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- Conversation with a bank greeter
A woman walks into a hospital and approaches the nurse at the front desk.
Patient: Nurse! Nurse! Help me! I’ve got a horrible pain in my stomach. I think it might be cancer from eating all the processed, chemical-injected food they sell at every grocery store!
Nurse: Oh no! Quick, give me your health insurance card!
Patient: I don’t have health insurance because I can’t afford it. Is that going to be a problem?
Nurse: It is for you. We can’t treat you unless you have insurance.
Patient: You can’t help me, or you won’t help me?
Nurse: Technically we could, but we won’t, because you won’t pay your bills afterwards. After all, you can’t even afford insurance.
Patient: I promise I’ll pay my bills. And look at it this way, you’ll never get anything from me if I die.
Nurse: Seriously, our prices are so high there’s no way you’ll be able to afford them without insurance. There’s really no point wasting our time with you. You’d go bankrupt, and again, you wouldn’t ever be able to pay. So we’re just going to let you die.
Patient: But that’s not fair! why do you have to charge so much? Is it really that expensive to provide health care?
Nurse: Technically, no, but we raise the price and pass on the cost to the insurance companies. And insurance companies are evil. So nobody cares if they get overcharged.
Patient: But don’t the insurance companies just pass on the cost to their customers in the form of higher plans?
Nurse: They also reduce their loss by setting ridiculous co-pay thresholds. So you still have to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket even if you already spend hundreds of dollars on insurance each month. And they deny coverage for pre-existing conditions… at least, they did before Obamacare forced them to stop.
Patient: So are insurance companies losing a lot of profits now because they’re being forced to do what they exist to do?
Nurse: They’re making up the losses by forcing every American to have to buy insurance or get fined.
Patient: Isn’t forcing people to buy insurance, socialism?
Nurse: No. Socialism would be if the hospital and insurance companies were owned by the employees or they at least all got an equal cut of the profit. When a company bribes and coerces politicians to pass laws that force people to give them money, that’s just plain old simple extortion and corruption.
Patient: How am I supposed to afford to buy Obamacare? Like I already told you, I can’t afford any insurance.
Nurse: And like I already told you, now you’re going to have to find a way to pay your fine for not having insurance.
Patient: Can’t you just offer affordable prices for your vital services?
Nurse: No, because that’s not how supply and demand works. You see, the more vital something is, the more people will pay for it.
Patient: Who cares!? You make it sound like you have to extort people just because you can.
Nurse: Uh, yeah. That’s like the fundamental tenet of capitalism. Kill or be killed.
Patient: This entire system is completely immoral. Didn’t you take the Hippocratic Oath?
Nurse: Those are just empty words to make you feel better, like when we tell you that you’re a valued customer… or at least we would tell you that if you had insurance. As it stands, I’m just going to tell you to leave before I call the police and have you arrested for loitering.
Patient: Fine. I’m taking a bus to Mexico. I’ll see a doctor there.
Nurse: Drats. You found a loophole. I swear someday we’re going to make it illegal to do that. At least you can’t bring any medicine back.