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Computers to be Covered by New Health Care Bill

April 1, 2010 – by Per Christensson

The United States Congress passed a sweeping heath care reform bill last week, providing health insurance for all Americans. While the bill has been the source of much debate, a small section of the 1,000+ page bill been largely overlooked. Unknown to most citizens and lawmakers alike, the bill includes a clause that allows personal computers to be among those eligible for health insurance.

The secretive section of the bill states that computers with pre-exisiting conditions, such as viruses and malware will be covered under the new plan. Computers with failing hard drives and power supplies will be covered as well. The covert clause provides coverage for all computers, including desktops and laptops, though laptops will have to pay an additional monthly premium.

Computer users have expressed mixed feelings about the bill, but some are optimistic. Bob, who was shopping for a new PC when interviewed, said he was in favor of the bill. "This is great," he replied. "I guess I don't have to buy the extended service plan now." However, after talking to the salesperson, then the manager, then the salesperson again, he decided to buy the service plan anyway. Lisa, a high school student, seemed indifferent about the bill, responding, "What's a virus? All I do with my computer is use Facebook. Wait, I'm getting a text message, hold on... Sorry, what was the question?"

Computers themselves seem excited about the bill, though some have expressed concern over the bill's fairness. Myron, a new Windows 7 based PC, stated, "It doesn't make sense that an older computer with a much slower processor and half the RAM is now eligible for the same health coverage as me." Amy, a one-year old iMac also expressed frustration, saying, "I've been virus-free for years, and now all these other computers get to join the same plan as me? C'mon people, think different." Hal, an older Unix-based system, output the message, "00101101010010110101."

Critics have also questioned the financial viability of the bill. Since insurance companies will not be allowed to deny coverage to computers regardless of the make and model, some economists predict health insurance costs will skyrocket. Others point out that with computers living longer than ever before, the new policy will simply not be sustainable. However, supporters of the bill insist that the concern over the "computer care" section is unwarranted. One supporter of the bill stated, "We're already spending over a trillion dollars that we don't have, what's a few billion more?"

The author of the PC provision is still unknown. When asked about the newly discovered article, a Republican congressman responded, "We never had anything to do with the bill to begin with. Don't blame us." A spokesperson for the Democratic party also denied knowing exactly who included the computer clause in the bill. However, he did state that the final version of the bill was printed from a computer that was later found to have a bad hard drive and a virus.

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