Is your Layout Ready for Obamacare?
IRS & Dept. of Health & Human Services Offers Checklist To get you Ready for Universal Health Care Implementation.
Right on the heels of a recent announcement by the FRA that all plastic cast-on grab irons & ladders must be replaced by individually applied wire ones for "improved employee safety," the other shoe has dropped and we are given new guidelines for being compliant with the new Universal Health Care Act. Provisions of this landmark legislation will soon go into effect and all (model) railroads must adhere to the new laws.
According to Les Schaftham, a spokeswoman for the department overseeing health care on model railroads; all railroads, regardless of size, profitability or era must comply with the new health care laws. This creates some potential issues for railroads set in earlier times since health care standards were different back then. For instance, if your pike depicts the late 1800s, you must upgrade your health care facilities to the standards of those times. The good news here is that this will allow for the additional consumption of distilled beverages for "medicinal" purposes.
While most companies in the US with fewer than fifty employees will be exempt from Obamacare, this exemption does not apply to model railroads. "We know those little plastic people are there," Schaftham said. "We know that they (employees) hide in the cabs of locomotives, in cabooses and in supposedly empty buildings owned by the railroads such as stations, freight houses... even corporate headquarters. These railroads don't run by themselves! You cannot hide from us," she exclaimed with conviction... and left no doubt that conviction would result if you got caught.
However, in order to assist model railroad owners with compliance issues, the Federal government has offered the following guidelines:
1. Every layout will need at least one new or additional hospital.
2. A town or city with at least five buildings must have a separate doctor's office. Towns smaller than that can have their office located above a convenient storefront just like Doc Adams on "Gunsmoke."
3. You must purchase additional people to stand in line waiting outside of these new medical facilities since everyone expects overcrowding.
4. Every layout will need at least two ambulances for the transportation of the sick and injured.
5. You must add additional employees to your railroad since more of the ones you have now will be sick more often. (Quit your complaining; after all, you are the bigshot railroad tycoon who has been screwing the little guys on your layout forever. It's time that you "get yours.")
6. Additional doctors, nurses & other health care professionals must also be added to your layout. They must be trained in maladies common amongst model railroad people including "plasticitis," reaction to caustic paints, long-term immobility isues and stunted growth.
7. You must erect a new college to handle the training mentioned above. And, yes, YOU will also pay for tuition too.
8. Should you decide to downsize your pike due to these new mandates, you MUST provide adequate retirement facilities for those employees affected by the cutbacks.
9. The IRS has already hired thousands of new bureaucrats to insure compliance with the new laws. They will need office space on your pike which YOU must provide.
For more details about the effects of Obamacare on your railroad empire, please call your local Senator or House Representative and ask for the pamphlet entitled "American Health Care Requirements and Policies." If that's too much to remember, simply call them and say "AH CRAP" and they will know exactly what you are talking about.
The good news (if you call it that) is that manufacturers, distributors & hobby shop owners are already lining up with these and other products that you will need. Even your local hobby shop will be getting in on the act by offering hospitals, doctors' offices, ambulances, first aid tents and other structures in various scales to assist you with compliance issues. They will also be importing a complete line of new health care workers and railroad employees to help you meet the new demands that the Universal Health Care Act will place upon you.
Many people have already described the Universal Health Care Act as "a train wreck waiting to happen." With your attention to the above details, hopefully, that train wreck won't be on your layout.
I'm not compliant yet; are you?