Friday Funnies: Obama Meets “Joe’s Affordable Plumbing Act of 2013”.

Joe the Plumber imageBarack Obama discovers a leak under his sink, so he calls Joe the Plumber to come and fix it.

Joe drives to Obama’s house, which is located in a very nice neighborhood and where it’s clear that all the residents make more than $250,000 per year.

Joe arrives and takes his tools into the house. Joe is led to the room that contains the leaky pipe under a sink. Joe assesses the problem and tells Obama, who is standing near the door, that it’s an easy repair that will take less than 10 minutes.

Obama asks Joe how much it will cost. Joe immediately says, “$9,500.”

“$9,500?” Obama asks, stunned, “But you said it’s an easy repair

“Yes, but what I do is charge a lot more to my clients who make more than $250,000 per year so I can fix the plumbing of everybody who makes less than that for free,” explains Joe. “It’s always been my philosophy. As a matter of fact, I lobbied government to pass this philosophy as law, and it did pass earlier this year, so now all plumbers have to do business this way. It’s known as ‘Joe’s Affordable Plumbing Act of 2013.’ Surprised you haven’t heard of it.”

In spite of that, Obama tells Joe there’s no way he’s paying that much for a small plumbing repair, so Joe leaves. Obama spends the next hour flipping through the phone book looking for another plumber, but he finds that all other plumbing businesses listed have gone out of business. Not wanting to pay Joe’s price, Obama does nothing. The leak under Obama’s sink goes unrepaired for the next several days.

A week later the leak is so bad that Obama has had to put a bucket under the sink. The bucket fills up quickly and has to be emptied every hour, and there’s a risk that the room will flood, so Obama calls Joe and pleads with him to return. Joe goes back to Obama’s house, looks at the leaky pipe, and says, let’s see – this will cost you about $21,000.”

“A few days ago you told me it would cost $9,500!” Obama quickly fires back.

Joe explains the reason for the dramatic increase. “Well, because of the ‘Joe’s Affordable Plumbing Act,’ a lot of rich people are learning how to fix their own plumbing, so there are fewer of you paying for all the free plumbing I’m doing for the people who make less than $250,000. As a result, the rate I have to charge my wealthy paying customers rises every day.

“Not only that, but for some reason the demand for plumbing work from the group of people who get it for free has skyrocketed, and there’s a long waiting list of those who need repairs. This has put a lot of my fellow plumbers out of business, and they’re not being replaced – nobody is going into the plumbing business because they know they won’t make any money. I’m hurting now too – all thanks to greedy rich people like you who won’t pay their fair share.”

Obama tries to straighten out the plumber: “Of course you’re hurting, Joe! Don’t you get it? If all the rich people learn how to fix their own plumbing and you refuse to charge the poorer people for your services, you’ll be broke, and then what will you do?”

Joe immediately replies, “Run for president, apparently”


Editors note. This is exactly what is happening to patients under Obamacare; only it is for those who have income over 400% of Federal Poverty level (about $85K for a family of four) who lose all tax benefit of health insurance to pay for a subsidy for everyone else.  It is also what is happening to doctors, only they have no ability to raise their rates and must simply retire causing more doctors shortages.  Alternatively they become employed by hospitals and insurance companies and turn into rationing agents for the state.

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5 Replies:

  1. ron thompson

    That is both a funny joke and a good parable until you said this: “This is exactly what is happening to patients under Obamacare”.

    – The govt is regulating insurance rates, and protecting consumers from “garbage insurance” where they will go bankrupt over cancer, stroke, car wreck.
    – the rich will always be able to pay for private providers, like they do now. The Govt does not deny dr’s ability to work or charge what they want, only controls insurers and insurance system.
    – the “doctor scare” is hauled out everytime a cost containment plan succeeds. If they can’t defeat it before its written, or bribe congress to vote no, or get their “bought and paid” reps to defund it; the doctors. Insurance, hospitals, and, medical corps try to scare you with “no doctors” threat.

    It did not happen with medicare or medicaid or any other reform. Medical Schools are full of
    young people anxious to work as healers. Those doctors wanting out, don’t let the door hit your fanny. New doctors know the newest technologies and techniques. They are not afraid of competing in a world wide marketplace.

    (And don’t worry about the rich. They will always get on a jet to get whatever medical care they need. RICH MEN’S daughters, used to jet off for a weeklong “vacation” in Sweden” before Roe v Wade. No big deal when daddy is loaded.)

    1. Sun Beam Times Post author

      Ron, Medicare DOES set the prices for what doctors can charge. It is called the Medicare fee schedule. They anticipate a 30% cut in the next few years.
      The Medicare rates are adopted by all private insurers.

  2. Ridge

    Doctors have no ability to raise rates? B.S. My doctor charges $163.50 for an office visit and that is for less than five minutes he stays with me. He has 7 rooms all with people in them. You do the math. My Doctor is making a frigging killing. Most doctors I see in small communities all specializing in something so GP’s like my doctor have more patients that they can shake a stick at. He drives a Mercedes and lives in a two million dollar home. Yeah I feel for him alright. I live on disability from a logging accident and in the ten years since the accident, I have had a 6% income raise while my medical costs have more than quadrupled, food has skyrocketed and gas prices for the majority of the time were near $4.00 a gallon. Electricity and propane have increased as well. Unlike Doctors who CAN raise their rates. Those of us on disability have to take the scraps the politicians throw out to us..

    1. Sun Beam Times Post author

      The fees paid by Medicare are set by the government. Nearly every insurance company sets their rates based on the Medicare Fee schedule. The rates do not keep up with inflation. The phenomenon of high volume care in your doctors office is not the same as raising the rate per patient. If the rate per patient were adequate, your doctor would not have a “mill” with high vilume. He would not see you for only 5 minutes, he would see you for 15-45 minutes (like I do).

      He likely has a nurse practitioner seeing patients to increase the volume…another phenomenon of government run health care.

      Medicare is threatening about a 30% cut to doctors rates – the fight now happens once to twice or more per year (the SGR).
      Medicare is threatening an additiona 13% for not meeting cookbook standards.
      All insurance companies, Medicare included, are going to add additional penalties for not meeting the cookbook to ration YOUR care.
      this is NOT what Congress promised.

      The fact is it is the patient getting hurt by the bad physician payment system in Medicare. You are getting rationed care by docs who see you for 5 minutes in a mill. Is that what you thought you would get?

  3. Eric

    Nice story, but it neglects to mention that since Obama failed to buy a qualifying plumbing insurance policy under the Affordable Plumbing Act, he will now have to pay a mandatory “tax” of 1% of his net worth.

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