Jim Inhofe and the tale of the perfect ass
by Barry Friedman
I used to do this joke on stage about President George Bush.
So the president went in for a colonoscopy and doctors discovered five polyps and Joe Lieberman.
I kid of course--it was only four.
And we're off ...
“I went in for a routine colonoscopy that everyone gets and was sent to the hospital instead for open-heart surgery,” Inhofe said Monday. “The doctors said, ‘Your colon is perfect, but your heart is what we are worried about.’ ”(Punchlines, table of 18, your table's ready.)
We hope Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), who was admitted over the weekend for quadruple heart bypass surgery, makes a speedy recovery, for many reasons--not the least of which is, if he's too ill to seek re-election, say hello to Senator Jim Bridenstine.
Couple of things, though.
Inhofe, like many workers in America, is provided health insurance by his employer--in this case, the federal government. Like other United States senators and House members, he does not get free healthcare and is subject to premiums and co-pays. And, contrary to current opinion, members of congress WILL have to join a health exchange as mandated by the Affordable Care Act.
But we can say that no bill has been introduced to exempt members of Congress from the Affordable Care ActHere's why I bring this up. Under the new exchanges--and this is the case even under the existing plan, which is administered by the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program--there are no exclusions for pre-existing conditions.
And that is one of the pillars of ACA--maybe the most important--which is good, because if the senator ever has another heart problem, the procedure will be covered--and it should be.
But if Inhofe's efforts to get Obamacare repealed are successful, that provision will disappear and coverage for pre-existing conditions will revert back to the whims of rapacious insurance companies.
“I will continue to pursue efforts with my colleagues in the Senate to defund ObamaCare and work towards a full repeal.”Imagine, then, your name is Joe Inhofe, you're 79, you're not a senator, you're not rich, you have just had a quadruple bypass procedure done, and your present insurance company has just bolted from your state, leaving you and your bad ticker to find a new healthcare plan. Or imagine there are changes to Medicare which, instead of direct payments to doctors and hospitals, now provides you with a voucher for you to secure and negotiate your own coverage.
Along with Topher Spiro and Maura Calsyn from the Progress Fund, Cutler crunched the numbers and found that somebody turning 65 now would end up paying about $11,000 in extra retirement costs. Somebody who was still 54 now would pay an extra $59,500. (This chart has the full results.) The CAP Action Fund is a progressive advocacy organization, but Cutler is among the nation's most respected health economists. And although I can't vouch for these numbers, the general idea—that even current seniors would pay more in the next few years—seems self-evident.What could go wrong there? A 79-year-old man with a heart condition, driving around with medical records in the front seat, negotiating with area cardiologists for the best deal on Coumadin and EKGs.
As for the senator, we hear he's resting comfortably. Good news. Maybe he can catch up on some reading.
Inhofe also said he doesn't need to know what's in a health care reform bill to vote against it.This, too: As a government employee, he can count on the American taxpayer to pick up most of the tab for his surgery and recovery.
"I don't have to read it, or know what's in it. I'm going to oppose it anyways."
You're welcome, senator.