'Oh Thank Heaven!': Obamacare and 7-Eleven

There are times when the totally absurd can be used as a teaching tool to drive home relevant points.  For example, in politics, the way it works is to use off-the-wall, farcical illustrations to jolt the comatose into understanding the depth of the dysfunction currently threatening this nation.

To emphasize how detrimental ObamaCare would be and what government-run health care promises for the American people, one over-the-top example was the tongue-in-cheek prediction that one-day, 7-Eleven will double as a health clinic. 

The point of the silly remark that medical treatment would be made available at convenience stores, where consumers could gas up after being scoped for acid reflux, was to stress that after the Affordable Care Act was fully instituted, things could get really bad.

Now here we are six years later, ObamaCare is law, and what we’re witnessing is no longer a laughing matter. 

Urgent-care walk-in clinics are springing up all across America, and there is a very real possibility that Americans will be herded like cattle toward drug and convenience stores for uncomplicated yearly check-ups.

With the appropriate coupon, potential “patients” could be lured into 7-Eleven with the promise of a complimentary Big Gulp and, for two or more procedures, a Slurpee brain freeze and a Big Bite.

Recently granted his well-deserved executive amnesty, the employee could be dually trained to stock the stainless steel shelves with truck stopper sandwiches as well as dispense dashboard diner breast exams.  Then, if business really picks up, eventually the employee can be promoted to a position where he’ll administer drive-thru colonoscopies.

Yet as hard to swallow as a 7-Eleven throat culture might be to some, it’s looking as if what was once said in jest may soon become a reality. 

Much like ♥CVSHealth, to ease the wary into viewing 7-Eleven as a place where healthcare is a priority, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell recently announced that ObamaCare ads will be printed on 7-Eleven store receipts in 7,000 stores nationwide.

HHS released a statement that said information about ObamaCare sign-ups would be printed on the bottom of receipts for anyone using a mobile payment company called PayNearMe, which allows bank-less customers to pay in stores like 7-Eleven and Family Dollar. 

In the case of Family Dollar, instead of “giv[ing] more and spend[ing] less,” Americans will be spending much more and getting much less.

So, for tipsy customers stopping by 7-Eleven at 3:00 am for rolling papers, a scratch-off lottery ticket, some beef jerky, and a pack of Marlboros, if they check out using PayNearMe, they’ll also receive a receipt reminding them to sign up for ObamaCare.

According to HHS, “[p]utting these reminders at the bottom of PayNearMe receipts will help get health coverage information into the hands of traditionally hard-to-reach consumers.”  

In other words, “oh thank heaven” – 7-Eleven customers who crave double-helpings of Jalapeño Cheeseburger Big Bites, even if they want to, won’t be able to ignore the deadline to register for ObamaCare.

Then, after everyone is signed up and the government is making every life-and-death decision for us, the transition from 7-Eleven issuing reminders to 7-Eleven practicing medicine will be a seamless one.  And what started as a ludicrous illustration to make a political point may very well become a reality.

Jeannie hosts a blog at www.jeannie-ology.com.

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