Congress Passes Health Card Reform

This article was originally published on Humorality, on January 25, 2010.

Treasury Department fires CEO of Hallmark Channel

Still smarting from the loss of Ted Kennedy’s senate seat, congressional Democrats mobilized late Friday evening to pass a controversial Health Card Reform package. The legislation, which takes effect next month, makes sweeping changes in the greeting card industry, although many who oppose the reforms are calling the action “Playing the Death Card.”

President Obama welcomed the changes, and thanked his counterparts in Congress for making it a top priority. “I was thrilled to see the completed bill arrive on my desk. I’d like to thank the many thoughtful legislators in both the House and the Senate who took time out from fielding angry constituent calls to sign the lovely card that accompanied the bill. My family appreciates the warm verses, and I expect my approval numbers to have a full recovery.”

The bill passed both houses of Congress on party lines, and Republicans were quick to criticize attempts to ram through contentious legislation before seating Massachusetts Senator-elect Scott Brown. “This attempt by the president and his minions on Capitol Hill to federalize 1/324,057th of the American economy will destroy the financial stability of this nation,” said Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in a speech from the Senate floor. “I doubt any of them have even read the legislation, not to mention any of the get-well cards I sent to some in this chamber over the past twenty-five years.”

The massive overhaul of the nation’s health-focused greeting card industry includes a new federal agency that will oversee the crafting of heartfelt sentiments. This brought a swift rebuke from conservative pundits. “Thomas Jefferson would be turning over in his grave if he knew how liberals had hijacked the American Greetings dream,” said radio host Rush Limbaugh. The Rev. Jesse Jackson, President Obama’s pick to lead the new Office of Sincere Gestures, responded in card-like verse: “The Founding Fathers had a plan, to bring some cheer to all the land.”

“Humph, ‘plan’ and ‘land’ don’t even rhyme,” retorted Limbaugh.

The landmark Hallmark legislation includes a billion-dollar “health card stimulus” that will dispatch a card to every American scheduled for surgery in the next two weeks. A last-minute amendment by Montana Senator Max Baucus opened the stimulus plan to illegal aliens. Once the stimulus ends, low-income families will still be able to apply for financial assistance on any card priced over $1.99.

Nancy Penwell, a mother of two scheduled for knee surgery, applauded the new law. “I was getting pretty tired of all the stupid poems people had on their cards. Maybe if the government runs this stuff, we will finally get some good cards. With money inside. And better tasting glue on the envelopes.”

George Lintman, an emergency-room patient who had spent the last two hours on a stretcher, had a different take. “Part of what makes us better than China is that we can send get-well cards to family members suffering from hideous diseases, all without the government sticking its nose into things. I think this new bureaucracy a slippery slope. What’s next, health care? Owww! Nurse!”

Tim Patrick

Tim Patrick is an author, software developer, and the host of Japan Everyday. He has published a dozen books and hundreds of articles covering technology, current events, and life in Japan. Find his latest books at

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