That’s what happens when your local petrochemical conglomerate takes over the health care company.

Shockwaves rippled throughout the world of health care last week when Green Lake uber-corporation Queasland Petrochemical announced it was buying Supernational HMO, Inc. of nearby Appleton. Supernational had long been up for sale: owners Martha and Ernest Steinke had feared rising costs (add this to the fact that both are clinically paranoid) and had put the company up for auction on eBay. Following two unsuccessful auctions and a classified ad in the Green Lake Swappers’ Weekly newspaper, the Steinkes held a radio contest in which the 10th caller would win the company. Pizza deliverer Andy Dotson, 18, won the company, but hung up soon after. “They kept talking about stock and stuff, dude, but I had eight pizzas to take over to my buddy’s house. See, his parents weren’t home, and so he threw this big party, and… uh, oops, his folks weren’t supposed to know.” A sales rep from Queasland called next, looking for volunteers to test their newest bioweapon, and the deal was made.

Supernational has a 93% share of the Green Lake health care market, so many wonder how the sale will affect local health care costs. Experts regard Queasland as one of the most ruthlessly cheap companies in the history of capitalism. For starters, all employee phone calls must be made collect, and employees are told what to buy from snack machines, so as to minimize time spent choosing between Cactus Bars and Ripley’s Peanut Cakes. And that’s just what’s left for those that won’t get laid off: when Queasland acquired Wilson Data Systems in 1994 they trimmed the staff to just one worker. Jared Wilson of Red Beach, Ohio, has now worked for over 52,000 consecutive hours.

These employee issues may help us predict the direction Queasland takes as Supernational HMO’s parent company. Analyst Dennis Snell wrote an op-ed piece blaming his ex-wife for the problems: “So I drink! It’s only to kill the pain! She took my checkbook, all my nice sweaters and my car. @#&*, my car had a horn that played ‘Dixie’ just like the Dukes of Hazzard car! I can’t sleep for more than ten minutes at a time anymore!”

More stable analysts fear a drastic cut in benefits, as do most Green Lakers. But Queasland spokeswoman Jane Honeywell wants to avoid a rumor-induced panic. “We are firmly committed to cutting health care… er, cutting COSTS!!! EXCESSIVE COSTS!!! Yeah, that’s it! We love you… I think?”

To stem the tide of criticism, Queasland has only made two cost-cutting policy changes- first, they’ve fired Jane Honeywell, and second, they’ve instructed paramedics to give mandatory treatment while on patrol, which has met with bizarre results. “They pulled my wisdom teeth while I was walking on 10th Street,” said an 8 year old Appleton resident. “I just bought some candy and they took it from me! Those #!#ing #@#^s!”

While much has been and will be said about this buyout, no one in town sees the irony in having their health care provided by a petrochemical company that spews toxic waste into our ecosystem. Says one local, “Actually it makes sense to them- this way, they’ll always have a fresh supply of patients!”

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