UnNews:This weekend, a big health-care vote, or something

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18 March 2010

A group of nuns studies the health care bill. Only a month ago, they were wearing lab coats and endorsing the bill on behalf of the nation's doctors.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The health care reform bill of U.S. President Barack Obama is at the brink now--for the fifteenth time--and leaders expect a crucial vote this weekend. Or, something else.

The Democratic Party no longer has 60 votes in the Senate, and thus is not going to vote for anything called "health care" any time soon. The biggest game in town now is for the House to pass the last bill the Senate passed--complete with payoffs to powerful Senators--with no changes. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, looking paler than usual at the idea, has instead said she may use a parliamentary maneuver. The House will not vote on the bill, but will vote on amendments to it, under rules that "deem" the bill to have been passed.

"We will deem the bill passed, so that the American people can deem they know what's in it," said the grandmother from San Francisco. The Congressional Budget Office, which must decide how much the bill will cost, has already sent the Speaker a letter asking her to deem that they did so.

The tactic has come to be known as the Slaughter Plan, referring to Rep. Louise Slaughter, and not to the plan's effect on anyone who isn't gay or an illegal alien. "Both parties do it," said Rep. Slaughter. "It's like going to war in Iraq without declaring war, or spending tax money without actually taxing it."

The minority party, whose name could not be determined, is unanimously opposed to the bill, which means they would vote against it, if there were a vote. Their leader, whose name was also not known, said, "The only way to stop this madness is for a few courageous Democrats to step forward." However, the problem is that he doesn't control any Democrats. Just a small bunch of the other guys. Coincidentally, Mr. Obama, in a speech in Ohio, also used the word "courage" to describe the process of agreeing with him.

Democrats aligned with Rep. Bart Stupak of Michigan opposed the bill because he says it pays for abortions, while liberal Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio opposed the bill because it doesn't create a government-run system. Unfortunately, these were principled stands, which means they have all melted like butter.

A group of nuns assembled at the White House to insist that the government wouldn't pay for abortions. Their leader, named Sister Frances, said, "It really wouldn't. We've read the entire bill, haven't we, girls?" Under the plan, policyholders would make out two checks, one for abortions, one for everything else. The government would issue a new currency, the blueback, which could be used opposite the current greenback to ensure none of that non-abortion money went to abortions, unless it came from the grants the government already pays abortion clinics.

Few Representatives were available to discuss the bill or the remarkable procedure. Rep. Paul Hodes, who is seeking promotion to the Senate from New Hampshire, was in the House cloak-room, practicing looking serious. "Ma'am, you're mistaken," he was heard to say to the mirror. "I didn't vote for the bill."