Don Davis

On Life In The Modern World, Or, What If Jesus Was An HMO?

Filed By Don Davis | September 26, 2009 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: comedy, health care reform, humorous blog post, Jesus, Satire, Snark

Those among us who are familiar with the Bible will recall that Jesus Christ himself was an Doctor Jesus.jpgactive member of the health care community as he travelled about the Holy Land.

It is reported that he practiced within multiple medical specialties, and his works as both an ophthalmologist and a neurologist are recounted within the verses of the Gospels.

But what if Jesus had been practicing medicine in the therapeutic environment we're familiar with today?

In today's conversation we'll be tagging along with Jesus as he takes a few calls at his HMO's Customer Care Center--and by the time we get done you should be able to bring a whole new take to those discussions you've been having about why reform matters.

"...a blind man, Bartimaeus...was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"

...Jesus stopped and said, "Call him."

So they called to the blind man, "Cheer up! On your feet! He's calling you."

Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. "What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus asked him. The blind man said, "Rabbi, I want to see."

"Go," said Jesus, "your faith has healed you." Immediately he received his sight..."

--Mark 10:45-52

"Thank you for calling Customer Care. This is Jesus. How may I help you?"

"Hi, I was recently treated by you in Jericho for blindness--"

"Can I get your account number, sir?"

"J32-21515"

"Oh, yes. Is this Bartimaeus?"

"Yes it is."

"So what can I do for you today?"

"Well, I went to check my mail, and I found a bill from you for 42,554 shekels for the eye treatment, and I don't understand why you want me to pay this bill."

"Well, give me a second while I look that up...ahhh, OK, I understand what happened. You see, I did perform the eye treatment, but your policy requires you to be referred by your Primary Care Physician for any specialist treatment and pre-approved by someone here at Customer Care before we can be liable for any costs of care, and the computer says that you didn't do any of that first...so, I apologize, but we won't be able to make any adjustments to this account.

Is there anything else I can do for you today, Bartimaeus?"

"Well, how am I supposed to pay this bill? I don't have this kind of money. Can't you perform a miracle or something to help me out here?"

"Well, sir, I can't do that, but what I can do is transfer you to our Collections Department, who can help you make payment arrangements..."

Needless to say, the call went downhill from there.

"Here a great number of disabled people used to lie--the blind, the lame, the paralyzed...

One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.

When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, "Do you want to get well?"

"Sir," the invalid replied, "I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me."

Then Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked..."

--John 5:3-8


"...so you say you were lame and I made you walk, and now you're getting calls from a collections agency that wants to garnish your ass?"

"Yes, Jesus, that's correct."

"Well, it says here that that back in Tishri of 12 AD you had severe boils and lesions, which is a preexisting condition. Now when I asked you if you wanted to get well you never disclosed any of this, and I don't see it anywhere in your application packet, either.

Your policy requires you to inform us of any medical treatments you received before you became a policyholder, and because you failed to make a true and complete statement in your application we have to reject this claim.

I really do apologize, but we won't be able to make any adjustments to this account."

"To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ's sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed:

Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers--not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.

And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away."

--1 Peter 5:1-4

"We didn't know what to expect when he came here, but in just a few months Jesus has shown us what can happen when the Son of God is a Customer Care Representative.

His average call volumes are more than double those of any other rep, and when you listen to him take calls...well, when you hear him tell someone that they won't be getting their benefits...it's almost like he has some divine power over the customers or something, and that's why today I've gathered you together to announce that Jesus is going to be transferred from the call center to the Executive Training Program.

Additionally, because Jesus did not adjust a single claim in favor of a customer for the last three months we're also giving him the "Employee of the Quarter" award, which means he gets three days off with pay that he can take anytime he wants, a check for $500, and, of course, Jesus gets to use the parking space right by the front door for his Hummer.

We expect really great things from Jesus in the future, and while we will miss Him here at Customer Care I think we can safely say that with Jesus running the show this company is going to remain profitable for decades to come."


Recent Entries Filed under Living:

Leave a comment

We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.


Could Jesus claim the whole "pre-existing condition?" After all, he's all-knowing plus he would have afflicted the humans with the disease/ailment right?

i am not an expert here, but let me take a stab at your questions.

i do not know absolutely whether jesus qualifies as omniscient, but mark 13:32 suggests that the bible presents jesus as not omniscient:

"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."

it would also seem reasonable that god the father would have caused any diseases that jesus the son might be called upon to treat...so with all that in mind, i'd have to go with the story as it's written.

I'm going to be a devil's advocate here and question what the health care debate has to do with being Queer in America (I know more than a few reasons about why its important to us, having had friends who were uninsured AND HIV+, as well as having-been uninsured for an extensive amount of time myself, but...) I challenge the author to connect this post with LGBT-specific issues. :-)

Otherwise, great posts, Don! I'm ready to hear specifically why LGBT people (and allies) coming to an LGBT blog need to get involved in this absolutely crucial debate, though!

this is a question that we looked at when we were considering whether i would be a contributor...and i think the best answers are:

--there are people who get much, if not most, of their news here, and those readers benefit from access to news they might not see otherwise.

--there are stories of interest to audiences that are within and outside of this community--which means the reader can come here and get stories of interest specifically to lbgt audiences, and additionally, "bonus" stories that are part of the conversation affecting everyone--and this is one of those stories.

--the taxpayers of this community will be hit--immediately--by the impact of whatever might be enacted.

you may very soon find yourself in the position of having as much as 13% of your income deducted from your paycheck to cover the cost of mandatory insurance...and before that happens, you might benefit from having a voice, right here, that keeps you thinking about what's to come.