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Blogs / People

3 Movie Metaphors To Explain Health Care Law Repeal

July 10, 2012
The Affordable Care Act is hundreds of pages long, and it's full of rules and complexities that the average person could have trouble demystifying. So if you're going to talk it up or down, you better have a darn good metaphor to illustrate your point.

Members of the House, ever the master communicators, had their fair share of comparisons during Tuesday's House floor debates on a bill to overturn President Barack Obama's health care reform law. Here are three movie metaphors:

"Groundhog Day"

Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., called the 31st effort by Republicans to repeal the health care law "Groundhog Day," referring to the classic Bill Murray movie about a television weatherman who relives the same day over. And over. And over again. Just like health care repeal debates! Get it?

(Markey dropped another metaphor, calling repeated repeal efforts "Republican reflux," which presumably is a stand-in for acid reflux. "With Republican reflux, it's the American people who get burned," Markey said. Gross.)




"Fatal Attraction"

Rep. Christopher Murphy, D-Conn., compared the Republicans' arguments to the actions of a jealous mistress in the 1987 movie "Fatal Attraction." In the film, Glenn Close boiled the pet rabbit of her adulterous lover's daughter.

"The Republicans have finally hit their boil-the-bunny moment. Instead of listening to their inner Glenn Close" Republicans should be listening to the public, Murphy said.



"Dukes of Hazzard"

Rep. Phil Gingrey, a Georgia Republican, gets all sorts of points for referencing "Dukes of Hazzard," a 1970s television show (which got a reiteration in a 2005 movie, so yes, we're adding it to the movie metaphor list).

First, the reference is local -- the show is set in Georgia, Gingrey's home state. Secondly, the congressman used props, standing on the floor with an easel and a picture of Boss Hogg. And then he said that "Dukes of Hazzard" was "art."

"I would like to introduce you to Boss Hog [sic] from Hazzard County, Georgia. He used his position of authority to terrorize Georgia - with the help of henchmen like Roscoe P. Coltrane - in the 1970's television show The Dukes of Hazzard. Mr. Speaker, today life imitates art. We have another Boss in our midst - ObamaCare," Gingrey said.

Michael Catalini contributed to this post.

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