Part 1

Three doctors are waiting for their intake interview with St. Peter.

The first explains that he established a free health clinic in the inner city of Harlem and helped provide care for those who couldn’t afford it. St. Peter steps aside and he walks through the pearly gates.

The second says she spent her career in third-world countries helping educate the locals in nutrition, birth control, and providing much-needed health care. St. Peter also steps aside and she walks through the pearly gates.

The third is dressed in Hugo Boss, Bally, etc. He brags that he used to practice as a doctor but later got his MBA from Harvard and came up with a brilliant idea. It’s called a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO for short). “The great thing about this new concept was that we could limit the amount of health care to the people and allow insurance companies and Wall Street investors to become filthy rich.”

With that, St Peter says, “That sounds very impressive, but I’ll have to think about it.”

After scratching his chin for a minute he responds, “You can be admitted today, but you can stay for only two days.”

William Nelson, ND
Colorado Springs, CO

Part 2

Q: What does HMO stand for?
A: This is actually a variation of the phrase, “HEY MOE.” Its roots go back
to a concept pioneered by Moe of the Three Stooges, who discovered that
a patient could be made to forget about the pain in his foot if he was
poked hard enough in the eyes. Q: I just joined an HMO. How difficult will it be to choose the doctor I want?
A: Just slightly more difficult than choosing your parents. Your insurer will
provide you with a book listing all the doctors in the plan. These doctors
basically fall into two categories — those who are no longer accepting new
patients, and those who will see you but are no longer participating in the plan.
But don’t worry; the remaining doctor who is still in the plan and accepting
new patients has an office just a half-day’s drive away and has a diploma
from a Third World Country.

Q: Do all diagnostic procedures require pre-certification?
A: No. Only those you need.

Q: Can I get coverage for my preexisting conditions?
A: Certainly, as long as they don’t require any treatment.

Q: What happens if I want to try alternative forms of medicine?
A: You’ll need to find alternative forms of payment.

Q: My pharmacy plan only covers generic drugs, but I need the name brand.
I tried the Generic Medication, but it gave me a stomachache.
What should I do?
A: Poke yourself in the eye.

Q: What if I’m away from home and I get sick?
A: You really shouldn’t do that.

Q: I think I need to see a specialist, but my doctor insists he can handle
my problem. Can a general practitioner really perform a heart transplant
right in his office?
A: Hard to say, but since all you’re risking is the $15 co-payment, there’s
no harm in giving him a shot at it.

Q: Will health care be different in the next century?
A: No. But if you call right now, you might get an appointment by then.

Lyn Patrick
Hesperus, CO