“Trying to Catch His Breath With a Hole-Ridden Safety Net” by Kevin Zeinio

When you’re uninsured you have to make a horrible choice between seeking help and gaining debt, or hoping the problem goes away, risking health problems, and gaining debt.

The mindset of being uninsured is not , well… reassuring. It causes you to take risks that your peers do not need to take. It creates a perpetual fear that anything you do will eat up your life savings or kill you. Indeed, it has for us on one occasion. Nearly a decade ago when my wife was in constant pain for over a day, and after she could not take it anymore, I rushed her to emergency room. They had no clue, it was a worthless visit. They just looked at us dumbfounded and tried to get her to take antibacterials and be on her way. They even did unnecessary x-rays.

All of that was of course billed to us. We had saved up for 4 years to visit her family in Sweden. Every last cent, about $4000 was wiped clean. Apparently the practice of fleecing the uninsured was a commonplace action at this central Californian hospital and we were part of class action lawsuit against them. So many people were involved and the lawyers’ fees so high that we barely recovered anything from it.