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From http://notalwaysright.com/

It Turns Out You Can Be Too Safe
Law Office | Eugene, OR, USA

Caller: *on the phone* “My father-in-law was hit by a car while riding his bike. I need to get some advice about what he should do.”

Me: “Was he injured?”

Caller: “Yeah. I mean, he’s conscious and stuff, but he’s bleeding and in pain.”

Me: “When did this happen?”

Caller: “About 5 minutes ago. Can we sue the guy?”

Me: “I’m sorry, did you say this JUST happened? Have you called the police and ambulance?”

Caller: “No, that’s why I called you. I need to know what to do.”

Me: “Hang up and call 911!”

Caller: “Really? So we should take him to the doctor even though he doesn’t have medical insurance? Who’s going to pay for it if he dies? I can’t be responsible for that!”

(Sirens are heard in the background.)

Caller: “Oh no, someone must have called, because a firetruck just pulled up…am I going to have to pay for this?”

Me: “Sir, please deal with his injuries and make sure he’s taken to the hospital. You can call us back after he’s been treated if you need to and we’d be happy to explain how to get the bills paid - right now you need to worry about him.”

Caller: “I ain’t doin’ anything ’til I know who’s gonna pay for this. I shouldn’t be stuck with this!”

Me: “In all likelihood, the insurance company for the driver who hit him will pay his medical bills.”

Caller: “I’m calling them then….” *aside in background* “Don’t go messing with him; I gotta find out who’s paying for this before you go taking him
anywhere!” *hangs up*


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 27th, 2009 12:19 am (UTC)
thats just sooo wrong on SO many different levels!
May. 27th, 2009 12:59 am (UTC)
American System FAIL! Even the President admit's it is fuck and they need to fix it. Did you see Micheal Moore's Sicko? Fucking scary!
May. 27th, 2009 11:32 am (UTC)
Mind you that I loved that movie, but keep in mind that Moore is biased - to wit, he's in the business to sell movies. So just keep in mind there are many ways to "interpret" the data "backing up" his arguments.

Second - assuming that's real news, keep in mind it made its way into the news in the first place because in the US we gawk and drool in dumbfounded amazement that anyone can be as thoroughly stupid as the guy in that supposed call. The system is just not as oversimplified as that "call" implies. At the extreme surface - if the hospitals would treat someone uninsured and poor in an emergency, why's it the "caller's" responsibility? What would the hospital do, ruin the injured's non-existent credit? Ask for the treatments back? They certainly couldn't go after anyone else. It just doesn't work this way.

In my opinion, socialized medicine has its problems too; I remember in Israel hurting my back when hiking a wadi, and all I could get for it was some cream, not x-rays or anything more serious, until I got home. Turned out to have a more serious injury, too.

There's no single good answer that gives everybody the highest possible level of care.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )



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