OAKLAND, CA—During a visit Friday to an urgent care facility at which a man seeking medical attention revealed that he did not have health insurance, a doctor reportedly told the patient, “I see…unfortunately, you must now be punished.” “It’s so sad, my friend: You, coming in here, not knowing you have committed a most tragic misstep and will now experience an excruciating pain unlike anything you have felt before,” physician Wendell Treadway said as he stared out the window, laying a scalpel, forceps, and a variety of hypodermic needles on the examination room counter. “You may think you don’t deserve this, but sadly, rules are rules, and screaming about it will accomplish nothing. You see, we each role a play in this system of ours. Your role is to pay a premium to a PPO or HMO of some sort, and if you fail in this, well, my role is to administer a discipline so severe you will never again seek care from this clinic unless you have the means to pay in full. I wish I could say this will be the worst of it, but the months of receiving bills from us and eventually being hunted down by a collection agency will be a far greater agony.” According to reports, the doctor then removed 60% of the patient’s liver to be held as collateral against his newly incurred medical debt.
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