WASHINGTON DC — Congress slithered away to their secret underground volcanic lair to determine the fate of millions of American children. The impending healthcare deadline looms, but this time the issue isn’t about ObamaCare. Federal funding for 9 million low and middle-income children will expire at the end of September, giving Congress yet another enormously consequential decision to make. In the days leading to their underground getaway, the lawmakers took a brief vacation without addressing the issue. However, they giddily reemerged at the possibility and privilege of being able to personally play a part in stripping little children of healthcare.
“The longer we wait to renew the program, the more likely it’ll be that we’ll have to impose enrollment slowdowns, or best case scenario, even cancel policies,” smirked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as he took a deep breath, inhaling volcanic fumes. “Those poor, sweet children,” he said, his laughs echoing throughout the underworld chamber.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan appeared from near total darkness, illuminating the room with searing blue eyes to match the flames of Hades.
“Let the states read the tea leaves. Will we extend CHIP funding, should we not,” he said, as he plucked the flame petals one by one from fire-flower he fashioned from thin air. “Should children receive healthcare or should they not? Decisions, decisions. Oh, sweet flower of mine, give thee an answer.”
President of the Senate and VP Mike Pence coolly sauntered in, without a drop of sweat showing on his skin.
“Home, sweet home,” he hissed. “Let’s ponder this for a moment, fellas. If Congress missed said ‘deadline,’ the states wouldn’t run out of money for their programs — not right away, at least.” He placed a stone tablet on the limestone table. “It says here, the funds would be exhausted by March 2018, however,” he grinned, “some states would indeed run out of their federal CHIP money as early as December. Most states assumed they would receive full CHIP funding.”
McConnell, Ryan, and Pence laughed in unison, prompting the rest of Congress to follow suit until the bats of the underground lair swirled around the netherworld, frenzied by the Congressional chorus of laughter. After the hyena-like cackling subsided, Ryan addressed the rest of the group.
“Word around the swamp is that the states have been unsure of whether or not to notify families about the program’s future. Of course, they are required by law to notify the public of any changes, which means they would have to alert the people soon. Well then, let’s give them something worth talking about,” he said, beating his fist on fiery pillar he leaned on as a podium. “Put it to a vote. Thumbs up for taking away children’s healthcare.”
Ryan scanned the room with his scorching blue eyes. Tied up and gagged, John McCain and two unnamed female senators were forced to watch as their colleagues came to their decision.
“Yes, yes, good, good,” said Ryan. “Children are weak, entitled, and siphoning government resources. So it seems we have arrived at a conclusion. No more children’s healthcare! No more waste!”
Congress roared in celebration for their newfound levels of depravity. “Some people strive to reach new heights. We, however, strive to reach new lows,” said a split-tongued McConnell.
At press time, Congress gleefully readied itself to announce their decision.