Stung by reports that the elderly are turning against his health care reform proposal, President Barack Obama is prepared to offer seniors a series of incentives to get them back on board.
In the following unauthorized transcript provided to Washington Post Associate Editor Bob Woodward, the President appears to realize that he is in danger of losing a key constituency in his battle to transform America’s health care system:
OBAMA: We’re hemorrhaging elderly voters over health care. How do we get them back? David?
AXELROD: Champion the next stage in entitlements, sir. Have the House bill designate seniors’ pets as “partners,” eligible for their own health insurance as dependents under the public option.
OBAMA: Hmmm. That’s tricky. Who’d vet the claims? Ha ha ha. Poor joke … sorry. Rahm?
EMANUEL: We have only enough scratch to cover felines. Leave dogs for another day.
OBAMA: Agreed. Let’s call the plan “Medicat.” “Peticare” sounds too . . . inclusive. Joe?
BIDEN: Instruct Health and Human Services to pick up costs for seniors’ funerals, sir. You need to be associated with civil rites.
OBAMA: True. Rahm, coordinate Joe’s initiative with our 2010 and 2012 get-out-the-dead vote operation. Tim?
GEITHNER: How about a “Cash for Clunker Body Parts” program for seniors, sir. Replace your worn-out hip or liver, get a $5000 rebate check from Uncle Sam.
OBAMA: Good! We need to dash the notion we’d prefer them to check out at threescore and ten. Let’s see … Tim, fund it with two billion. Limited time offer. Write the bill with Waxman, and make the application procedure impossibly complicated. Last thing we need is a run on the organ banks.
MICHELLE: The only body part my mother wants is Limbaugh’s head on a stake. You hear me, Barack?
In a related matter, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has proposed a $5 billion program to address the health care needs of inner city feral cats.