Ah, yes, that ever-present 800 lb gorilla

david52_gwJuly 26, 2012

Children's Hospital said Wednesday that it will forgive the unpaid medical bills for those they treated in the Aurora shooting - including co-pays and deductible-related expenses for those with health insurance.

Two adults remain hospitalized there, and three have been released. Children's treated five people, and one patient died.

"We are committed to supporting these families as they heal," the hospital said in a statement.

The other five area hospitals treating victims from the massacre last week were non-committal Wednesday on how they were going to handle the rising bills for those who remain hospitalized - particularly for the uninsured patients.

Most hospitals' financial chiefs declined to say how much they've spent so far, saying they were more concerned about making sure patients got top care in their recovery.

"Our chief concern is for the health and care of our patients and their families," said Linda Kanamine, a vice president at HealthOne, which operates the Medical Center of Aurora and Swedish Medical Center, both of which received theater victims.

HealthONE says it will limit or eliminate some charges based on the individuals or the patient circumstances.

In recent days, as patients continue to recover from injuries ranging from severe organ trauma to gunshot grazes and shrapnel wounds, it has become apparent that a handful of the victims are facing health insurance caps or did not have coverage at all.

Hand-crafted websites and Twitter accounts dedicated to victims of the Aurora shooting are popping up on Facebook pages and search engines, beseeching people for money for health care costs for the injured.

"Farrah was tragically, critically injured in the Colorado theater massacre," a page on the website "gofundme" says. The page tells the story of Farrah Soudani, who, according to the web, was injured in her leg and abdomen in the theater. "Farrah did not have health insurance, and her mother is going to be out of work for some time, to be at Farrah's side, and providing care after she is released from the hospital. Please give anything you can!"

Other families are holding press availabilities and pumping their companies for help to recoup costs. Earlier in the week, Warner Brothers donated a sizeable, undisclosed sum to the Aurora Relief Fund, where a panel of people will look at applications and needs and figure out how to best spend it.

State officials are also scrambling to put infrastructure in place to start helping people with immediate - and eventually - long term needs. Money at the state Office for Victims Programs comes from speeding tickets, restitution fees and some federal funds.

The needs for help are diverse - like lost wages for recovery, plane tickets for victims who want to come back and see court proceedings and retrofitting of homes if someone is permanently injured or disabled.

State rules usually limit an individual to $20,000 in assistance, but that will likely be lifted for Aurora victims, said Robert Gallup, a state administrator of the Victims Assistance office.

The state received about $2 million in federal dollars in addition to what they had in their coffers to help the victims of Columbine, Gallup said.

He doesn't know how much assistance the Aurora theater shooting will require, but it's likely that there are more victims who are uninsured because many are in their 20s or 30s, starting out in jobs at bars and restaurants.

Seth Medley's brother, Caleb, was critically shot in the theater last week and is being treated at University of Colorado Hospital.

Seth described the hospital bills for his brother as "insurmountable."

"I don't have a clear idea about it, but it's going to be tough," Seth Medley said.

Both Seth and Michael West, a close friend, said Caleb recently began a job at Target, but he didn't have health insurance.

Seth said, "He didn't think insurance was necessary." / end quote

Here is a link that might be useful: link

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kwoods(Cold z7 Long Is)

Personal responsibility.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 9:11AM
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hamiltongardener(CAN 6a)

Hand-crafted websites and Twitter accounts dedicated to victims of the Aurora shooting are popping up on Facebook pages and search engines, beseeching people for money for health care costs for the injured.

This makes me wonder about how many "scam" donation sites will also be set up. This is the time when con artists shine.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 9:29AM
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I just heard on the news that 1/3 of Coloradans have absolutely no health insurance.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 9:49AM
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Yup, they can't afford it.

/we're losers.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 10:02AM
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Circus Peanut

People begging strangers to help pay for their basic medical costs = the kind of thing that makes us look like Neanderthals to the rest of the civilized world.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 10:31AM
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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

CP speaks for me.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 10:37AM
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hamiltongardener(CAN 6a)

People begging strangers to help pay for their basic medical costs = the kind of thing that makes us look like Neanderthals to the rest of the civilized world.

Well then, it's a darn good thing you have Jesus on your side to heal the sick, make the blind see and the lame walk...

I heard he personally blesses your country...and Glenn Beck told me that God himself wrote your Constitution.

When Jesus is your doctor, who needs universal healthcare?

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 10:38AM
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I think the NRA should have a fund from membership dues to pay the medical expenses for people who are the victims of gun violence. It could be considered the cost of freedom.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 10:47AM
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Well, David... if the lot of you can't afford it, you've obviously made poor choices in life, lacking personal responsibility, that led to everything you're facing now... just like so many others across the nation, I say with complete sarcasm. There are around 50 million Americans that fall into that same category of poor choices and no personal responsibility, according to the usual sources.

Even though I should have known from infancy, or some such thing, I fell into that same category through the many things that have affected me, I keep hearing.

Apparently, it has nothing to do with the price of premiums, the lacking coverage for those high premiums, preexisting conditions, accidents and diagnoses that happen through no fault of our own, or the lacking living wages paid and the jobs that don't allow enough hours to qualify for benefits... it's strictly a matter of no personal responsibility and poor life choices... so goes the continually circulated stereotype.

Shame on us all, David... shame on us all. ;-)

As to the OP, I think some of our fellow Americans will come through, and help will be forthcoming... whether it comes in the form of forgiveness by hospitals, or through the generosity of others, I really think that when it comes down to it, portions of us do band together to help one another where ever and however we can.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 11:08AM
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Continued outpatient mental health care to learn how to live around this tragedy in order to go on with a productive life will be desperately needed by some of these victims and their families and loved ones. This type of care needed won't be available to those who need it so badly who don't have the good insurance needed for this coverage, it's very expensive.

I hope that some of all the money being donated to the victim's fund is being earmarked for future health care needs such as this.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 11:27AM
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"losers" all of them.....

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 12:24PM
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marquest(z5 PA)

Do you think we can take some of those RICH people's money because they had no "Personal Responsibility" After all they knew going to the movies was dangerous.

Who needs health care. They should have known this would happen.

Can you imagine the insurance companies lining up at the door cutting people off without Obama Caring they could and would cut them all off NOW.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 12:47PM
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Mylab, it wouldn't surprise me to learn that several persons dealing with this particular field would volunteer their professional services pro bono.

Lately, and mainly because of our failing economy and other factors, I believe, I've seen more actual human connection, more bartering, more help being offered... even from those who can barely afford it... than I've seen in a long time.

Times are a lot harder now than they've ever been for too many people... one would think we'd be hearing a lot more about various charities and churches in all this, but such does not seem to be the case. It's coming mostly from the private sector... people helping people.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 1:03PM
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When a terrible and unnecessary tragedy of these proportions takes place, the country goes into sympathy mode and I don't mean that sarcastially. It is unlikely that a significant portion of our society will point out and complain about the lacking of responsibility of those who did not have health insurance when they needed it after somebody shot them up.

The pity is, it is a personal tragedy of equal porportions when a drunk driver crashes into another car and severely injured perhaps a family who needed extensive hospitalization and expensive procedures in order to recover, certainly to those victims. If they had no health care coverage, I fear that a tag of personal irresponisiblity would be issued with quite a bit less sympathy.

Huge and shocking violence to masses of people stirs something within most of us that the small and contained but equally shocking (to the victims) violence (drunk driver) doesn't seem to inspire.

And if a person or family needs a great deal of uninsured health care due to simple but severe illenss, then the sympathy rate all but (or actually) disappears.

We must draw up and pass a universal health care coverage system for the citizens of this country.

Then nobody ever has to worry about anything except to concentrate on getting well and everyone else can finally escape exposure to these discussions.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 1:10PM
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What Circuspeanut said.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 1:44PM
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We can always make things worse.

We can gut "Obamacare" and "start all over again".

Just saying now, if we "the people" elect the GOP to the White House and the GOP holds control of both house and senate.

Say goodbye to "Obamacare" and anything good that has come out of it. The GOP will be in control of your health care and will hand it over fully to the Insurance Companies and we will be back at square one again.

Talk about "death panels" and "government controlling your health care".

Under the GOP, it's will be back to Ins Companies ruling the roost, deciding who will live and who will die, who will have health insurance and who won't, who will have no health insurance because they actually used the health insurance for what it was intended for, at least that's what they thought.

Oh, yes it can get worse and it will get worse and the GOP won't care. They did their thing, they took that personal responsibility stuff, or they where born with a silver spoon in their mouth.
They don't have to worry about no health insurance, they can afford any kind that they want.

It's the majority of us that will be screwed to the wall, but heck, who cares? The GOP sure don't, they've already proved that.

Yes, CP has it right, the rest of the "civilized world" just can't believe what they see and hear about our health care, can't understand it, can't believe it exists and can't believe we are actually considered civilized in this country.

Doesn't get much more pathetic than not caring about whether the people of your country live or die because they have no health insurance and putting the blame on them because they didn't plan well, didn't take personal responsibility, made poor choices.

Societies that believe that way, governments that run that way are doomed to failure and destruction by way of themselves.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 2:11PM
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