Washington DC (Neuters) - With support sinking fast for systemic healthcare change, specifically the Dems favored public option via single payer, during a recent appearance at the Press Club Mr. Obama desperately strove to turn the tide.
Inovking the name of an almost forgotten personality of yesteryer, as a proxy for the underserved, overcharged everyman, the President tried to put in stark relief how the status quo on health care has failed, 48 years and counting.
"This prominent fellow citizen of ours, time and time again starting in 1961, the very year of my birth, had publicly put his broken heart on his sleeve," solemnly proclaimed the President to the assembled journalists. "Though he didn't speak in direct terms, nonetheless he let anyone and everyone who had the heart to listen and guts to see -- and make no mistake, he had a wide and long reach, almost nobody over the age of 30 can claim ignorance -- that he had problems, emotional and, surely, physical ailments. Yet despite his celebrity, despite his surreal attempts at self destruction, they went unaddressed."
The President spoke further, the passion clear in his lilting voice and the intensity strong in his roving eyes as they religiously tracked the unfolding lines of his teleprompter.
"Our dysfunctional system of healtchare, for long decades, turned its uncaring, unfeeling back on this suicidal individual, apparently waiting for employer sponsored insurance or the free market to give it marching orders to intervene; that is, spring into action, but only after some upfront money changed hands. Or some ridiculously high premium had been satisfied. However, based on how he was callously neglected by his employer, Starkist, I doubt seriously if that sad, aspiring contractor ever had any decent access to healthcare."
Tearing his smoldering eyes away from the reader, briefly, to seemingly focus on each and every member of the press, who were turning restless, if not confused, he went on.
"And don't let the Republicans get away with spouting platitudes about individual freedom -- just because our reluctant poster child unmistakably yearned for death. That was no excuse not to intervene. And mark my words, with my vision of healthcare, that tragic real life soap opera won't be repeated!
"If anything, the fact that the very company he begged to do him in had haughtily rejected his demented pleas could have only deepened his psychosis -- not, as the other party claims, enforced the American ideal of self-determination, individually and corporately. I mean, c'mon folks, it doesn't take an Ivy league trained Psychiatrist to realize if someone wants to die by hook, line and sinker, and yet it's made clear he's not even worthy of that gruesome self-demise, his self-esteem had nowhere to go but down. His underlying condition would only worsen -- especially without benefit of a proactive, universally accessible healthcare system . . . for both mind and body!"
Some in the audience right away caught the implicit cue and applauded, hopeful release was within reach. After a bit of hesitation, others who had fallen into various states of numbness were roused and followed suit. One forward member of the press -- from FOX, no doubt -- stood up and took the bull by the horns. "Sir," he barged in, "are you going somewhere with this? If so, please translate what you have said into an argument for reform. At least before the sun goes down."
With his furrowed dark eyes now a maelstrom of annoyance, the President barked out, "How's this for translation, fool!? If my vision of healthcare is passes on my watch, no one in need of medical care will ever hear again the stinging rebuke, 'Sorry, Charlie, only the best tuna, er, patients make it into our, um, hospital!"
As the president stormed out, he muttered over his shoulder, "Or, at the very least, one of my 'Death Panels' would have helped put that stupid fish out of his misery . . . years ago!"