With 564 amendments (maybe more, the number seems to change hourly) to the health care reform bill put out by Max Baucus’ Senate Finance committee, you just know there’s gonna be some serious pork hidden in their somewhere. That’s how Congress operates, after all. And, yes there are some particularly ridiculous amendments as outlined by mcjoan three days ago.
But there’s one that stands alone. Like “the cheese”, it stinks to high heaven and looks like something out of a Saturday Night Live skit or that the Onion News Network would have come up with. It was presented by Orrin Hatch (R-Utah):
Hatch F7 – Add transition relief for the excise tax on high cost insurance plans for any State with a name the begins with the letter “U”.
I did an advanced-technology analysis of this amendment, cross-referencing the list of states in our country with the alphabet and, sure enough, I found that there are some states that begin with the letter “U”.
Okay, there’s one. It’s Utah.
Holy moly! That’s the same state Senator Hatch is from! What are the odds?
According to the Wall Street Journal‘s blog, the Washington Wire, the bill would give Utah:
…the same treatment as the 17 states with the highest health care costs. Under Baucus’s approach, those high-cost states would see a slower phase-in of the excise tax.
In the description of his amendment, Hatch called the that phase-in “arbitrary and unfair.” According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Massachusetts, Maine and New York topped the list of for health care expenditures per capita in 2004. Utah was dead last.
It’s funny because when Hatch quit the Senate Finance Committee in July “because there were too many aspects of the bill that he could not back”, he also said he’d “try to be helpful, but he couldn’t stay in the talks under ‘false pretenses'”.
This is what you call “helpful” to the debate on this topic, Senator? Do you honestly think that Americans are too stupid to realize that “any State with a name that begins with the letter ‘U'” is just another way of saying “my home state of Utah”??? REALLY???
Or maybe you’re just trying to make a mockery of the Senate, the august body you’ve been in for 32 years.
Either way, dude, that’s just crazy.
Here’s a bit of Crazy Train that just seems so apropos…
Crazy, but that’s how it goes
Millions of people living as foes
Maybe it’s not too late
To learn how to love
And forget how to hate
Mental wounds not healing
Life’s a bitter shame
I’m going off the rails on a crazy train
I’ve listened to preachers
I’ve listened to fools
I’ve watched all the dropouts
Who make their own rules
One person conditioned to rule and control
The media sells it and you have the role
If the crazy shoe fits, Senator…
I’m just sayin’…