Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 31, 2014

Health Care Newsreels | Madisonville

The search for the unique combination of illness, income and family status that ends the health care debate once and for all continued last week in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and Senate Finance committees.  The winner, apparently, will be the case that reveals the total perfection/awfulness of Obamacare, causing one side or the other to abandon the cause.

Health Care Newsreels | MadisonvilleBut in the spirit of it being better to travel well than to arrive, the Senate delivered a few en-route revelations, including the rediscovery of a familiar voice from long ago.

Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., sounds like the voice-over on a 1940s newsreel, the kind that delivered momentous news to moviegoers in the days before television. Teachers later relied on them to bring history to life and they’re available today on YouTube.

Remember?

“Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin agree to open a second front against Nazi Germany,” the voice intones over footage of the three statesmen sitting on a veranda in Tehran.

“Allied forces cross the Rhine and enter the heart of Germany, preparing the death blow against Hitler’s regime,” says the voice as American tanks roll across the screen.

“The worry and the fear are palpable,” goes the voice.

Actually, the last one is Roberts talking about Obamacare, but the voice-over habit is a hard one to break. Republicans may not have yet found a way to stop the health care law, but they’ve got a voice to do it with.

Roberts had two bites of the health care apple last week because he’s a member of both the Finance and HELP committees.

“There is a lady named Margaret from Manhattan, Kansas,” he said in the first bite, at Tuesday’s HELP hearing. That sounds like the opening line of a limerick and it comes unexpectedly from a voice that millions of Americans would think they recognize from the Army Pictorial Service’s newsreels. Roberts was running out of time, though, and never finished the limerick.

There’s a lady named Margaret from Manhattan,

Whom the kids choose to call General Patton.

Lightheadedness gave Margaret a scare

So she opted for a call to Obamacare,

And decided it’s easier to learn to speak Latin.

Limericks aren’t the only unintended consequence of the health care argument raging through Madisonville. In the search for the American Health Care Idol who can close down debate, Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., offered a lady from Florida who lost an affordable insurance policy. It turned out the policy didn’t actually cover much, but then the lady didn’t actually have anything that needed covering. “Had she gotten a disease like cancer …” Nelson said at Wednesday’s hearing.

Obamacare can make not getting cancer seem like a missed opportunity.

Publius Valerius Publicola

A gimlet eye on public life. 

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