And Triage of Humans (D.E.A.T.H.) determined who was worthy—and young enough—for extraordinary health care measures. Each region had an autonomous D.E.A.T.H. committee, comprised of Obama appointees. So, the cheaper, no frills government plan was attractive to many—at first. In time, because private insurers were driven out of business, there was no insurance but Obama Care. And it turned out that free was neither free nor particularly good. But by 2019 it was the only thing left. And it was driving the country into bankruptcy.

But business was good for Bob’s Plumbing. People needed plumbers. Between remodels and repairs, Bob was doing a thriving business. In fact, he was so busy he needed help. His new hire, William, was pretty good with a wrench and had a knack for plumbing. Intelligent, hard working, and possessed of good manual dexterity, he was certainly talented enough to be a successful plumber. Yet, he had an attitude. He was a malcontent, who griped about everything. He was tedious, bitchy, and got on Bob’s nerves. He clearly did not want to be there—moonlighting for Bob’s Plumbing days while working his regular job nights. Yet, he needed to be there; his night job was not cutting it any longer.

“I didn’t go to school for this,” William whined as he slammed down his tool box and reported for work. Bob was installing a new sink for his customer. He did not have time for William’s bitching.

“Yeah,” Bob replied, “but plumbing is a good profession; trades are the place to be. I got more work than I can handle. Imagine that—a high school diploma and I am making more than some of you college boys.” Bob removed the old sink and handed it to his assistant.

“All those years of college,” William whined. “Three hundred thousand in loans. And here I am, working two jobs just to make ends meet.” He shook his head.

“What were you thinking anyway?” Bob continued. “I bet 90% of your classmates voted for the Great One, didn’t they?” The comment hit home. Bob was right. William and his classmates did indeed vote for the Great Leader back in ‘08. After all, Obama was young, hip, and black. It was cool to vote for the first black president. It was the thing to do. That they knew nothing about Obama did not bother them in the least. That he was a socialist, whose agenda was to “Remould{ii** the world closer to [his] heart’s desire” did not concern them in the least. Little did they know that eleven years later they would pay for it—in ways they never imagined. What were we thinking, indeed, William thought to himself.

“Yeah,” William replied, “imagine that—making more as a plumber’s helper than my regular occupation. And the government tells us what to charge, what we can make, what we can do, and how much we can do.”

“Bummer,” Bob replied, “no one tells a plumber what to charge. It’s whatever the market will bear. I am my own boss. No one from the freaking government tells me what to do.” Bob turned his head and coughed into his sleeve. It was a dry, hacky cough that just never seemed to go away. It was annoying.

“Better get that looked at,” William suggested, “that cough doesn’t sound good.”

“Wish I could,” Bob lamented, “but reached my quota last week. Been to the doctor six times already this year. Unless I want to pay a big surcharge, I am done till next year.”

“How is your wife?” William inquired. It had been a bad year for Bob. His wife of 40 years had been diagnosed with cancer of the liver.

“Not good,” Bob lamented “it is spreading and there is not much they can do.” He was depressed.

“Can’t they do anything else for her?” William asked, incredulous.

“Nope,” Bob continued, “she appealed to D.E.A.T.H. but they turned her down of course. She is 62 after all. They refused to authorize treatment. They have their priorities you know. So, they gave her pain killers, wished her the best, and sent her out the door. ‘Budget considerations,’ they told us. The cut off was lowered to 62 last year you know. No surgery, no heroic measures. As Tom Daschle once said, “When you get a certain age, you just have to live with it and roll with the punches. We can’t expect to live forever.” I guess the thing than bugs me most is that D.E.A.T.H. thinks 62 is a ripe old age when it comes to dispensing medical care.”

“That’s just the way it is I guess,” said William, disgusted. “We have unlimited funds for abortion, and limited funds for seniors. We kill the nearly born and deprive the nearly old. Helps keep down the cost.”

The two worked in silence for a few moments, totally dejected. Bob—with his own problems and a 62 year old wife who was too young to die but too old to treat. And William—working two jobs because the job he trained for was not enough to support his young family. Life was not what either had supposed. But there was work to do and Bob was getting tired of thinking about it all. Mostly, he was tired of William’s constant moaning.

“Well,” Bob bristled, “if you want to quit, feel free. There are fifty others like you who would love to have this job. You can always go back to your night job. Your fault after all,” Bob noted. “You could have had a good career; you could have been a plumber or a carpenter. You could have been something. No one forced you to become a vascular surgeon. So, shut up, Doctor, and hand me the wrench!”