You can ride however – or wherever – you want on your currently dangerous but “promising” future Olympian, but Uncle Sam ain’t payin’ for it.
After a long day of moving hay, mucking stalls, teaching lessons, and getting knocked around by a handful of fresh, gangly, 4 year-old, 17 hand nightmares, many eventers sat down last night with an ice pack, advil and double gin to fill out that pesky health insurance questionnaire their mother told them to fill out months ago. After spending an hour looking for their social security number and 4 hours calculating their “income” last year, many were taken off-guard by this targeted healthcare question immediately after questions about smoking habits.
American citizens foolhardy enough to check any or all of the above boxes were then dismayed to get the following message:
The message would display for approximately 30 seconds on the applicant’s screen before being automatically logged out of the system, and their application eradicated from digital existence.
“I mean, I had heard the website was a little hit and miss,” said Olympic silver medalist Kim Severson after being rejected last evening. “But after trying to log back in, I got an email from healthcare.gov that said ‘GIVE IT UP, SEVERSON.’ It was kind of salt on the wound. The wound apparently not covered in the health insurance marketplace, I might add.”
The language has not been present in the affordable healthcare site prior to last week, but a quiet amendment to the Farm Omnibus Bill snuck in a restriction on some of the nation’s highest risk individuals. Outdoorsmen who leap from cliffs and tall buildings and then deploy a parachute have long been on the “hit list” for losing coverage, as they often have expensive healthcare bills (“and those losers never have jobs,” according to former Senator Conrad Burns of Montana). Competitive eaters joined the hit list last month after world-ranked eating champ Jason “crazy legs” Conti racked up a $3.56 million hospital bill when he consumed 7.4 pounds of crawfish in 4 minutes, only to discover near the end of the timed event that he was allergic to crawfish.
But eventers were only added to the list last week after Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut began making a public fuss. “My niece rides in these ‘events,’ and one day I get on the Facebook and see a link she’s posted to some fellow lunatic horse person named Boyd Martin, who has decided to share with all the world the pictures of his leg hanging open and bones all awry! Who are these sick people, and why are they posting these pictures, and most importantly, who is paying for that fancy schmancy titanium rod in his leg?!”
Eventers who are desperate for coverage are encouraged to contact their congressional representative to have the bill reversed, or, according to Canadian Olympian Hawley Bennet-Awad, “Just come to Canada. The canucks will take care of you!”
At the time of publishing, a representative from Health and Human Services was not available for comment.