The following is a true story and just unfolded over the last few days.
A friend of mine was in a very bad accident. Put bluntly, he is mangled.
He definitely isn't rich but makes a better living than most for certain. He has a small house that is financed. He is self employed and does pay sales and incomes tax and works full time as does his wife. They have an infant as well. He has 2 older Ford diesels, one stock, one heavily modified. He usually carries health insurance but he was in between policies apparently for just about 20 days before the new plan kicked in.
I'm just guessing on the cost of his hospital stay but I know what my little broken back w/ no surgery at all cost ($40K) just 4 months ago. His back was so shattered they had to cut out one of his ribs and enter that way to do the surgery. They had to use part of the rib to put his L1 back together. His arm/ wrist was so shattered that the surgery took over 6 hours. I can only imagine that the medical bills will be between $80-200K.
Realistically he could probably pay it off over a period of many years but ultimately he would be trading his families financial future to pay the hospital back. We don't have debtor's prison in the USA, they won't take his house. His only punishment will be ruined credit.
So who pays for his medical bills ultimately? It's a rhetorical question of course but it's time people began to understand what actually happens to 95% of the uninsured's bills.
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