A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Harry and Louise – The Sequel

Two fictional characters, Harry and Louise, were used in a series of television ads during the first Clinton term to showcase the shortcomings of the national health plan proposed by the Clintons. The ads were paid for by HIAA (Health Insurance Association of America), anyone who couldn’t stand the sight of Hillary’s face, and conservatives in general. No, just kidding, it was all HIAA’s baby!

The ads were effective propaganda tools in sinking the health plan in Congress. Well, guess what? They’re baaaaaack! After a fourteen year hiatus, Harry and Louise have been revived to remind this year’s candidates that health care reform is still a serious issue. Let’s eavesdrop on a first reading of their new scripts at the office of the casting director...

Casting Director: “Hey, Harry and Louise! Welcome! Have a seat! Margeaux, get them a coffee and Danish. So, what have you kids been up to since we last saw you?

Harry: “Well, things were fine for a long while. Then, in 2002, my job was outsourced to India. I lost all of my benefits, and I couldn’t afford to pick up COBRA. It was either that or pay the mortgage. So I took a chance that I wouldn’t have any health issues until I found a new job. Well, that backfired! All the stress of not working brought on a heart attack. The doctors told me I needed a triple bypass, but there was no way I could afford it. So they put me on some medications and hoped to keep me going until I could get covered again.”

Casting Director: “Gee, sorry I asked. What about you, Louise?”

Louise: “I’ve been fine, but my son is a different story. He was in a horrible car wreck a few years ago. His insurance paid for his rehab for awhile, but once that ran out we couldn’t afford to have nurses come in to look after him. I had to quit my job to take care of him, which meant that I lost my benefits too. I just pray nothing goes wrong with my health, or we could lose everything!”

Casting Director: “Wow, tough break. I hope everything works out for you. Here, look over these scripts. These are just preliminary drafts, so there will probably be changes before we shoot.”

Harry: “Good! Hey, do you mind if we improvise?”

Casting Director: “Improvise? Um...I guess it couldn’t hurt. Why? What are you thinking?”

Harry: “Well, picture this scene in Harry and Louise’s living room. Harry enters and says, ‘I just got laid off, honey! My benefits run out in a month! I don’t know what we’re going to do. I wish we had a national health plan in place like the Clintons wanted.’”

Casting Director: “Umm...wait a minute...”

Louise: “Yeah, yeah, I get it. Then my character says, ‘Gee, it’s a shame we fell for that argument to follow the status quo. No universal health coverage, no pre-existing conditions, higher copays and deductibles...what were we thinking?’”

Casting Director: “Huh, Louise, that’s way off script.”

Harry: “Yeah, what the hell were we thinking? The conservatives in Congress didn’t even offer a health plan of their own.”

Casting Director: “Hold it, kids! How about you go down the hall and grab a sandwich? I need to make a few phone calls. Thanks...Margeaux! These two aren’t working out this time. Who else can we get for these spots? Wait, I know! See if the Three Stooges are available.”


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