HMO Accidentally Provides Healthcare


	PITTSBURG -- Mega-HMO of Pennsylvania pleaded guilty today to
	accidentally providing healthcare to one of its members.

	The HMO, one of the largest in the known galaxy, admitted it had quickly
	approved treatment of an unidentified 58-year-old man who had suffered a
	unknown medical emergency that required undisclosed immediate treatment.

	"We're sorry," said Mega-HMO President Arnold Ziffle.  "It was an
	oversight.  We realize a slip-up like this instills a false sense of
	hope in our clients."

	As the Democrats and Republicans in Congress battled for right to see
	how much money they could stuff into the pockets of the HMO's, the event
	had a sobering effect on all but Ted Kennedy who, as it turns out, still
	has enough alcohol in his bloodstream to be legally drunk until the year
	2036.

	"Of course we're worried," said Senator Thurston Howell, "because this
	strays from the medical model that the American people have a right to
	accept from an HMO."
	
	The concerns in Congress center around the fear that the health industry
	might slip back toward outdated economic models which include house
	calls, doctors knowing patients by their name, the ability for insurance
	companies to cover treatment by any doctor at any time and suckers for
	children (and adults) who were brave.

	"Those times are gone," Howell said.  "When I was a child, we got little
	toys on each visit, not just stickers on a roll that say, "I love my
	HMO."

	Howell's committee had drawn up specific guidelines for HMO treatment
	and these include:
	
	  * See lots of patients too quickly
	  * Hand out samples from that little closet rather than actually
	    prescribe more effective medication
	  * Refer to a specialist only when a portion of the patient's body
	    has fallen off and is lying on the office floor
	  * Return all after-hours calls on a monthly basis
	  * See lots more patients more quickly by having them undress in
	    waiting room
	  * Install state of the art voice mail routing systems for the
	    telephone which will transfer the caller no fewer than 34 times
	    before speaking to a human
	  * Post large, menacing people from New Jersey next to the sign
	    that says payment is due upon entry into the examining room.
	  * See really lots more patients even more quickly by having
	    patients in the waiting room examine each other.
	





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