toe to toe with the hmo
© 1998 camille west, bmi and scott wodicka

"yea, hon...i really do like those new shoes...honest i do."i have this problem with my toe
and so i call my hmo
with a referral from
my primary care physician
they say my call matters to them
theyíre like an old and trusted friend
except friends donít make you ask
them for permission
the recording on the phone
says leave a message at the tone
tell us your name, your age,
your reason for submission
so i describe my nail ingrown,
wax poetic on the phone
this is a metaphor
for the whole human condition

and now iím listening to brahms
(music to keep the caller calm),
starting to see things from
the stockholderís perspective

should i stop thinking of myself
while they are managing my health?
while an accountant finds a treatment
thatís cost-effective

hallelujah, i rejoice!
is this a living human voice
talking to me
like iím a sweet, annoying female
i plead my best bureaucratese
i would be down upon my knees
Ďcept iíd be leaning
on this poor, throbbing toenail

as for my coverage, they say no
this is a pre-existing toe
my policy excludes
all things pre-existing
so if i want the claim approved
the toe will have to be removed
which they believe may keep
the problem from persisting
this makes my doctor quite irate
why should he have to amputate?
in his opinion this condition could
be better handled
and as for meói donít know
iíd kinda like to keep the toe
i spent a fortune on these
gorgeous gucci sandals
size 6

i have been waiting patiently
why arenít you listening to me?
can't you see that it's
trying my endurance
iím only asking to be heard
hostage is such an ugly word
i would much prefer
living health insurance
i want the orthopedic shoe
i want the prozac® approved, too
managed care is managing
to make me hostile
you've put me off far too long
i'll fix your ass; i'll write a song
about a nine-toed woman
who goes postal
bell tower

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 last update 01/05/01