The ACP Advocate Blog

by Bob Doherty

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Twelve Days of Health Reform

Today's blog will be my last for 2010, as I will be taking a break to spend the Christmas and New Year’s holidays with family and friends.

In keeping with a tradition I started two years ago, I again have taken the liberty of mangling a beloved holiday song, story, or rhyme to give a humorous (I hope!) perspective on current politics. In December, 2008, I adapted “Twas the Night Before Christmas” to convey President-elect Obama as being a not-so-jolly old elf besieged by lobbyists demanding stimulus gifts. Last year, I depicted the GOP as the Grinch trying to stop “ObamaCare” from coming.

Today, I’ve re-written the “Twelve Days of Christmas” carol so that it is the government bestowing “gifts” (based on actual provisions of the Affordable Care Act) that the new Congress may later take away. (Of course, in the real world, the ACA’s changes won’t take place over 12 days, but over many years.) Here goes:

“On the first day of health reform, the government gave to me,
A promise of health care, available universally.

On the second day of health reform, the government gave to me,
Coverage of my pre-existing conditions,
And a promise of health care, available universally.

On the third day of health reform, the government gave to me,
Insurance for my adult kids,
Coverage of my pre-existing conditions,
And a promise of health care, available universally.

On the fourth day of health reform, the government gave to me,
Tax credits for my small business,
Insurance for my adult kids,
Coverage of my pre-existing conditions,
And a promise of health care, available universally.

On the fifth day of health reform, the government gave to me,
Free Medicare visits for my mom,
Tax credits for my small business,
Insurance for my adult kids,
Coverage of my pre-existing conditions,
And a promise of health care, available universally.

On the sixth day of health reform, the government gave to me,
More money to my primary care doctor,
Free Medicare visits for my mom,
Tax credits for my small business,
Insurance for my adult kids,
Coverage of my pre-existing conditions,
And a promise of health care, available universally.

On the seventh day of health reform, the government gave to me,
Higher Medicare payroll taxes,
More money to my primary care doctor,
Free Medicare visits for my mom,
Tax credits for my small business,
Insurance for my adult kids,
Coverage of my pre-existing conditions,
And a promise of health care, available universally.

On the eighth day of health reform, the government gave to me,
Better benefits in my company’s plan,
Higher Medicare payroll taxes,
More money to my primary care doctor,
Free Medicare visits for my mom,
Tax credits for my small business,
Insurance for my adult kids,
Coverage of my pre-existing conditions,
And a promise of health care, available universally.

On the ninth day of health reform, the government gave to me,
Medicaid for my self-employed cousin,
Better benefits in my company’s plan,
Higher Medicare payroll taxes,
More money to my primary care doctor,
Free Medicare visits for my mom,
Tax credits for my small business,
Insurance for my adult kids,
Coverage of my pre-existing conditions,
And a promise of health care, available universally.

On the tenth day of health reform, the government gave to me,
Low cost insurance through an exchange,
Medicaid for my self-employed cousin,
Better benefits in my company’s plan,
Higher Medicare payroll taxes,
More money to my primary care doctor,
Free Medicare visits for my mom,
Tax credits for my small business,
Insurance for my adult kids,
Coverage of my pre-existing conditions,
And a promise of health care, available universally.

On the eleventh day of health reform, the government gave to me,
A fine if I don’t buy coverage,
Low cost insurance through an exchange,
Medicaid for my self-employed cousin,
Better benefits in my company’s plan,
Higher Medicare payroll taxes,
More money to my primary care doctor,
Free Medicare visits for my mom,
Tax credits for my small business,
Insurance for my adult kids,
Coverage of my pre-existing conditions,
And a promise of health care, available universally.

On the Twelfth day of health reform, John Boehner gave to me,
No funding for the Affordable Care Act,
No fine if I don’t buy coverage,
No low cost insurance through an exchange,
No Medicaid for my self-employed cousin,
No better benefits in my company’s plan,
No higher Medicare payroll taxes,
No more money to my primary care doctor,
No free Medicare visits for my mom,
No tax credits for my small business,
No insurance for my adult kids,
No coverage of my pre-existing conditions,
And a “Hell no!” * to health care, available universally!"

*On March 22, the day health reform passed the House, Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), who in January will become majority leader, famously invoked the “Hell No” mantra in expressing his opposition.

Today’s question: No question today, just my hope that you have a happy, prosperous holiday season and new year with family and friends!

2 Comments :

Blogger ryanjo said...

Bob, I enjoyed the fractured Christmas carol. But you are taking the threatened demise of the ACA too seriously. Think of it as "re-gifting"...

December 22, 2010 at 7:34 PM  
Blogger Rich Neubauer MD said...

It has been quite a year. Your Blog continues to be one of the best sources available of information about health care reform and ancillary topics. I also continue to enjoy and learn from the comments from readers. Since ACA came about I've mostly been just "lurking" and not commenting but I have a feeling that the renewed debates that 2011 is likely to bring will draw we out once again.
In any case, happy new year!

December 30, 2010 at 8:35 PM  

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About the Author

Bob Doherty is Senior Vice President, American College of Physicians Government Affairs and Public Policy; Author of the ACP Advocate Blog

Email Bob Doherty: TheACPAdvocateblog@acponline.org.

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