When the Republicans have taken Congress (in 2010) and the presidency (in 2012), and repealed the Affordable Care Bill, what happens then? Alas, we cannot paint you a complete picture, but we offer one important prediction, and analyze its downstream effects.
Whatever else he does, President Scott Brown will have to replace the individual mandate by the chicken mandate. Because the barter approach to containing healthcare costs simply doesn’t work unless all doctors are required to accept payment in kind. Allowing doctors the choice of chickens or cash would impede, obstruct and otherwise cripple the march of progress.
The chicken mandate will, of course, necessitate a whole slew of concomitant changes in The Way Things Work. Many of them you can easily figure out for yourself, but here are a few hints to help you channel your thoughts.
Banks will have to accept deposits of chickens, because doctors can’t keep accepting chickens if they’re just going to pile up in the waiting room. Once the idea of depositing chickens in the bank — and receiving eggs as interest — catches on, everyone will want a chicken account. (Organic gardeners would have the option of receiving interest on their chicken deposits in the form of what can be delicately described as chicken deposits.)
Banks will draw the line at accepting deposits of chicken deposits.
Doctors will actually start writing prescriptions for chicken soup.
A system where only live chickens are accepted as payment obviously won’t be very efficient. Apart from anything else, how do you make change? People will have to start carrying around fresh or frozen chicken parts. Following its standard business model, Microsoft will take over the first mover in the refrigerated fanny pack industry, and then ruthlessly force out all competitors.
Vegans and vegetarians will have to move to Europe or India or something.
The acute worldwide shortage of chickens will spur massive government funding of a crash research program that will marry stem cell research to cloning technology.
At some point, there will be another outbreak of avian flu. That will trigger The Mother Of All Great Depressions, but only in America and China (whose production economy will be shattered and foreign exchange reserves decimated, leading to The Mother Of All Great Revolutions). The bad news is that the American economy will never recover; the good news is that all the illegal immigrants will return home. (Lou Dobbs will be left without a reason for living, and will find solace in the arms of Tom Tancredo.)
Goldman Sachs, having astutely bet against the American economy, will make trillions in just the first week of The Mother Of All Great Depressions. Its profit for the quarter will dwarf American GDP. In an extraordinary shareholder meeting, the proposal that America is too big to fail will pass by a show of hands, and Goldman Sachs will bail out America by taking it over, and turning it into the first corporatocracy in the world.