(I’d Rather See) The Witch Doctor

(with apologies to David Seville, nee Ross Bagdasarian)


I asked to which doctor
am I allowed to go
A DVM from Pakistan, 
so said my HMO
He was away, so his P.A. 
attended to my woe.

He said that

You’ve not met your deductible
By cash or card, your bill is payable.
Checks are bad, c-notes acceptable,
Though we like smaller bills
Yes, yes, the pain’s unbearable,
and it’s theoretically treatable
if you’re fiscally responsible,
Pay the bill, then get a pill .

I inquired “Which, doctor, 
credit or debit card?”
The P.A., well, he seemed to take 
my sarcastic tone quite hard
“The doctor was called away today 
by a grave emergency”.

He said that

Doctor Wanderley was late, you see, 
with this month’s country club fees.
Also, he wanted to be
the first one off the tees.

Now you’ve been keeping care from me
and all of your other patients
like it’s the gold a greedy miner hoards
We lose more time in waiting,
offered fewer and fewer treatments,
because less care is what an HMO rewards.

It matters not to switch doctors 
you call upon today
In the USA, the AMA 
tells them all just what to say.
The time’s nowhere near 
that this land here
will switch to single-pay-er.

PPO’s and HMO’s and 
Big Pharma company kickbacks,
the lobbyists for the AMA 
are watching our MD backs.
We’re organized, incomes are high
And accountants get our taxes back.
Unity is the golden key
and it’s what the patients lack.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by James McPherson on February 23, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    Nice piece–and timely.

    “Simple lab work done during a few days in the hospital can cost more than a car. A trip to the emergency room for chest pains that turn out to be indigestion brings a bill that can exceed the price of a semester at college.”

    Those are the first two lines from an article about Steven Brill’s new Time magazine expose on health care costs in America. You can read that article at, or Brill’s amaziningly maddening piece at

    I recently had a very minor elbow surgery and my wife spent a day in the emergency room. Between the two, we cost the insurance company and ourselves tens of thousands of dollars. And despite what some of my Republican friends would say, this is not a problem generally made worse — not better — when “unregulated free market solutions” come into play.


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