Rejoice, one of Obamacare’s great mysteries has been solved: Namely, the question of how we are going to provide free medical care to 30 million uninsured Americans as we simultaneously reduce doctors’ pay, transforming them from 80-hour-a-week independent professionals into 40-hour-a-week salaried employees of consolidated regional healthcare conglomerates.
Inspired by the firm belief that we are all equal, President Barack Obama has found the answer. Retrain postal workers to serve as primary health care providers. In a pilot program to begin once mail delivery is reduced to five days a week, postal workers will fill in for doctors and nurses every Saturday working from behind the same counters they’ve used to delight customers for generations.
Taking advantage of a deemed Congressional recess that lasted from 2:00 AM to 2:01 AM Sunday morning, the president appointed intellectual giant and former Labor Secretary Robert Reich to serve as reemployment czar on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). From his new perch, Dr. Reich will review applications from underemployed American Postal Workers Union members interested in starting new careers in medicine.
“Our selection process will be tough but fair,” stated Dr. Reich. “Along with scores on a medical aptitude test, we will consider the same holistic measures used by Harvard’s admissions office to ensure that our newly retrained health care workers represent the same diversity as the communities they will serve.” Asked whether retrained postal workers are likely to exhibit the same sagacious bedside manner patients have come to expect from their doctors, Reich replied, “Times are changing. Expectations need to change too.”
Overcoming the objections of the American Medical Association, experts from the National Institutes of Health have scientifically determined that anyone with a basic high school education is perfectly capable of serving as a doctor as long as they rely on the diagnostic skills of IBM’s Watson. You remember Watson, the supercomputer that not only beat the world’s best chess grandmasters but went on to win on “Jeopardy”? Apparently, IBM has put Watson to work treating cancer. The results are nothing less than what patients have come to expect when they seek treatment for incurable diseases.
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), a major Obamacare proponent, reacted cautiously. “We will support these changes as long as we are assured that ineffective cancer treatments will still be prescribed. After all, how can we afford to invest in discovering the next generation of treatments that don’t work if we aren’t paid exorbitant amounts of money for our current useless products?”
In a related development, the National Center for Robotic Telemedicine announced a new system that will allow a surgeon equipped with the latest remote control wizardry to perform up to 12 surgeries simultaneously. Thanks to one-size-fits-all standards being developed as part of Obamacare’s National Quality Strategy, it has been determined that one hernia operation is pretty much just like another. Hence, rather than asking a dwindling cadre of harried surgeons to perform operations sequentially, a single master surgeon will be able to operate on a dozen patients at a time from the comfort of his rec room using a specially modified Wii controller.
“Let those who doubted our resolve think again,” said the President in his State of the Union address. “We are going to transform America from the top down. No problem is too big or too small. No sector of the economy is beyond our reach. No group of unelected judges can stand in our way. If we have the will to come together as a community, we can use the proven tools of central planning to attack our most pressing problems. It won’t be easy. And not everything will work the first time. But if you put your faith in Washington and forego the selfish delusion that independent citizens can solve their own problems without the helping hand of government, we can all be assured a better tomorrow for the children we have stopped having.”
Bill Frezza is a fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and a Boston-based venture capitalist. You can find all of his columns, TV, and radio interviews here. If you would like to have his columns delivered to you by email, click here or follow him on Twitter @BillFrezza.