Delbert Davis lost his job, and with it, his health insurance. During the three months he was unemployed, he was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver. With no health insurance, he was denied the ability to be placed on an organ transplant list.
James Kvaal over at Warren Reports at Talking Points Memo comments:
Davis fell right through our safety net. Medicare wouldn't cover him for two years, and he didn't have two years. He wasn't poor enough for the county health program. He couldn't afford the premium for the state program, and anyway it would make him wait a year for the surgery.(Editorial comment: Talk about "family values!")
With a little more time, he might have been helped by a special Medicaid program (which would have required him to get divorced, by the way).
But he didn't have time. Davis died on October 20.Now I realize that having a national health care system would not completely solve this problem, but it would help. Another problem is the lack of available organs for transplants. (If you haven't checked the Organ Donor on your driver's license, now would be a good time to do it.)
His widow, Ann Davis, is left with $1,875 a month in medical bills and is afraid she will lose her house. She told the Austin paper, "My husband and I have worked hard all of our lives. We had insurance up to a very brief window of time: three months that we didn't have coverage, and this happened. Just that little lapse of time . . . and we were trapped in a spiral that we couldn't get out of."
Hard to believe that losing a job can be a death sentence, but that's how messed up our health care system is.
In any case, stories like this where people lose everything they have due to medical bills is just insane. This is just another anecdotal example of why we need a national health care system.