Des Moines (AP) According to Iowa's Commission on Aging, Governor Terry Branstad's six-month old Pull the Plug on Grandma initiative is exceeding all expectations. This Des Moines pilot program, enacted last March to address the slothful behavior of its malingering senior citizens, has saved the city millions of dollars but more importantly has allowed senior citizens to justify their existence.
Governor Branstad had this to say, "It is very gratifying to see this program blossom. We couldn't go on like before. We were coddling our most helpless citizens, allowing them to be lazy, lethargic, and dependent on machines. Some of them couldn't even breathe without a machine, for God's sake. Instead of dried up pieces of flotsam that have been left to rot in filthy hellholes, we now have dried up pieces of flotsam that actually do something".
Branstad credits Rod Roberts, CEO of Ramsay Care Homes, with providing the brain power for the Pull the Plug on Grandma program, "Ronnie turned my vision into a workable plan". Roberts, in addition to being the CEO for Ramsay Care Homes, the largest nursing home chain in Iowa, serves as Iowa's Director of Inspections and Appeals and as Director of Iowa's Commission on Aging.
Roberts, expressed great pride that a large group of essentially useless relics were now productive citizens but stressed that they weren't being tossed aside., " Please know that we are not abandoning anyone, we're just doling out some tough love". According to Roberts, nursing home residents can sleep in the homes when the weather isn't conducive to sleeping on park benches or under culverts.
Pull the Plug on Grandma went into effect on March 12, 2011. Under this program, 4000 municipal union employees were replaced with residents of Des Moines nursing homes. Seth Jensen, 97, cleans windshields on University Boulevard. Says Jensen with a big toothless grin," I'm a squeegee-man just like them guys in New York".
In the six months since its inception, Pull the Plug on Grandma has saved the City of Des Moines $17,000,000 including $1,000,000 savings from replacing traditional man-hole covers with old people. According to city manager Ryan Clark, "The city just can't afford cast iron man-hole covers. We used to get away with plywood but that was nixed after some union whistle blower raised a stink after a couple of their workers fell though the plywood and were impaled. A reliable source said they were drunk."
According to Clark, the bulk of the $ 17,000,000 in savings is a result of the free labor provided by the elderly participants of the program. "Obviously we don't pay these people. They are already milking the system of social security, Medicaid, Medicare and so forth, and we don't want to risk the appearance of double dipping.
*Sylvia Piper, an outspoken critic of Branstad's deregulation of the nursing home industry got quite a shock when she flew into Des Moines International Airport on Sunday and saw her 96-year old spinster aunt working gate security "What a hoot! She has never been married. Hell she's never even had a date and there she was kneading the inner thighs of Rick Perry, that absolute studhorse".
Eliminating all employees while maintaining revenue from residents' life savings, their homes, Medicaid, Medicare, social security, china, and unredeemed lotto tickets has caused nursing home profits to explode."Certainly this wasn't the main goal of Pull the Plug on Grandma, said Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie "but anytime you can create a better business climate, it's a good thing".
Municipal union workers weren't the only ones who were stripped of their duties.We visited the governor's mansion yesterday and caught up to Governor Branstad as he was having his toe nails clipped by 89 year old Jessie Thurmeyer. "This old girl is really useful. She also digs out the wax from my ears and the gunk from my belly button". These duties were formerly carried out by Tim Albrecht. Albrecht, Branstad's Chief of Communications, assured us that he had plenty of other duties to do and didn't mind giving these up."It was a great honor to attend to my governor's toenails even when they were green with fungus. I was more than happy to clean out the pasty substance between his toes, but the old hag needs the work more than I do". Albrecht added, "Now I can spend more time shredding documents and urinating on hard drives, which is why I was hired".
Branstad is confident that he will win bi-partisan support for making the "Pull the Plug on Grandma" program a state law."Some of the senate liberals have their panties in a wad because Des Moines purchases its squeegees from a factory in Pella that uses child labor . We coddle our youngsters far too much. They will be my next project.
* Silvia Piper has been fired from her position as Iowa's Disability Rights Director for her claims that 500 nursing home residents perished weekly in Iowa's nursing homes when the actual number is only 498.