Sarah Palin coined the term death panel.
On Wednesday night, comedian Stephen Colbert added his humorous twist to the saga of debt collection agency Accretive Health, by coining a word of his own: debt panels.
Accretive Health, the Chicago-based public company, has seen its reputation mangled and stock price battered amid allegations that its employees harassed emergency room patients for outstanding payments.
Taking a cue from The New York Times story that painted Accretive as an unscrupulous debt collection agency, Colbert talked about how it was a win-win situation to stall patients seeking to receive care in emergency rooms until they paid their bills.
“Debt collectors get their money and if you stall a sick patient long enough, there will never be another medical bill,”Colbert said, tongue-in-cheek.
Colbert goes on to joke about how Accretive Health employees were apparently directed to go after women in labor and delivery who had unpaid bills.
“And folks, there’s nothing more beautiful than a mother’s shining face during the miracle of being denied an epidural until she pushes out some dough,” he said with mock sincerity.
As Accretive Health is being lampooned and vilified alike, the company has strongly pushed back against the Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson, who it accuses of a “public campaign of misinformation.”
|The Colbert Report||Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|The Word – Debt Panels|