Malacandra.me

Is this ok America? Really?

Is this ok America? Really?

by digby

The horribly injured fellow in the iconic picture (warning: very graphic) of the post bombing carnage doesn't have health insurance:

Bauman’s friends created the page “Bucks For Bauman!” on the gofundme.com crowdfunding service. The money raised through donations to the site are meant to help Jeff and his family pay the exorbitant costs of his surgeries, ongoing medical care, and physical therapy. Since Tuesday, when the site was launched, Americans from across the country have poured in $158,294 in donations — over half of the overall $300,000 goal. 
The 27-year-old’s story is particularly tragic considering that he lives in Massachusetts, the state that gave birth to Obamacare and has the lowest uninsurance rate in the country. Unfortunately, Bauman — who worked part-time at Costco and was planning on going back to school — is one of the mere 1.9 percent of Massachusetts residents without health coverage. He likely would have gained insurance under his school’s health plan had he made it there before the bombings. 
Bauman has been fortunate enough to receive an impressive number of donations to help him pay his bills, and his uncle plans to buy him his first pair of prosthetic legs. But many other victims in the Boston bombings may not be as fortunate. The cost of treating the bombing survivors’ injuries is expected to exceed $9 million. The out-of-pocket costs associated with that treatment could bury many of the victims financially, even if they do have insurance — unless hospitals, insurers, and charitable foundations swoop in to help, as they did after the mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado. 
You can donate to Jeff Bauman’s recovery fund here.

I'm glad that people have rallied around and he's probably going to be able to raise the money to pay for his care.  But, if this had been an accident would he have been able to get this money together? I doubt it.

Why should this be an issue?  If we had truly universal health care, it's very unlikely that this fellow would have been uninsured. (I suppose there are always a few people who can't access any system, but I doubt that a taxpaying citizen would be among them.)

Anyway, it just shows that even with a decent private health care mandate with all kinds of subsidies, people still fall through the cracks. A single payer universal plan solves that problem.