Barack Obama took a private jet to North Carolina late last night after declaring that he had clinched the Democratic nomination. With the presidential primaries essentially out of the way, Obama hurried to the bedside of Ted Kennedy. Kennedy has been one of Obama's mentors in the Senate and his support for Obama during the campaign was considered by many to have been critical.
Obama used the visit to boost his ideas for universal health care. "We can see what good health care means for my friend Ted Kennedy ... and this is what all Americans deserve."
Obama pointed out how difficult today's health care system was for Kennedy. Despite living in Boston, working in Washington, and spending substantial time in New York City, Kennedy was unable to find any good surgeons in those communities. He was forced to travel to Duke University to find a decent doctor.
"This is why we need universal health care," explained Obama, showing a framework for modifications to our medical system in light of the Kennedy situation.
First, Dr. Allan Freedman will be cloned thousands of times. Freedman is the surgeon who operated on Kennedy. The cloning process will ensure all Americans have easy access to the world's best brain surgeon.
Second, the government will give every American $1 million in a new health care account.
Third, all health care providers will treat patients for only $1 per visit. Patients will have to pay a 50 cent co-pay. Obama said this was an homage to his favorite rapper.
Experts estimate the plan will cost $300 trillion up front, but paying for much of it up front will mean annual expenses are much lower.
Republican candidate John McCain was expected to criticize the plan, but when questioned he said, "Ah, what the hell."