By now, many of you know that in 2014, a “Health Insurance Exchange” will be established in Pennsylvania to assist consumers purchase their medical coverage. Of course, our website will continue to be your first stopping point in this process. But there is one little problem. Obamacare, despite 2012 election results is still fairly unpopular and the State Marketplaces may not be ready to fully function in 2014. Or 2015. Or 2016!
So until they are ready, I have created the Pa Health Care Exchange for Animals, Vegetables and Steelers. Yes, it is a fictitious concept, but until the real one is operational, I hope you enjoy my satirical and silly look at my newly-created Exchange. (Real information can be found here) Here are 10 fun facts that you need to know about it.
1. Dogs and cats born in Pennsylvania will receive free preventive care from a veterinarian of their owner’s choice. This will consist of a routine annual physical, bubble-bath, pedicure, and 12 owner-obedience classes. For those pets that are over age 55 (in dog and cat years of course), they are entitled to a free MRI every five years.
2. For every Sunday that the Steelers win (including preseason games), the team will give away 10,000 “Terrible Towels,” that can be used for wiping off excess moisture during exercise workouts. And since mandatory exercise of 400 hours per month is now required, it should come in handy to many households. However, any loss to the lowly Browns will result in an immediate disbandment of the team.
3. Two popular vegetables, carrots, and peas, will no longer be sold separately. In an effort to save money on massive healthcare expenditures, these two food items will become “parrots,” and will be initially only offered frozen on weekends. And no, they will not be able to speak. Maximum two per household.
4. The new Pa Exchange will honor all past Philadelphia Eagles players by offering them free preventive benefits for 25 years. After that time, all annual physicals will be performed at halftime by randomly selected fans from the stands. They will have 20 minutes to complete the physical and make any diagnosis regarding future treatment. Recommended surgeries will be optional.
5. Hunting season will be extended an additional four months from June through September. Licensed hunters who meet “excellent health” guidelines established by the Department of Health And Human Services (HHS) will be able to participate, but will only be able to hunt animals smaller than a cocker spaniel.
6. Free membership to the “Vegetable Of The Month” club if you notify the Exchange that you completed an annual physical three years in a row. Benefits include a gift basket full of vegetables each month, a fleece sweatshirt that smells like an onion, and a free subscription to “Eat Your Peas Or Else” magazine. Bonus coupons will be provided to any person that eats at least 12 ounces of broccoli.
7. To reduce expenses, the official Pa Health Exchange building (located in Gettysburg), will be closed Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Mondays will have limited hours due to all of the vegetable gift baskets that have to be prepared for shipment.
8. In honor of Steeler quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and his Alma mater Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, medical coverage will be free to any Miami graduate that resides in Allegheny County. If any of those persons have a post-graduate degree from Miami, they will receive complementary milk and cookies during any required MRI.
9. A weekly television show called “Find My Pet” will be launched. The Exchange will hire four psychics from Kosovo that will help callers find their pets that have been missing for more than a decade. If any of the pets are found, the owner receives free health care, although they also must pay a $5,000 missing pet fee.
10. The popular old-time game “Rocks, Paper, Scissors” will of course be replaced by a new modern version called “Animals, Vegetables, Steelers.” Instead of using your hands to simulate a rock, piece of paper or pair of scissors, for example, you can bark like a dog, pretend to cut an onion, or simulate a quarterback sack. A local medical billing office in Scranton will host an annual tournament to determine who is the state’s best player.
There you have it. Ten fun facts about the yet-to-be-created Pennsylvania Health Insurance Exchange. And let me be very clear…Yes, this article is a spoof. I assume the real Marketplace, when ready, won’t be giving out free vegetables.