One recent day, down a marble-walled corridor:
Boss was reclined in his chair, feet on desk, cigar in hand and a satisfied smirk on his face, contemplating a nap. Suddenly his flunky, Hank, burst through the office door...panic in his eyes.
“Boss! Boss! It looks like the numbers are down, umm... a little! Whatever will we do?!?”
“Well…I’m not really sure," Boss replied. "It’s never happened before. Since the government made it mandatory for everybody to buy our product (snicker) I thought we’d have no worries, especially with no competition. I guess that Obamacare is costing us a little more than we expected, huh? Well, Hank, you got any suggestions?”
“Hmmm…. “, thought Hank. “Let’s see….”
Hank jumped. “ I know! Maybe us top guys could reduce our bonuses this year? That would probably save us tens of millions!”
Hank waited for a response, flat-faced, the envy of any poker player. Slowly, his lips quivered and they both erupted in roars of laughter, deep from their big bellies.
“Dangit, Hank! You made coffee shoot out my nose! “ Boss gasped between leftover chuckles. “Now be serious, would ya? How are we going to keep our string of big profits every year? Let me think…” Boss sat, imitating deep thought, with his finger by his nose….
The finger shot up.
“Wait a minute! What are we worried about? Just raise premiums! The Department of Insurance Company Puppets will let us raise our rates as much as we want, they never turn us down! We’ve raised ‘em double-digit percentages for the last 5 or 6 years, now! Maybe more! Let’s tell them we need 100% this time! TRIPLE DIGITS! WOO HOO!”
“Boss, take it easy..”
“Yeah, yeah…” Boss caught his breath. “You’re right, Hank. Don’t want to look greedy, do we? How about, say…35%? That should keep us in the dough real good. You know, having suckers, I mean, customers forced to buy our plans and then being able to raise the price whenever we want, with the government picking up the tab if we charge too much….It all sure is a sweet situation, ain’t it? .”
“Yeah, boss. It sure is. It sure is. For us, that is… Say, Boss? You ever think we might be taking a little too much advantage of that situation? You ever feel a little guilty?”
The two stared at each other, until Hanks lips started to twitch, again…
“ AAAaaaa Ha, Ha,” (Snort, cough)..“Dangit, Hank! “