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February 4, 2011

Tucson shooting survivors worry about medical costs

 

In this story by the New York Times, some of the survivors of the shootings said they have thought about how much of their medical bills they would have to pay.

It turns out that all of the 13 survivors had health insurance, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who has top-of-the-line federal insurance. And there are pots of money, from federal and nonprofit sources, that will help defray other costs, such as travel to the trial and maybe counseling and even new glasses.

The bills aren't all in yet, and surely the victims have copays and deductibles, but the hospitals that treated the survivors say they expect insurance to cover the bulk of the costs.

But what if they didn't have insurance? Should they or their families have to pay a dime now or if a problem arises later?

If they shouldn't have to pay, who should? And what about victims of car crashes or other disasters or accidents -- or in Baltimore, crossfire -- beyond the victims' control? The victims and families of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks were compensated, but only recently did Congress step in to provide full medical care for the first responders.

Those who can't pay for medical care are treated anyway, and the public pays either through taxes or higher premiums. There is no "do not treat" list. But many struggle with bills when they get sick or hurt, or whether it's their own fault or not. So, where is the line? 

Reuters photo

Posted by Meredith Cohn at 11:08 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Health care reform
        

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About Picture of Health
Meredith CohnMeredith Cohn has been a reporter since 1991, covering everything from politics and airlines to the environment and medicine. A runner since junior high and a particular eater for almost as long, she tries to keep up on health and fitness trends. Her aim is to bring you the latest news and information from the local and national medical and wellness communities.

Andrea K. WalkerAndrea K. Walker knows it’s weird to some people, but she has a fascination with fitness, diseases, medicine and other health-related topics. She subscribes to a variety of health and fitness magazines and becomes easily engrossed in the latest research in health and science. An exercise fanatic, she’s probably tried just about every fitness activity there is. Her favorites are running, yoga and kickboxing. So it is probably fitting that she has been assigned to cover the business of healthcare and to become a regular contributor to this blog. Andrea has been at The Sun for nearly 10 years, covering manufacturing, retail , airlines and small and minority business. She looks forward to telling readers about the latest health news.
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