Cerabino: Florida congressman’s attack on Obamacare tanning bed tax is just what doctor ordered


I’ve just discovered a new reason to like Obamacare.

It’s racist.

I never thought of that before. But thanks to a Florida congressman, I now know that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has a hidden benefit of allowing white people to feel like an aggrieved minority.

All this time, I was focusing on all the obvious benefits of Obamacare: How it was a baby-step in the right direction, a way to begin to address the problem of 30 million uninsured Americans who use emergency rooms as their only health care provider.

I was considering the way the law prevents people with pre-existing medical conditions from being dropped by health insurance companies. The way it eliminates lifetime coverage limits. The way it requires insurance plans to cover maternity care, vision and dental coverage for children, and mental health and substance abuse treatment.

I was foolishly mesmerized by how it offered states a way to expand Medicaid coverage to poor families, which would be significant in Florida. The state has one of the highest numbers of uninsured children in the country.

So blinded was I, that I didn’t see how the law discriminated against me as a white American.

And what a wonderful medicinal effect that obviously has on so many fellow white Americans who go around bemoaning why they can’t use the “n” word in public, while black people, including their elected leaders, get to refer to racially insensitive white people as “crackers.”

Yes, Obamacare provides emotional health care to white people who have been suffering from a complete lack of opportunity to face the oppression freely visited upon our darker skinned countrymen.

This is no small benefit. And fortunately, the good people of North Florida elected a large-animal veterinarian/tea party Republican named Ted Yoho to Congress last year, a perceptive leader who quickly lasered this out of the 906-page law.

Yoho’s looking out for the oppressed white folk of America.

In particular, he has taken issue with the 10 percent tax on tanning bed services that is part of the new health care law.

Obamacare includes ways to pay for its expanded health care coverage — unlike the unfunded $549 billion Medicare prescription drug bill passed by Congress in 2003 — and the tax on tanning bed services is one of those ways.

Under Obamacare, the IRS imposes an excise service tax, collected quarterly, on indoor tanning facilities.

Yoho, speaking in a Baptist church in Gainesville for an event sponsored by three area tea party groups, said that he complained to U.S. House Speaker John Boehner that the tanning tax was a “racist tax.”

Then Yoho explained what he meant.

“I had an Indian doctor in our office the other day, very dark skin, with two non-dark skin people, and I asked this to him, I said, ‘Have you ever been to a tanning booth?’ and he goes, ‘No, no need.’ ”

The crowd roared with laughter. There’s nothing like some white-on-brown humor to tickle the collective funny bone of a Florida tea party confab.

“So therefore it’s a racist tax,” Yoho continued, “and I thought I might need to get to a sun tanning booth so I can come out and say I’ve been disenfranchised because I got taxed because of the color of my skin.

“As crazy as that sounds, that’s what the left does. Right? By God, if it works for them, it’ll work for us.”

Once again, applause.

I’m assuming that what Yoho meant by “the left” is “dark-skinned people,” who I take it have been really enjoying the benefits of finding so many opportunities to feel the sting of racism.

And so now Obamacare has provided, in one of its funding mechanisms, the tragically unoppressed white majority the chance to attain imagined victimhood. And it made them laugh, applaud and feel righteous.

It’s meeting a deep psychological yearning for those who suffer from not being able to feel racial injustice just because they were born, through no fault of their own, with light skin.

That’s good medicine.


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