WASHINGTON, D.C. — Tensions are mounting among Republicans on the Hill. The American Health Care Act of 2017, the GOP’s highly anticipated, much touted replacement for the Affordable Care Act, is in serious danger. After a couple weeks of rhetorical chest thumping and cheer leading the bill, it appears that the health care reform law could die on the floor of the House, as the vote already had to be delayed once, and current whip counts of where different representatives stand still show a deficit in the votes needed to pass.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) was spotted just outside the chamber on his knees. His eyes were closed. He was, according to passersby and staffers, in a deep, prayerful state. When he finished and looked up, he found a small gaggle of reporters had gathered around him, and he took some questions.
“As you know, other than my membership to the Republican Party, and my collection of Ayn Rand novels,” Ryan told reporters, “my Christian faith is the most important thing to me. But, not so much actually keeping its tenets as using it for political expediency. But, well, not today.”
Speaker Ryan explained that with the vote on the AHCA so close, he realized something as he was walking into the chamber today. He might not get a chance to take away health care from the poor, elderly, and sick. This was a cause for a “true existential crisis.”
“For the last several years, I’ve bided my time,” Ryan said, “and I’ve been patient. I knew that if we could just get Republicans into all three branches of government, we could finally rip away health benefits from poor people. Honestly, I want to take away so much more, but I want to start with health benefits.”
Ryan said that it occurred to him today that the political rancor of repealing and replacing Obamacare might cost him the best shot he’s had to accomplish that goal, and the best chance he might ever get, period.
“And that’s just sad,” Ryan said, “to me. That I can come so close to achieving my goal, and come up just short. Now I know how all those cartoon bad guys like Dr. Claw felt. I always felt bad for them, too. Now I know why. I can sympathize with them; which is really a foreign feeling to a Republican…sympathy. Ewww.”
Mr. Ryan says he remains “hopeful” that his party will come together and “do the right thing, no matter how nefarious or politically stupid.”
“Look, I get it,” Ryan said, “people will be crazy mad when they lose their health insurance after we told them for eight years we had a better plan. The problem with that, for us, is that Obama pretty much took our plan, the Heritage plan, and ran with it. So our whole political ethos of the last seven years has been built on a huge lie that we told over and over and over again. Now that lie has trickled down over everything, and we have to power through this, take away some shit from poor people, bing-bang-boom, AMERICA!”
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