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The Post-Times-Sun-Dispatch or PTSD is a newsource of serious political satire. Don't let a day go by without PTSD.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

by R J Shulman

WASHINGTON - (PTSD News) - Health care reform is on its way, or is it? After months of wrangling, the health care bill in the Senate will get its up or down vote. "With all the Republicans in lock-step knee-jerk opposition to anything Obama could take credit for, the Democrats need all 60 of their possible votes for change," said Calvin Hardcross of the Belding Institute, a Bethesda, Maryland think tank, "but what could have turned into a big chance for the Democrats to make good on the all important campaign promise of reforming health care, has instead become an opportunity for individual senators to hold up the legislation until their pet project has been added to the final bill."

Prime example is Joe Lieberman (I-Conn) who normally caucuses with the Democrats, but has turned the heath care bill into an insurance company bail-out. "Boy I'm I going to get lucky tonight," said Lieberman referring to the fact that his wife, Hadassah has worked for firms that support the insurance industry. Lieberman's amendment created a mandate to force 40 million new customers to purchase insurance from private companies, while not placing any restrictions on rates they can charge. "After schtupping the American public, I'm going to be doing a little schtupping of my own tonight," Lieberman said.

Senator Bill Nelson of Nebraska held the bill hostage until his amendment that banned the use of federal dollars to pay for abortions was included. "Since all money is either US currency or equivalent," Nelson said, "no one will be able to pay for an abortion in this country anymore."

Other Democratic senators have used their power to scuttle the bill unless they got what they wanted. Some of the new provisions added to the legislation include increased farm subsidies, turning abandoned auto manufacturing plants into places to grow medical marijuana plants, a brother-in-law's idea to make solar powered toothpicks, a bail out for typewriter companies, and 13 memorial statues in the likeness of the amendment's sponsor.

This bill has everything including the kitchen sink," said Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) referring to the provision to give $25.7 million to American Standard to develop and manufacture kitchen sinks. "The only thing this bill doesn't have in it, is health care reform."

"This bill is a win-win-win-win-win-win-win situation," said Obama's Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, "Each Democratic senator can keep getting their campaign contributions and Obama can take credit for passing a health care bill." Sources close to President Obama say when he actully signs the bill, he will borrow the famous words of his predecessor and say, "mission accomplished."

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