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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The New Mafia





Kay: It made me think of what you once told me: "In five years the Corleone family will be completely legitimate." That was seven years ago.
Michael Corleone: I know. I'm trying, darling. But things aren't as easy as they seem. The government pols are giving us money hand over fist. It just wouldn't do to turn them down. What would the Godfather think?

Kay: Michael, is it true?

Michael Corleone: Is what true, Kay?

Kay: That you've never intended to get out of the insurance mafia and into a legitimate line of business? Is it true?

Michael Corleone: Don't ask me my business, Kay.

Kay: Is it true? Is it, Michael?

Michael Corleone: No. Don't worry. We'll get there.

Kay: Michael, they said that you killed that girl, Nataline Sarkisyan. When she needed a liver transplant you said no and she died. Said it cost too much.

Michael Corleone: Kay, it's a lot more complicated than that. The doctors and the hospital, they never sent the right paperwork. We were waiting and waiting. But the prior authorization never could get done. You got to send the proper paperwork, Kay.

Kay: The DA is going to prosecute you people for manslaughter.

Michael Corleone: Kay, they can't. The government has exempted us. You can't sue insurance companies anymore. We're bigger than than U.S. Steel, Kay. We have now what we have always needed, real partnership with the government.

Kay: Who are you, Michael? I don't know you anymore. My friends say you're nothing but stupid thugs. People behaving like that with authorizations and formularies, deductibles and copays. Thugs, Michael! But they're going to change things this time, Michael. Hillary and Obama, they're going to change everything so the insurance mafia will be put out of business.

Michael Corleone: Please. If anything in this life is certain, if history has taught us anything, it is that you can kill anyone.

Kay: Michael, are you saying what I think you're saying?

Michael Corleone: Yes, Kay. We're willing to with-hold authorizations on even the president of the United States. He—or she—won't be able to go to the dentist without our OK.

Kay: You wouldn't dare.

Michael Corleone: This is the business we chose.

Kay: The doctors won't go along with you. They'll put you out of business.

Michael Corleone: How Kay? Who do you think pays the doctors? Me, and my business partners. If a doctor was to, say, try to make it on his own, God bless him, then we'd just have to make him an offer he couldn't refuse.

Kay: What would that be, Michael?

Michael Corleone: We might just send—hypothetically speaking, of course,--Luca Brasi to hold an audit to the poor guy's head, and then assure him that either his signature or his college loans would be on the release. And maybe—again,hypothetically, of course—suddenly all this guy's procedure's come up “experimental.” We don't pay for “experimental,” Kay. They usually end up signing.

Kay: You know what I saw on the news, Michael? There were about 150 nurses picketing the CIGNA headquarters—CIGNA, Michael, that's one of yours isn't it?--and maybe an hour goes by and they say that they made a mistake and Nataline can have her liver transplant.

Michael Corleone: What does that tell you?

Kay: It means they could win.

Michael Corleone: Don't you know that I would use all of my power to prevent something like that from happening, Kay? There's more money potential in medicine than anything else we're looking at. Now, if we don't get into it somebody else will. Maybe the Tattaglia Family maybe all of them and with the money they earn they'll be able to buy more police and political power. Right now we have the prescription business and we have the unions and those are the best things to have. But lab costs are a thing on the future. If we don't get into it now we risk everything we have. Not now but ten years from now. I'm telling you Kay, good health is the most important thing. More than success, more than money, more than power. And good health costs, it costs big time. But someday Kay, maybe not this year, but someday things'll get better, things will be different. I'll change; I'll change. I've learned that I have the strength to change.

Kay: I hope so, darling, because this is getting too violent for me!


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