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by Dale Connelly and Jennifer Hamster, 9/22/00

Dc: This is DCR, a news program not to be believed.
The presidential campaign is becoming more intense as election day draws near, and voters seem to have a hunger for substantive talk about the issues. With me is Jennifer Hamster, our chief political correspondent. Hello Jennifer.

Jennifer: What have you been taking?

Dc: Beg your pardon?

Jennifer: "Voters have a hunger for substantive talk about the issues?" Since when?

Dc: Well, in Detroit, for example, surveys suggest that the Gore ads about issues seem to be more effective than the Bush ads attacking Gore.

Jennifer: Oh, you're talking about ads! That explains it. Of course to you THAT would be substantive.

Dc: So the ads aren't substantive?

Jennifer: Is this point really in question?

Dc: What would be more substantive?

Jennifer: Reading would be a good start. How about listening to a candidate speak for more than thirty seconds? Anybody doing that these days?

Dc: They're giving a lot of speeches.

Jennifer: Yeah, and the people who show up for that kind of thing are already convinced.

Dc: What we really need is for campaign speeches to get a wider exposure, so people who otherwise wouldn't go to a rally or don't have the time... would get a chance to hear a candidate at length.

Jennifer: Hang on. I'll call up NBC and tell them to drop the Olympics tonight for a couple of stump speeches.

Dc: Well I know that National Public Radio is running extended sections of candidate speeches on All Things Considered. Maybe we could...

Jennifer: Let me tell you something. I've listened to All Things Considered. I've worked for All Things Considered. All Things Considered is a great radio program, and this show is NOT All Things Considered.

Dc: Of course not, but... isn't it a good idea? To run a big chunk of speech?

Jennifer: Sure, if you're a journalist who's tired of &quto;working." And I can tell from the look of you, you're exhausted.

Dc: This is a portion of a speech Senator Sam Spleen gave in a place called Colonoscopy, Nevada. The rally took place on Tuesday afternoon of this past week.

(sfx: applause up and fade)

Spleen: I've been all around this country talking about health care. And I've been listening too! And you know what I found?
Most people are worried about a government run plan.
They're worried that it will be too expensive.
That's the concern I heard from Marybeth Markham of Sparrow's Nest Pennsylvania.
Stand up, Marybeth!

(sfx: applause)

Yes, I talk about her so much... we found a place for her on the bus!
And Marybeth said to me... and I quote...
"Senator Spleen, it wouldn't be so bad if the government took care of medical costs and prescriptions for me and my husband and my kids. But Senator, I get frightened when they talk about doing it for everybody else!"

(sfx: applause)

Yes, yes. That's the kind of insight we're looking for. That's the voice of the people talking.
"It's OK for me, but how can we afford to pay for everyone else?"
And that's where my plan stands head and shoulders above all the others. It's focused and economical. Focused on who? On you, of course. That's why we call it "MedMe."

(sfx: applause)

How is "MedMe" different from the other plans?
Two words. "Checks and..."
Three words. " Balances."
Tradtional health care is full of checks and balances. For what? To protect you, of course, from a mistake.
In a traditional arrangement, you go to the doctor.
You say "Doctor, I'm not feeling well. I think I need some expensive medicine."
The doctor sells you some really high buck time, and runs some pricey tests in a luxurious facility... and finally says to you... "I'm going to prescribe some very costly medication."
But you know what? That's what you asked for in the first place!

(sfx: applause)

I'm sure my opponents will say... all those expensive steps... they were necessary to keep you from getting the wrong kind of medicine that might make you sick!
But you know what?
You're already sick!
How much worse can it get?

(sfx: applause)

Under MedMe, we do just that. We medicate you right away.
This is what Americans are telling me they want.
They want the prescription.
With MedMe, we do just that.
Pills first, ask questions later. Questions like: "How many fingers am I holding up? How many heads to I have?" And "what's your stomach doing right now?"

(sfx: applause)

In a lot of cases, we guess right, and the medication does it's job.
Sometimes we guess wrong and the medication doesn't do anything at all. But it was worth a try.
And in some cases, the medication really makes you sicker. THAT'S when you go to a doctor! And under my MedMe plan, the doctors will be able to see you then because they won't be all tied up with people who are going through the motions just to get their pills in the first place!

(sfx: applause)

Dc: Senator Sam Spleen, on the stump talking about Health Care last week in the retirement community of Colonoscopy, Nevada.

Jennifer: He gets nuttier every week.

(music: funeral organ)

Dc: With us in the studio is Senator Spleen's running mate... It's Dwight Plotz, a funeral Director from Festering Stump, Ohio. Thanks for coming in, Mr. Plotz.

Plotz: Not only am I with you... my thoughts are with you in this difficult time, and you are both in my heart.

Dc: Thank you.

Jennifer: Yeah, whatever.

Dc: This MedMe plan sounds terribly dangerous.

Plotz: I'm deeply saddened to hear you say that.

Jennifer: Dangerous? It's ill advised and irresponsible and it goes against every tenant of appropriate health care.

Plotz: This is certainly a time of great disappointment for you. I hope you will call on me if and when there's anything at all I can do.

Dc: There is. Can you explain...

Jennifer: Why in the world would ANY political leader cook up a crazy idea like this? I assume he cooked it up and it wasn't you looking for more customers!

Dc: Now Jennifer...

Jennifer: Here's the real question. What was he thinking? Was it a hallucination, or what? Did somebody twist his arm?

Plotz: I would like to think... he was at peace. At peace with himself and those around him.

Dc: But why come up with this? I mean... pills first? What kind of medical plan is that?

Plotz: It was time. He'd waited long enough. He'd felt the pressure of waiting and he'd seen the others go before him... and wanted it to be over. And now, thank goodness, it is.

Dc: Still, he's got to be concerned that the MedMe proposal has been ridiculed and in the polls comparing it to the other plans... it's just... it's lying there. Lifeless. Is he worried?

Plotz: On the contrary, I think this has all come as a great relief.

Jennifer: I don't see how.

Plotz: Although it might seem sad... I think we should be happy for him. I know I am.

Dc: Dwight Plotz... a funeral director from Festering Stump Ohio, and the vice presidential candidate on the Enough! Party ticket.


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