The Collected Poems of the Affordable Care Act

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The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed into law by President Obama in 2010, was an attempt by Democratic lawmakers to reform the health care system by creating an individual mandate to purchase insurance. But since then, the law has morphed into a specter seemingly larger. It is alternatively an abomination and a document worthy of adulation; the death of the Democratic Party and the yoke by which it will cling to power; the socialization of medicine and a gift-basket to private insurers.

Do these pundits contradict themselves? Very well then, they contradict themselves—Obamacare is fractal; it contains multitudes. As a service to our readers, we have rearranged the most vivid and hyperbolic descriptions of the Affordable Care Act below as a collection of short poems. Read them in your best Donald Berwick voice:

 

I.

Obamacare is barreling down on us,

like a jet landing into San Francisco,

or a cat with nine lives—

neither alive nor completely dead.

Obamacare is a zombie,

it will nationalize our soul.

Obamacare is a big fucking deal.

 

II.

Obamacare is a crack pipe.

Obamacare is addictive.

Obamacare is the Titanic.

Obamacare is the iceberg.

Obamacare is the DMV.

Obamacare is slavery.

 

III.

Obamacare is fascism.

like the Jews boarding the trains to concentration camps,

like a failed rental car reservation,

like pressing the button for the elevator and stepping forward before the car arrives;

Obamacare is a locomotive.

It is a trainwreck.

 

IV.

Obamacare is Apple.

Obamacare is an iPad.

Obamacare is a broken iPhone app.

Obamacare is a Ford Pinto.

Obamacare is New Coke.

Obamacare is Alex Rodriguez.

Obamacare is a sharknado.

 

V.

It is an ugly, socially awkward kid who transfers into grade school at mid-year,

and then spends the rest of the semester eating alone in the cafeteria while being giggled about,

by all the other pupils.

Obamacare will question your sex life.

Revolutionary wars have been fought over less.

 

VI.

Obamacare is like a box of chocolates.

Obamacare is Waterloo.

Obamacare is the Iraq War,

or its domestic equivalent.

Obamacare will kill more people than 9/11.

Obamacare is the War of Yankee Aggression,

Obamacare is the hill to die on,

Obamacare is Gettysburg.

Obamacare is the Fourth of July.

Obamacare is Christmas,

like being forced to purchase a book of cowboy poetry,

or a Barry Manilow album.

Obamcare is like this health insurance/medical aid kind of thing,

like a military draft.

Obamacare is the best bill you could have passed.

Obamacare is here to stay.

Obamacare will survive.

Obamacare is the moon.

 

VII.

Obamacare is like the inside of a clock.

Obamacare is a malignant tumor.

Obamacare is an abscessed tooth.

Obamacare is like getting teeth pulled without novocain.

Obamacare is 17th-century Britain.

Obamacare is the first thing Hitler did.

Obamacare is a civil rights struggle.

Obamacare is a lemon.

Obamacare is the law of the land.

 

VIII.

Obamacare is the Right’s worst nightmare.

Obamacare will live in infamy.

Obamacare is like kale.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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