Thursday, January 15, 2015

A Great Business Model

There’s something about the phrase “a great business model” that makes my skin crawl like a meth head covered in fleas. I’m not sure what it is, but it’s sort of like the word “legit.” I can’t say I've ever heard an honest person use the word “legit,” (besides M.C. Hammer, of course). Oh wait a minute. Whatever, never mind. There’s just something sleazy about it.

Maybe it’s the fact that the line between “a great business model” and a “scam” is sometimes hard to draw. Take for example the following “great business model”:

I take a not insignificant number of dollars from you each month/year with the promise that when you need it again for something important, I'll give it back to you. You go about your business, riding the bus and eating nachos and going to PetCo and mowing your lawn or whatever, and I keep taking your money, la la la. 

Then one day—whoops! You need some of your money back for something important. Namely, the something important that I said I’d pay for, and that I have been siphoning money from you all along for this very purpose.

That’s when the good times start to roll. ‘Cause I don’t actually just do what I said I would, no questions asked. Nope. No sirree, Bob. I ask LOTS of questions, in fact. I play full court, zone defense with your money. I’m gonna stuff those dollars into every crack and crevice I can find that is not your wallet. I’m gonna staff an entire team of people whose sole job it is to keep you separated from your money.

I will send informational books—and even people—to your house to devise more and more creative ways for me to keep your money and try to intimidate you into not asking for it ever again. If you're lucky, assertive, resourceful, and willing to spend 8 zillion hours on hold, you might be able to wear me down. Otherwise, you’ll just be in debt for the rest of your life.

Oh, I almost forgot: I'll also have a powerful and corrupt lobby in Congress to ensure that you and your dollars shall never be reunited again.

And that, my friends, is the great business model known as health insurance.

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