Chicago Shady Dealer

Citizens Worried Proposed Single Payer System Will Force Them to Change Leech Provider

Washington, D.C., 1860

Citizens across the country have expressed concern that a proposed single-payer healthcare system would limit their choice of which breeder supplies their medical leeches. The proposed reforms, informally dubbed LeechCare, would use tax revenue to provide medicinal leeches for all American citizens and may force patients to change their family’s leech provider as the nation’s healthcare system is restructured.

“My family has been buying leeches from the same man for ten years. I know him, I trust him, and I’ve seen the bog where he gets his leeches. The idea that the government would force us to get our leeches from any breeder they please is ridiculous and insulting,” said incensed Virginian Jeremy O’Doyle.

“When my kid wakes me up in the middle of the night with a high fever, I need to know that I can let his blood with high-quality leeches from a dependable source. As a hard-working, employed citizen, I think I deserve at least that much.”

Several others shared similar concerns with the Dealer. “What’s next? Are they going to force me to start buying my snake oil from another guy?” said Philadelphia resident Jacob McPherson. “Or what about when I need to magnetize my wife to cure her hysteria? Our magnetizer is an absolute wizard with a lodestone – it would be a damn shame if we had to give that up over some so-called ‘reform’.”

The nation’s apothecaries, however, were quick to assuage the naysayer’s doubts. “There are more than enough qualified blood-sucking worm professionals to go around, and customers will still have a large amount of choice in where they get their particular leeches,” said Dr. James Bradshaw of the Harvard medical faculty. “A handful of people may be shuffled around, but the vast majority of people will be getting the same quicksilver, arsenic, and leech treatments that they always have.”

“And if you’re still not satisfied,” continued Bradshaw, “you are always more than welcome to head down to the river and grab a few of the little suckers yourself.”

Many opponents of the reform maintained their doubts. “Will my insurance still cover the fine imported Welsh leeches I’ve been using my whole life?” said Edmund Cremington, a New York-based landowner. “My constitution is very delicate – I don’t think I could ever be treated successfully with a common swamp leech.”

However, despite their differences, both physicians and critics ultimately agreed that in the event of a cholera outbreak, they could always fall back on trusty cocaine.