A few times a year I get a comment from a friend on something I write and post here. These comments, though always welcome, often strike me as mixed blessings, like this recent email:
Very good. Worthy of publication. You should submit to New Yorker or Onion or …..
I wrote to tell her I was glad she liked it. I realized her enjoyment of my understatement probably depended on knowing every hideous detail of my recent hassle with multiple corporate psychopaths (redundant, I know.) I added that to make the little letter fit for publication it probably needed a little background, a frame like:
The author of this response to his own letter to the CEO of medical insurance company Healthfirst recently received a replacement drug four times the strength of his current dose. This new drug was sent to him in error by Healthfirst’s third party pharmacy CVS Caremark. CVS, during an endless two hour phone call, took no responsibility for their part in the potentially deadly mistake.
The patient/customer knew from a wealth of past experience that in our corporate healthcare system, even under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, even in New York State, an early adopter of Obamacare, there is no regulatory agency that oversees private health insurance companies. He wrote directly to his insurance company’s CEO, Pat Wang, to “alert (her) to the negligence and unresponsive customer care of her third party pharmacy.” It was a mere expression of exasperation, no matter how clearly written or how cogently argued.
The following is the hypothetical response of a CEO with no obligation to respond to anything, outside of a long-shot lawsuit.
Dear Sir :
My assistant is in receipt of your recently emailed complaint about allegedly getting the wrong medication from our third-party pharmacy.
Apparently, in addition to writing long emails of complaint to strangers, you also, fortunately, had the common sense to research the drug that was, you claim, erroneously sent to you. You prudently did this research before taking the drug. As a result you suffered no serious bodily harm, no monetary loss nor any other cognizable legal injury.
You don’t need to be a lawyer (and I am not) to know that without a cause of action, and a viable, filed lawsuit against our company, you are powerless to compel any kind of response from me.
However, on a personal level, let me simply state the sadness I feel for your situation. Clearly, by the minimal level of health insurance you are entitled to under the PPACA, you have not thrived in our system. I suggest a better use of your time would be figuring out the answer to that riddle, you sad fucker.
I hope this addresses the concerns raised in your recently emailed letter. As always, thank you for your ongoing business and please do not hesitate to contact us if you ever feel the need to whine about things beyond anyone’s control.
Yours sincerely, etc.
 NO! I’m kidding. She ain’t gonna write back!!! LOL!