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Chili's Answered A Guy's Question About His Medical Bills And Now People Want Them To Fix Health Care

"This is what America has come to: Casual dining chains are explaining the fuckery that is our healthcare/insurance system."

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This is 36-year-old Colin Gray from Austin. On Wednesday evening, he got a bit "grumpy about how sometimes people default to taking issues to the internet instead of talking to the people involved," he told BuzzFeed News. So he ranted about it...on the internet.

"if you need information from someone, you can ask them instead of the internet," Gray began his tweetstorm.

if you live in the same town, you might be able to see them in person. who knows! the world is your goddam oyster

"...you can call [them] on the phone. Or like email. or you could text."

or you can call on the phone. or like email. or you could text

To make a point, he then randomly included Chili's restaurants in his rant: "You can just blindly ask facebook...or chilis. Sometimes @Chilis knows."

or, option 125, you can just blindly ask facebook. someone will know! talk to facebook. or chilis. Sometimes @Chilis knows

That's when someone jokingly inquired what he could possibly want to know from Chili's. So Gray responded with a serious question about his medical bills, and why there's a discrepancy between his health care's copay plan and actual billed costs.

@ScottBaiowulf @Chilis my co-pay at my primary care doc is supposed to be $0 but then I always get charged more mon… https://t.co/1yAXvcrMyU

Then, late Wednesday night, Chili's tweeted back an answer for Gray, explaining, "If your deductible hasn't been met, your copay is how much it costs to simply leave your doctor's office. They can charge way more later."

@subtlerbutler If your deductible hasn't been met, your copay is how much it costs to simply leave your doctor's of… https://t.co/yMllZ8tltF

Gray said he and his friends enjoy Chili's food and general presence, so he was pleased to hear from them. He thanked the restaurant chain for teaching him something new.

"Their social media is much more responsive and supportive than any of the airline accounts," Gray said.

Other people then began asking the restaurant chain questions, and Chili's responded with some sage advice.

@Willowpudge27 It's not as bad as it seems. While at times life can feel overwhelming, there's always more good tha… https://t.co/9vRnM5t8Xo

People were generally shocked and amused by the whole correspondence.

@Chilis @subtlerbutler This whole thread is fucking amazing and depressing and wonderful all at once

Chili's dropping knowledge https://t.co/ZrI4nxIo2A

And many were appreciative, but confused: "I have no idea why I am getting this information from @Chili's but thank you. My medical bills make a lot more sense now."

@Chilis @zrjaved @subtlerbutler I have no idea why I am getting this information from @Chilis 's but thank you. My… https://t.co/eVKRf4XE8I

People joked about how the restaurant chain seems to know more about the American health care infrastructure than some politicians.

GOP SENATORS: our health care bill will, uh, reduce costs, by, uh, going to the more efficient states CHAIN CASUAL… https://t.co/RP4a7y5dtV

Chili's is better at explaining health care than the people legislating it https://t.co/NZwhukc3y1

Some joked about Chili's running for office, or helping to solve the national health care debate.

@Chilis @subtlerbutler Chili’s, will you consider restructuring from a chain of good eats and good times into Ameri… https://t.co/kbHTt2FsNs

Chili's social media team told BuzzFeed News they answered Gray's question because "life's too short not to have fun with it."

"As you can see, we don't take ourselves too seriously on social," said social media manager Justin Runyon.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, though, the Chili's team dodged questions about the restaurant's opinion on overhauling health care (we tried).

@Chilis @subtlerbutler Chilis do you support single payer healthcare

FWIW, Gray told BuzzFeed News he is "ardently for single-hpayer" insurance, but appreciates Chili's for helping to make sense of the current system. "Chili's is not a healthy place to eat but it was a good answer," he said.

@Chilis @subtlerbutler Fuckin love this thread 🌶🌶🌶 thank you @Chilis 👌🏾😹🌶

In conclusion, this is what 2017 has come to: "Casual dining chains are explaining the fuckery that is our healthcare / insurance system."

This is what America has come to: Casual dining chains are explaining the fuckery that is our healthcare / insuranc… https://t.co/AZ8m2vJ1D9

Tanya Chen is a social news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in New York.

Contact Tanya Chen at tanya.chen@buzzfeed.com.

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