Congress in Disarray as HMOs Refuse to Cover New PhoenixDown Treatment

WASHINGTON, D.C.—While the Senate's continued dithering on the Healthcare Reform Bill has resulted in an unquestionably tense situation in Congress these few past weeks, a new development caused the Senate floor to explode into chaos yesterday. Distinguished representatives began an all-out turf war, with 300-caliber dockets being the primary type of ammunition fired. As currently stands, the Senate Democrats have taken over most of the Chamber, but have fragmented into numerous sub-groups. For this reason, our resident military analyst has projected that "due to their division on paper division and refusal to allot sufficient time to a unified dithering strike, the Senate Democrats are unlikely to be able to sustain their 'paperwork surge' strategy, designed to rout Republicans through sheer weight of boredom, for long." Senate Republicans, for their part, have successfully maintained their position with what former Republican Senate Warfare General Tom DeLay calls a "filibunker" strategy, in which they forestall any situational change by covering their ears and alternately loudly declaring such change impossible and reading from a phone book.

After close investigation comprised mostly of reviewing five-second sound bites from C-SPAN, this reporter was finally able to make perfect and inarguable sense of the issue. While the Healthcare Reform Bill resulted in tension on the Senate floor, that tension stayed mostly below the surface until yesterday, when it became clear that a groundbreaking new medical procedure dubbed "PheonixDown" by biomedical corporation ShinraZeneba would be covered by neither the healthcare reform nor private insurers. In an interview, medical researcher Maerith Wainsborough touted this procedure as "capable of reversing the process of death. With this technique, we can restore function to a recently deceased person and-AAAHHH!" Unfortunately, the interview was cut short when health insurance spokesman Seth I. Roth came up from behind and impaled Ms. Wainsborough on a sharpened legal pad, informing this reporter that "perhaps she would benefit from the procedure herself."

When asked why current HMOs refuse to cover this new procedure, Mr. Roth claimed that "unfortunately for our potential clients, death is a pre-existing condition, and reversing the death of our late clients is financially irresponsible and would set an unfortunate precedent that might force us to actually do what we're paid for. Naturally, you can see why the responsible businessman would want to avoid this." Unfortunately, Mr. Roth's murder of Ms. Wainsborough and, more importantly, his outspoken opposition of PhoenixDown caused tensions to erupt into a massive…okay, bigger than usual division in the Senate. Democrats demand to know "why don't our troops have access to PhoenixDown?", while one Republican Senator countered that "my good old pappy was killed way back in World War II, and he'd be gosh-darned ashamed to know that our sons and daughters would be denied the God-given right to die from their injuries!"

As tensions mount, dockets are fired, and congressmen continue to die under massive stacks of paperwork on the Senate floor, rapid and nonlethal end to this conflict seems highly unlikely. However, on the lighter side, analysts predict that the reform bill will include a provision to include PhoenixDown coverage for public servants, if only to repopulate the Senate.