Feds tout healthcare stimulus: $5 billion for magic beans

In a move aimed at supporting long-awaited reform of the U.S. healthcare system, the Obama administration announced a federal infusion of $5 billion for the implementation of magic beans at hospitals across the country. The statement induced applause from advocates and warnings from critics.

“The use of magic beans by hospitals will improve quality while saving trillions of healthcare dollars over the coming years,” said Mark Keepitt, chair of the Certification Commission for Healthcare Magical Bean Systems, the independent agency charged by the government with approving adoption of magical solutions. “Magic beans really will solve all of our healthcare ills. Not to mention, they will improve our ability to grow giant bean stalks.”

Some U.S. hospitals are already using magic beans, but with mixed results. Ann Dickey, CEO of Orlando Hospital in Dallas, Texas, says the implementation of magic beans was difficult, and the organization is still working out the kinks.

“Like many others, we were sold a somewhat utopian view of magic beans, from their amazing ability to grow into different shapes, to their beautiful and wonderous colors,” says Dickey. “But from the get go, we’ve had a hard time integrating the magic beans with some of our proprietary legumes. And there’s been real physician push back. Most do not like carrying magic beans in a little leather pouch everywhere, and good luck getting surgeons to water them daily.”

Others point out that many hospitals are using alternative magical items, which may be hard to integrate system-wide with magic beans. A number of hospitals in California, for example, rely on pixie dust, while unicorn blood is popular on the East Coast. Then there’s the claim that the whole stimulus has been pushed through by the magic bean lobby. J. G. Giannt, president of magic bean vendor General Beans, defends the industry.

“We just want what’s best for the country,” he said. “We believe that if you looked up the word ‘panacea’ in the dictionary, you would see a picture of a magic bean. They’re so very magical.”

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