Like a number of people injured in the Aurora shooting, he is uninsured. His family has been told that the cost of his medical treatment may exceed $2 million.More information at ABC News, via BoingBoing.
25 July 2012
Double tragedy for Aurora shooting victim
Caleb Medley was shot in the face during the Aurora tragedy. He is currently in an induced coma in an intensive care, having lost his right eye and suffered brain damage. His wife has just given birth to their first child one floor away.
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If he was Republican or Libertarian he would have been smart enough to anticpate this and purchase the necessary health insurance.ReplyDelete
I don't have a source, but from what I heard, Colorado state law has a provision for those cases and medical costs caused by such an event will be covered by the state.ReplyDelete
Of course, a thoroughly reformed health care system is even better.
If he was a Republican or Libertarian, he would refuse that Socialist, welfare handout.ReplyDelete
Yeah, but at least he can take comfort in the fact that he lives in a country where he could have had a gun to defend himself against the crazy person shooting him in the face.ReplyDelete
Yes, that a funny/odd thing, isn't it! But another odd thing is that, as far as I know, other people in the cinema - and maybe this is true of the US in general - have the right to have guns, but didn't seem to carry them around with them at the time. If only they'd known the evil plans of someone! Soon they'll be back in the days of cowboy westerns.Delete
Ironically, the cinema was a "gun free zone" - they couldn't have carried guns in if they wanted to. Nearly all shopping malls are as well. Fish in a barrel.Delete
His debt will be owed by only himself; hence it won't bankrupt his family. Also, he can file bankruptcy to eliminate that debt if/when he recovers enough. Or, if unable to work for some time after the debt incurs (which is quite possible), the statute of limitations could expire and he won't be legally responsible to pay it.ReplyDelete
So... does it suck, a lot? Sure. Will he get the care he needs even if he doesn't have $2M? Most likely.
Yeah, it does suck... a lot, don't it? Especially if he requires 24 hr. medical attention for the remainder of his life. Of course, if we had single payer health care in "the richest, most advanced country in the world" we wouldn't have to worry about any of that, but of course, that would be Socialist, Marxist maybe even! We rather give our money to insurance companies so that they can get rich off our misfortune- the wealth from those insurance companies will then eventually trickle down and create new and prosperous jobs for our economy- like for gravediggers to bury the thousands upon thousands of Americans who cannot afford life saving operations each and every year.Delete
Have you ever seen the thousands lined up for free dental care whenever a charity offers their services, and we're talking Heartland America- not no "ghetto." Yeah, I'm sure ten, twenty, thirty years from now, if he's still alive and his name and circumstance long forgotten, he won't have any problem affording the care he will still need.
"Nearly 45,000 people die in the United States each year -- one every 12 minutes -- in large part because they lack health insurance and can not get good care..." -Reuters
Does kinda suck- don't it? A lot.
Bankruptcy is another free social program our great country offers? Gosh I wish I had know that. We paid $30k in medical before I lost my job. Last I checked it was going to cost us between 5 and 7 thousand to declare bankruptcy (which the lawyers wanted up front - can you blame them?). Instead, we lost our house (that was more than half paid for) and thanks to the downturn of property values, it had no equity - but on the plus side, without a house, the bill collectors stopped litigating. Sure I wish I had known about that free bankruptcy (no such thing).Delete
Anonymous: I paid $2500 in Colorado for all legal fees related to a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Chapter 7, which would eliminate all responsibility would have been about $4000 in legal fees. Still, a lot less than $30,000, right?Delete
As a Brit I always find the US's approach to healthcare an unpleasant one, especially since having read many stories of the high costs (of both healthcare and medical insurance), bankruptcy and general reluctance to care for the entire populace. Whilst I understand that the NHS is not a perfect system, I am incredibly thankful that I live in a country where I know noone is left without help, nor forced to pay huge amounts of money for events (illnesses, violence etc) that are often beyond their own control (similar to fires or the crimes the police are there to deal with). It is a system which I have made much use of throughout my life, and which has no doubt helped save or improve the lives of many people I know.ReplyDelete
If this means paying more in tax then that's fine with me; you get out of a society what you put into it (and if you want to fork out more for private healthcare then go ahead). Yes some may put in more and less, and others may reap more or less, but we are all part of a security net that looks after all. If you can afford to pay higher taxes, this means you live in a country that has provided you with the means to earn that money and have that lifestyle in the first place. And noone has to pay around $2000-7000 a year just to ensure they are secured (a figure I read as quoted as the average amount spent on family health insurance in 2010 http://money.cnn.com/2012/03/29/pf/healthcare-costs/index.htm and http://finance.yahoo.com/news/How-Much-Does-Health-iw-1773357078.html) and not left to struggle and turn banrupt if they fall seriously ill.
When considering all this I am always reminded of the saying by Primo Levi that: "A country is considered the more civilized the more the wisdom and efficiency of its laws hinder a weak man from becoming too weak or a powerful one too powerful."
Apologies for the long comment but I just always feel like commenting on these kinds of stories because of the attitude I have towards healthcare, and the bizarre fact that one of the world's most powerful countries has 50 million of its people living without medical insurance (if I've got the facts right, I blame Wikipedia if not). These feelings were also triggered by the recent string of stories in the British media about tax avoidance by the rich. I have no qualms with someone becoming rich but by siphoning off the money you owe to the country that has helped you earn those riches I believe you are involved in a serious moral failing and selfishness.
Thats a great comment Tess. Thank you.Delete
I'm with you, Tess. Thanks for your comment. Here in Australia we have Medicare, which offers affordable and accessible health care. Sure, I pay a fair amount of tax, and certainly, health care cover could be improved (e.g. free dental treatment for everyone would be nice). But one of my daughters recently spent nearly four months in hospital, surrounded and cared for by a whole team of health professionals and specialists, consultant pediatricians and the like ... who I am sure saved her life. Her priceless life ... I'm not sure we would have been able to afford and access that care if we had lived elsewhere.Delete
I want to hear that his wife gets that baby into his room and he gets to hear and smell his brand new son. Every. Single. Day. Until he wakes up and can hold him knowingly. Once he is awake and back in business, frankly, thinking about what it's all going to cost is just not something I want to do. I think Warner Studios should pay all those bills off. Not because they are required to, because they aren't, at all. But because it would be the right thing to do by a hugely wealthy corporation, and it would continue to burnish their quite good rep they've earned for how they have handled this tragedy thus far. Somehow, I just want to believe that the smell and sound of his baby would bring him around... I fervently want it to be so. --A.ReplyDelete
I love your thought; surely the baby should be brought to him as often as possible. However, just for the record, he's in an induced coma--the doctors have deliberately put him in a coma because the lowered metabolic and physical activity will help him recover. So you don't want him to come out of the coma until the doctors say it's time; and then they'll do it by withdrawing the medication that keeps him comatose.Delete
It was announced on CNN that at least one hospital, if not all, will be covering the cost of medical treatment for the Aurora shooting victims who do not have health insurance and it will cover the deductible and co-payments of those with health insurance. I did not fact check this elsewhere but it was on this evening on Wolf Blitzer's show.ReplyDelete
Phil: hate to tell you but a lot of hospitals make relatives sign agreement to assume debt. I know of a fairly famous writer whose daughter had to sell much of his stuff on e-bay and was still in hock. This was in spite of fan donations.ReplyDelete
There is an AP report in the Christian Science Monitor that states that three hospitals are going to limit expenses or forgive them, depending on the patient's situation, for the victims of the shooting. The other two hospitals are hospitals that have provided millions of dollars of free care in the past year, so although they have not stated explicitly what they will do in these circumstances, it seems likely that they will also do something similar to the other institutions.ReplyDelete
Yes, I'm seeing the same report!: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_COLORADO_SHOOTING_MEDICAL_BILLS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2012-07-25-18-56-36ReplyDelete
The fact of the matter is, in America, the care givers and insurance companies socialize the unpaid bills by spreading them across all the premiums paid by those who can afford to pay them. That's how America does socialism--through the capitalism portal. It makes the capitalists feel better. Whatever. As long as it works. --A.
From out here in Australia where we have had free basic healthcare since 1975, over 35 years ago, I am always sad for the poor in the US, for many decades the richest nation on earth, which has no such system. And your republicans still fight against Obama's proposal, don't they?ReplyDelete
Thanks for your comment Tess - as a fellow Brit, I find the Republican demonisation of national healthcare absolutely baffling, and the views of people who claim "It's socialist/communist" or "It's his own fault for not being insured" utterly disgusting. I for one take great solace in knowing that if I were to be hit by a car tomorrow I would be taken to hospital immediately and without question, and neither I nor my family would end up bankrupt and/or destitute as a result of medical bills.ReplyDelete
You might be interested in this article, written by an ex-Republican and former member of the Quiverfull movement. After moving to Canada she experiences their healthcare system first-hand, and this article documents her changing views.
Thanks Sam! I read the article and found it interesting to see the debate from such a perspective.Delete
I wonder if gays realize that as married partners, they too will be entitled to share the financial doom of their loved ones?ReplyDelete
I would love for a professional auditor to make public each and every charge of the 2 million. It has been a week. What could possibly cost so much?
The real question is how the bill could possibly come to $2 million. From what I have read, there was nothing novel or ground-breaking about his treatment or surgery. The bill is just the truly amazing daily fees and drug markups charged by hospitals to the uninsured -- sometimes 3, 4 or 5 times what the hospital would accept from a health insurer or Medicare/Medicaid. And even then, it's ridiculously expensive, many times what it would be in other developed countries.ReplyDelete
What a police officer thought about the shooting situation:ReplyDelete
hijacking / tangentializing :) the comments with a remark from germany (yup, the country where we have some kind of evil communist mandatory health insurance thingy - and hey, do we like it? you betcha :) )ReplyDelete
*Ahem* as harsh as this may sound for the current generations : it'll all work out in the end, really....one of these days, you'll find that the average american is SO unable to pay for any kind of medical treatment, that the exposure to risks of any kind, like going to school / work / shopping, what with all these gun-toting assholes ;) , heck, even preparing a microwave dinner, or- to make my point, a simple pregnancy.... will become an economical nightmare, to be avoided at all cost - some 50 years later, your case will be closed. darwin 1, idiots 0. hooray for reps and all that.