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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A True Story From The 99%

I have a friend with a very large problem.  I have know him for over twenty-five years.  During that time, he has run a series of small businesses, but he has never had health insurance.  Two years ago, he had a major motorcycle accident.  He spent a month in the hospital while they put him back together, i.e, wire together his pelvis, etc.  That cost him his business and all his equity in everything except his house.

Last month, he had a massive heart attack.  He said he was sitting watching TV when a huge pain spread from his left side to his right side, and he couldn't lift his arms.  But instead of calling 911 and going to an emergency room, he just sat there while the pain got worse.  Finally, the pain went away.  But fifteen minutes later, a second attack occurred. Still, he didn't call 911.  He didn't call because he didn't have insurance and he mistakenly thought they wouldn't treat him without insurance.

Over the next couple of days, he found charity services that would test him to find out what happened without charge.  Indeed, he had had a major heart attach and three of his major arteries are 90% blocked.   To have much chance of living further, he needs a triple set of stets implanted.  That will cost somewhere around $50,000, which he doesn't have.

Now here is the problem.  He is sixty-four, one year short of qualifying for MediCal.

So what does he do?  Wait around for a year and hope he doesn't die? Bad odds, there.  So do we just let him die?  Remember the Republican debate when the audience yelled, "let him die", in response to a question from Ron Paul.

Have we become such mean spirited country that "Let him die", has become the rallying cry?

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