Bean Counters Call for Nationwide Strike

“We are here at the National Bean Counters Convention with Martin Long, chairman of the Bean Counters Board. Good evening, Mr. Long.”

“Hello, Sarah, nice of you to have me on.”

“Our pleasure. Earlier this evening, in your keynote address to this convention, you called for a nationwide job action next Friday in order to impress upon this country the critical services that Bean Counters, especially in the healthcare industry, provide each and every day.”

“Indeed I did, Sarah. For far too long, our work, the day to day accounting needed for all industry to exist has been, if not under appreciated, entirely unnoticed. In a way, that’s a good thing. The work we do should never be front and center but, even though we should never be in the spotlight, our job is of critical importance if we wish the prosperity of this nation to continue as it has for these many years.”

“Understood, Mr. Long. But the question we have for you is, why have you chosen this time to implement the first organized job action, strike, by your members? What prompted you to make this announcement?”

“Medicare for All. It’s that simple. With the looming adoption of Medicare for All, our membership is under severe threat. We need to impress upon the people of America just how many Bean Counter jobs will be sacrificed when the healthcare system in this country finally becomes a single payer system.”

“How many positions do you estimate will be lost?”

“Here’s where we see the problem, Sarah. Our best estimate is that there are approximately 400,000 doctors in private practice. That’s about half of those still active. If you consider that with each doctor, you probably have two or three members of our organization doing the accounting and paperwork, well, that’s over a million jobs right there, Sarah.”

“And that’s why you’re opposing Medicare for All, Mr. Long?”

“Of course. Now that’s just MDs in private practice. You also have to take into account all those being employed by organizations. Hospitals, clinics, you name it. You have to add at least another half million jobs right there. All these jobs are threatened by Medicare for All.”

“Mr. Long, some might argue that these jobs are unnecessary.”

“Unnecessary! Are you kidding me? Since when is any job of a Bean Counter unnecessary? Please, I thought this was going to be a serious interview.”

“Won’t some of your people be picked up by the government?”

“Some. A few, perhaps. But we’re still talking a million jobs here. Gone.”

“Mr Long, isn’t that what you numbers people would call efficient? Getting rid of the dead wood?”

“None of you media people get it. Right now there are hundreds of insurance companies out there handling medical policies, Sarah. There are thousands of jobs on the insurance company end as well. Every claim needs to be handled with due diligence. None of them are the same. We are talking hundreds of millions of person hours every year. All these Bean Counters would be out of a job. Billions of dollars would be taken from the private health insurance community.”

“But, as I mentioned before, wouldn’t implementing single payer be eminently more efficient? For all the reasons you just mentioned, Mr. Long. Billions of dollars would be saved a year just by eliminating all these Bean Counters.”

“You simply don’t get it, do you? We’re not talking efficiency here. We’re talking jobs. If all these Bean Counter jobs were eliminated, how could the CEOs of their companies possibly justify their hundreds of millions a year salaries? That’s if their for-profit health insurance companies manage to stay viable at all.”

“But isn’t that what we’re talking about? Viability. With the billions saved by implementing Medicare for All, the viability, the health, of hundreds of millions of Americans would improve by eliminating all the Bean Counter waste.”

“Bean Counter waste? There is no such thing as Bean Counter waste. We’ve run the numbers. And we’ve had those numbers checked hundreds of times. We know how to count. And that’s why we are calling for a work action by all Bean Counters. It’s our jobs we’re fighting for. Somebody has to know exactly how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.”

“Well, I guess that says it all.”

“You better believe it. It’s time for a job action by all Bean Counters. Healthcare has nothing to do with the health of the people. It has everything to do with maintaining the income of hundreds of thousands of Bean Counters. Sarah, I wish you people in the media would finally understand that.”

“Thank you, Mr. Long. You have been most enlightening. After this commercial from United Healthcare, we’ll take you back to the studio.”