Fact Check

Waste Management to Offer Dead Body Pickup Service in Response to Proposed Health Care Changes?

Reports that a waste company will be offering curbside dead body pickup service to offset “TrumpCare" deaths originated as satire.

Published Jul 23, 2017

A waste company will be offering curbside dead body pickup service to offset “TrumpCare."

On 19 July 2017, the Nevada County Scooper (NC Scooper) web site published an article positing that a prominent waste management company would soon be offering a curbside dead body pickup service to offset the results of "TrumpCare" (the Trump administration's proposed legislative replacement for the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as "Obamacare"), which many critics contended would leave millions of Americans without adequate health insurance:

Houston, TX — The Houston-based Waste Management corporation announced a plan to offer curbside dead body pickup service to offset what critics say would be a direct result “TrumpCare,” which will overwhelm present mortuary services. Weekly pickup will be available at a reduced rate but special same day retrieval will cost more for individuals not comfortable with the smell of death lingering in their home. Body bags are available on their website but they will accept bodies properly bagged and duct taped to ensure minimal leakage of fluids.

As the largest environmental solutions provider in North America they have the power to revolutionize the business model for cleaning up neighborhoods of excess dead bodies. Many have expressed concerns this will impact the small mortuary businesses so we talked to our local mortuary, Hooper and Weaver to document their opinion on the subject. The owner didn’t want to talk to us, but we were able to talk to Gus the embalming guy.

“With millions of Americans about to lose health coverage I think there will be plenty of dead bodies for everyone,” Gus told us while he searched for a vein on an elderly man’s bloated corpse.

The NC Scooper article was widely circulated via social media as if it were real news. However, a glance at the Scooper's tongue-in-cheek "About" page is an obvious clue to the site's satirical nature. And if that isn't sufficient, the site's "Terms and Conditions" page lays that concept out explicitly:

This website is satirical in scope and intent. It provides social criticism in a satirical, sometimes news-genre setting. We are not a fake news site, but rather an entertainment one. Sometimes it’s just plain-old crappy writing with a few bad jokes. Anyhow, if this offends you, you might want to consider doing something else with your time not looking at the Internet. Really, the quality of your life will improve dramatically. Also, our intention is not to fool anyone, but if you do get fooled please don’t sweat it. Please have fun and lighten up and watch out for Snopes.com. We’re not sure they’ve had all their vaccinations.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.