A(nother) Modest Proposal

Now that President Obama has defeated the dastardly Republicans’ evil War on Women, America has returned to a more normal place, where Democrat legislators in Colorado can lecture women on how to behave while being raped. Thank God–or to avoid offending those not given to bitter clinging, thank the form or being who constitutes the central focus of your particular faith tradition, if you have one, though of course, there is nothing wrong with not having one–it wasn’t a Republican who said that, or the War on women would be raging once more.

It was a near thing, but today America is once again safe for women, for immigrants, for gay immigrants, for autistic immigrants, for gay seniors, and for autistic veteran immigrants. Today the only threat to a peaceful, Edenic America where everybody gets along with each other and treats each other with mutual respect is the looming crisis known as the Sequester. The Sequester, as you may already have heard, was put into place by evil, hate-ridden Republicans, who delight in dirty air and poison water, who think Down Syndrome veterans should have to treat their own autism with no help from anybody, and, incidentally, who want to ban gay marriage. (Apparently every American under the age of 35 believes that Republicans want to ban gay marriage, though no one thus far has explained how it is possible to ban something which has never, ever existed in the history of the world).

Anyway, back to The Sequester. The reason we have The Sequester is that Republicans, in addition to hating people who don’t look like them (white, old, thumping their AR-15’s on their well-worn Bibles) are incapable of coming up with a balanced approach to solving our budget crisis. Actually, according to our President, we don’t have a budget crisis, except when he wants Republicans to agree to raise taxes on rich people making more than $25,000 a year.

Of course, we do have a budget crisis, and it looms so huge that piddling little $85 billion cuts in the rate of growth are ludicrous. Our budget crisis has to do with unfunded liabilities in the form of Medicare and Social Security, and ever more ominously, Obamacare. Anyone who can count can figure out that this system of entitlements is unsustainable. Since our president hasn’t yet been able to figure that out, we can conclude, if nothing else, that they don’t emphasize math skills in Indonesian Madrassas.

But for those of us with less, uh, diverse backgrounds, it does appear to be a problem. However, having watched the Obama administration win the War on Women by mandating free contraceptives, I believe I have hit on the solution. I have developed a plan in which virtually all Medicare expenses can be eliminated with one stroke of HHS Secretary Katherine Sebelius’ pen.

We can begin with the fact that somewhere between 25% and 75% of medical costs occur in the final six months of a person’s life. Since there is no evidence to support any of this, let’s use the larger, 75% figure since it will result in greater savings. By using the same principles involved in making contraception free, Secretary Sebelius only has to decree that all medical services during the final six months of a person’s life are free. Suddenly, the bulk of Medicare expenses vanish. The program is returned to a sound footing. It will even make a profit, which can then be used to help defray the ever rising costs of the yet-to-be-implemented Obamacare. Incidentally, using the language of Obamacare, we might consider passing a law stating that the “HHS Secretary shall determine which six months constitute a patient’s final six months.” That should help clear up any confusion.

This is the kind of refreshing, outside-the-box thinking that will solve our nation’s problems. It’s too bad Republicans are so busy filling the airwaves with hatred and choking Washington with bitter partisan politics, otherwise they could come up with innovative solutions, too.