Thursday, September 3, 2009

Horror Story from France

A few Saturdays ago, Santiago and I went to a friend's house for a garage sale. As the four of us were sitting in the garage and talking, one of our last customers of the day stopped by. It was a mother with a 20-something year old daughter on crutches. The mother saw my removable cast/boot for sale (from my broken leg), and asked if I'd be willing to donate it to a charity that provides them to low income people and/or third world countries. I said sure. (See? And some of you thought I was not concerned with the welfare of others! I'm quite benevolent, VOLUNTARILY. I don't need the government to FORCE me to do anything! I paid $300 for that cast/boot and I can't even itemize deductions on my tax return. So there! :-P ) Then we got into a conversation about my broken leg, my out of pocket expenses, etc., and she and her daughter told me that her out of pocket expenses have reached $100,000! I asked them what was wrong with her and they began to tell us a nightmare story. My mouth was literally open. Her daughter was in France three years ago and while crossing the street, was hit by a cab driver doing about 60 mph while running a red light. Her left leg had fractures up and down all the bones, her spleen was ruptured and she had facial injuries, among other things...I can't remember the entire laundry list of what was wrong with her. An ambulance was called, but when it arrived it had no idea what to do with her. They said they literally had no place to take her and they weren't equipped to help her. They suggested she "sleep it off" and go to a clinic the next morning. The girl's friends helped her to her hotel room and then to a clinic the next morning. At the clinic, the girl was told an emergency MRI would be two weeks out, but they were pretty sure she had internal bleeding. (Ya think?!) Needless to say, the girl's family got her out of France as soon as possible and back to the states. She did not get care at a hospital the whole time she was in France. I just can't imagine being hit by a car and not taken to a hospital. If I hadn't been hearing the story with my own ears, I'm not sure I would've believed it. Both her and her mother were angry and passionate about the fact that the govt is causing the current problems in our health care system. The mother said back in the 60s, health care wasn't this expensive, but as the government has intruded farther and farther into the health care industry, she's seen prices sky rocket. It was funny because I looked at them and said, "You're looking at 4 capitalists here and we agree completely that the solution to our health care crisis can be solved by free markets." They seemed as relieved as we did that they aren't the only ones out there that feel this way. Anyway, I had just taken FIRM flyers out of my purse to make room for garage sale/weekend stuff (darn it!), but I did tell the mother about FIRM and their website. I wanted to tell you now, for whatever it may be worth.

2 comments:

Leo said...

The NHS in the UK treated my son very well from start to finish. I don't think we can make a case out of anedoctes because it really can go both ways.

Kelly Valenzuela said...

This is far from the only horror story I've heard. This was just an awful one I heard first hand recently.

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