The collected poems of the Affordable Care Act

By Gary Hicks
Sep 26, 2013
(Originally published in Mother Jones ByTim Murphy)

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 [1] voice:

I.
Obamacare is barreling down on us, [2]
Obamacare is a zombie [4],
Obamacare is a big fucking deal (Preview) [6].
 
II.
Obamacare is a crack pipe [7].
Obamacare is addictive [8].
Obamacare is the Titanic [9].
Obamacare is the iceberg [10].
Obamacare is the DMV [11].
Obamacare is slavery [12].
 
III.
Obamacare is fascism [13].
Obamacare is a locomotive [17].
It is a train [18]wreck [18].
IV.
Obamacare is Apple [19].
Obamacare is an iPad [20].
Obamacare is a broken iPhone app [21].
Obamacare is a Ford Pinto [22].
Obamacare is New Coke [23].
Obamacare is Alex Rodriguez [24].
Obamacare is a sharknado [25].
V.
Obamacare will question your sex life [27].
VI.
Obamacare is like a box of chocolates [29].
Obamacare is Waterloo [30].
Obamacare is the Iraq War [31],
or its domestic equivalent [31].
Obamacare will kill more people than 9/11 [32].
Obamacare is the War of Yankee Aggression,
Obamacare is the hill to die on [33],
Obamacare is Gettysburg [34].
Obamacare is the Fourth of July [35].
Obamacare is Christmas, [36]
like a military draft [39].
Obamacare is here to stay [41].
Obamacare will survive [42].
Obamacare is the moon.
 
VII.
Obamacare is like the inside of a clock [43].
Obamacare is a malignant tumor [5].
Obamacare is an abscessed tooth [44].
Obamacare is 17th-century Britain [46].
Obamacare is the first thing Hitler did [47].
Obamacare is a civil rights struggle [48].
Obamacare is a lemon [49].
Obamacare is the law of the land [50].
VIII.
Obamacare is the Right's worst nightmare [51].
Obamacare will live in infamy [51].
Obamacare is like kale [52].

Links:
[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Berwick
[2] http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2013/07/10/2276581/new-hampshire-republican-compares-obamacare-to-deadly-san-francisco-crash/
[3] http://publichealth.drexel.edu/Media/Latest-News/News-Detail/5036/facultyid--82/newsid--1288/
[4] http://newsbusters.org/blogs/andrew-lautz/2013/08/09/msnbcs-scarborough-obamacare-zombie-neither-alive-or-completely-dead
[5] http://notworkingforiowa.com/2012/03/steve-king-compares-affordable-care-act-to-malignant-tumor-knocks-cpac-stasi-troop-comment-out-of-top-spot/
[6] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHKq9tt50O8
[7] http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DSvsTQmGsC6g
[8] http://www.texastribune.org/2013/08/19/cruz-warns-americans-could-get-addicted-obamacare/
[9] http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/09/18/debating-omalley-perry-on-healthcare-putting-more-people-on-the-titanic/
[10] http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/09/19/affordable-care-act-obamacare-rep-marlin-stutzman-editorials-debates/2840229/
[11] http://articles.dailypilot.com/2013-08-01/news/tn-dpt-me-0802-chamber-hoag-officials-20130801_1_obamacare-healthcare-ceo-joseph-health
[12] http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/naacp-to-cuccinelli-stop-comparing-obamacare-to-slavery
[13] http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jan/17/business/la-fi-mo-whole-foods-mackey-fascism-obamacare-20130117
[14] http://www.politico.com/gallery/2013/07/25-unforgettable-obamacare-quotes/001172-016575.html
[15] http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2013/04/29/how-obamacare-is-like-a-failed-rental-car-reservation/
[16] http://60plus.org/9-million-hhs-campaign-to-promote-obamacare-a-bridge-to-nowhere/
[17] http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/270077/south-dakotans-seek-referendum-obamacare-brian-bolduc
[18] http://www.oaoa.com/news/us_news/article_9b0b61c8-2219-11e3-b5d6-0019bb30f31a.html
[19] http://live.wsj.com/video/how-obamacare-is-like-apple/0C606BAF-8F0A-473F-9C65-685D768B8D37.html
[20] http://twitchy.com/2013/08/09/potus-obamacare-just-like-ipad-has-some-glitches-bonus-gop-hates-sick-people/
[21] https://twitter.com/daveweigel/statuses/380733466398035968
[22] http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jul/30/sen-marco-rubio-compares-obamacare-new-coke-ford-p/
[23] http://www.politico.com/multimedia/video/2013/07/marco-rubio-on-obamacare-disaster-like-new-coke.html
[24] http://www.independentsentinel.com/a-rod-as-a-metaphor-for-obamacare/
[25] http://gretawire.foxnewsinsider.com/video/crossroads-gps-compares-obamacare-to-killer-tornadoes-in-new-video-obamacarenado/
[26] http://www.nationalreview.com/article/354686/irs-employees-just-say-no-obamacare-deroy-murdock
[27] http://nypost.com/2013/09/15/obamacare-will-question-your-sex-life/
[28] http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/08/14/washington-times-charles-hurt-claims-revolution/195402
[29] http://www.heraldandtribune.com/Detail.php?Cat=OPED&ID=60965
[30] http://www.politico.com/gallery/2013/07/25-unforgettable-obamacare-quotes/001172-016561.html
[31] http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/virginia-politics/post/northern-virginia-senate-candidate-compares-obamacare-to-iraq-war/2011/11/03/gIQAq4l7iM_blog.html
[32] http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/17/obamacare-is-the-rights-worst-nightmare/?_r=1
[33] http://mediamatters.org/video/2013/08/12/hannity-tells-gop-defunding-obamacare-is-the-hi/195362
[34] http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/354412/dem-rep-obamacare-fight-our-gettysburg-andrew-johnson
[35] http://www.nrcc.org/2013/06/28/video-nancy-pelosi-compares-obamacare-to-july-4th/
[36] http://www.chicagonow.com/publius-forum/2010/03/obamacare-is-like-christmas-for-democrat-voters/
[37] http://www.mofopolitics.com/2013/08/29/mike-lee-accurately-compares-obamacare-to-being-forced-to-purchase-a-barry-manilow-album/
[38] http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20120629065357AAuDBvC
[39] http://www.onenewsnow.com/politics-govt/2013/07/16/campaign-focus-%E2%80%98burn-your-obamacare-card%E2%80%99#.UjyIzryjiFc
[40] http://www.politico.com/gallery/2013/07/25-unforgettable-obamacare-quotes/001172-016578.html
[41] http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/09/20/republicans-it-time-to-take-your-medicine-obamacare-is-here-to-stay/
[42] http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-03/obamacare-will-survive-this-delay.html
[43] http://www.observer-reporter.com/article/20130815/NEWS01/130819557/0/NEWS14
[44] http://morgangriffith.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=342899
[45] http://rare.us/story/obamacare-is-like-getting-teeth-pulled-without-novocain-says-herman-cain/
[46] http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/inside-politics/2013/mar/18/businessman-likens-obamacare-17th-century-tyranny/
[47] http://mediamatters.org/video/2013/03/13/limbaugh-compares-affordable-care-act-to-nation/193037
[48] http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/health-secretary-compares-care-act-to-civil-rights-fight-702767/
[49] http://freedomslighthouse.net/2013/08/17/wsjs-steve-moore-obamacare-is-like-a-lemon-used-car-where-you-discover-some-new-problem-every-day-video-81513/
[50] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/08/john-boehner-obamacare_n_2095172.html
[51] http://www.irishcentral.com/news/GOP-Irish-congressman-compares-Obamacare-to-Pearl-Harbor-and-911-164856216.html
[52] http://video.foxnews.com/v/2418890464001/gutfeld-obamacare-is-a-lot-like-kale/
 
Mother Jones

The Collected Poems of the Affordable Care Act

Obamacare is fractal, it contains multitudes.
By Tim Murphy | Tue Sep. 24, 2013 12:27 PM PDT

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 [1] voice:
I.
Obamacare is barreling down on us, [2]
Obamacare is a zombie [4],
Obamacare is a big fucking deal (Preview) [6].
II.
Obamacare is a crack pipe [7].
Obamacare is addictive [8].
Obamacare is the Titanic [9].
Obamacare is the iceberg [10].
Obamacare is the DMV [11].
Obamacare is slavery [12].
III.
Obamacare is fascism [13].
Obamacare is a locomotive [17].
It is a train [18]wreck [18].
IV.
Obamacare is Apple [19].
Obamacare is an iPad [20].
Obamacare is a broken iPhone app [21].
Obamacare is a Ford Pinto [22].
Obamacare is New Coke [23].
Obamacare is Alex Rodriguez [24].
Obamacare is a sharknado [25].
V.
Obamacare will question your sex life [27].
VI.
Obamacare is like a box of chocolates [29].
Obamacare is Waterloo [30].
Obamacare is the Iraq War [31],
or its domestic equivalent [31].
Obamacare will kill more people than 9/11 [32].
Obamacare is the War of Yankee Aggression,
Obamacare is the hill to die on [33],
Obamacare is Gettysburg [34].
Obamacare is the Fourth of July [35].
Obamacare is Christmas, [36]
like a military draft [39].
Obamacare is here to stay [41].
Obamacare will survive [42].
Obamacare is the moon.
VII.
Obamacare is like the inside of a clock [43].
Obamacare is a malignant tumor [5].
Obamacare is an abscessed tooth [44].
Obamacare is 17th-century Britain [46].
Obamacare is the first thing Hitler did [47].
Obamacare is a civil rights struggle [48].
Obamacare is a lemon [49].
Obamacare is the law of the land [50].
VIII.
Obamacare is the Right's worst nightmare [51].
Obamacare will live in infamy [51].
Obamacare is like kale [52].

Links:
[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Berwick
[2] http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2013/07/10/2276581/new-hampshire-republican-compares-obamacare-to-deadly-san-francisco-crash/
[3] http://publichealth.drexel.edu/Media/Latest-News/News-Detail/5036/facultyid--82/newsid--1288/
[4] http://newsbusters.org/blogs/andrew-lautz/2013/08/09/msnbcs-scarborough-obamacare-zombie-neither-alive-or-completely-dead
[5] http://notworkingforiowa.com/2012/03/steve-king-compares-affordable-care-act-to-malignant-tumor-knocks-cpac-stasi-troop-comment-out-of-top-spot/
[6] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHKq9tt50O8
[7] http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DSvsTQmGsC6g
[8] http://www.texastribune.org/2013/08/19/cruz-warns-americans-could-get-addicted-obamacare/
[9] http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/09/18/debating-omalley-perry-on-healthcare-putting-more-people-on-the-titanic/
[10] http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/09/19/affordable-care-act-obamacare-rep-marlin-stutzman-editorials-debates/2840229/
[11] http://articles.dailypilot.com/2013-08-01/news/tn-dpt-me-0802-chamber-hoag-officials-20130801_1_obamacare-healthcare-ceo-joseph-health
[12] http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/naacp-to-cuccinelli-stop-comparing-obamacare-to-slavery
[13] http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jan/17/business/la-fi-mo-whole-foods-mackey-fascism-obamacare-20130117
[14] http://www.politico.com/gallery/2013/07/25-unforgettable-obamacare-quotes/001172-016575.html
[15] http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2013/04/29/how-obamacare-is-like-a-failed-rental-car-reservation/
[16] http://60plus.org/9-million-hhs-campaign-to-promote-obamacare-a-bridge-to-nowhere/
[17] http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/270077/south-dakotans-seek-referendum-obamacare-brian-bolduc
[18] http://www.oaoa.com/news/us_news/article_9b0b61c8-2219-11e3-b5d6-0019bb30f31a.html
[19] http://live.wsj.com/video/how-obamacare-is-like-apple/0C606BAF-8F0A-473F-9C65-685D768B8D37.html
[20] http://twitchy.com/2013/08/09/potus-obamacare-just-like-ipad-has-some-glitches-bonus-gop-hates-sick-people/
[21] https://twitter.com/daveweigel/statuses/380733466398035968
[22] http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jul/30/sen-marco-rubio-compares-obamacare-new-coke-ford-p/
[23] http://www.politico.com/multimedia/video/2013/07/marco-rubio-on-obamacare-disaster-like-new-coke.html
[24] http://www.independentsentinel.com/a-rod-as-a-metaphor-for-obamacare/
[25] http://gretawire.foxnewsinsider.com/video/crossroads-gps-compares-obamacare-to-killer-tornadoes-in-new-video-obamacarenado/
[26] http://www.nationalreview.com/article/354686/irs-employees-just-say-no-obamacare-deroy-murdock
[27] http://nypost.com/2013/09/15/obamacare-will-question-your-sex-life/
[28] http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/08/14/washington-times-charles-hurt-claims-revolution/195402
[29] http://www.heraldandtribune.com/Detail.php?Cat=OPED&ID=60965
[30] http://www.politico.com/gallery/2013/07/25-unforgettable-obamacare-quotes/001172-016561.html
[31] http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/virginia-politics/post/northern-virginia-senate-candidate-compares-obamacare-to-iraq-war/2011/11/03/gIQAq4l7iM_blog.html
[32] http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/17/obamacare-is-the-rights-worst-nightmare/?_r=1
[33] http://mediamatters.org/video/2013/08/12/hannity-tells-gop-defunding-obamacare-is-the-hi/195362
[34] http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/354412/dem-rep-obamacare-fight-our-gettysburg-andrew-johnson
[35] http://www.nrcc.org/2013/06/28/video-nancy-pelosi-compares-obamacare-to-july-4th/
[36] http://www.chicagonow.com/publius-forum/2010/03/obamacare-is-like-christmas-for-democrat-voters/
[37] http://www.mofopolitics.com/2013/08/29/mike-lee-accurately-compares-obamacare-to-being-forced-to-purchase-a-barry-manilow-album/
[38] http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20120629065357AAuDBvC
[39] http://www.onenewsnow.com/politics-govt/2013/07/16/campaign-focus-%E2%80%98burn-your-obamacare-card%E2%80%99#.UjyIzryjiFc
[40] http://www.politico.com/gallery/2013/07/25-unforgettable-obamacare-quotes/001172-016578.html
[41] http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/09/20/republicans-it-time-to-take-your-medicine-obamacare-is-here-to-stay/
[42] http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-03/obamacare-will-survive-this-delay.html
[43] http://www.observer-reporter.com/article/20130815/NEWS01/130819557/0/NEWS14
[44] http://morgangriffith.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=342899
[45] http://rare.us/story/obamacare-is-like-getting-teeth-pulled-without-novocain-says-herman-cain/
[46] http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/inside-politics/2013/mar/18/businessman-likens-obamacare-17th-century-tyranny/
[47] http://mediamatters.org/video/2013/03/13/limbaugh-compares-affordable-care-act-to-nation/193037
[48] http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/health-secretary-compares-care-act-to-civil-rights-fight-702767/
[49] http://freedomslighthouse.net/2013/08/17/wsjs-steve-moore-obamacare-is-like-a-lemon-used-car-where-you-discover-some-new-problem-every-day-video-81513/
[50] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/08/john-boehner-obamacare_n_2095172.html
[51] http://www.irishcentral.com/news/GOP-Irish-congressman-compares-Obamacare-to-Pearl-Harbor-and-911-164856216.html
[52] http://video.foxnews.com/v/2418890464001/gutfeld-obamacare-is-a-lot-like-kale/
 

The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the entire War Times project

Gary Hicks reads and writes/publishes poetry, runs a venue in Berkeley, where he resides. He is also involved in researching materials on Peoples Republic of China, and particularly that country's growing relations with the African continent. Finally, he is slowly getting involved in housing issues in Berkeley.

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