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Old 01-22-2012, 08:56 AM   #21
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UOTE]I am speechless. Would you have the courage to say this to her parents who know have to pay a half a million dollar bill, on top of it ?
I do not assume that the parents would be responsible for the bills of a 29 year old woman. I also assumed that anyone of that age would protect themself, If not from death, then a disabling injury that they would have to pay for.
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Old 01-22-2012, 09:06 AM   #22
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Some clarifications in this article (Sarah Burke's medical bills necessitate donations) about this particular incident (medical costs came to $200K, not $550K as reported by media, which has already been raised).

Sad story. I imagine her family guaranteed they would pay when she was admitted so that is why they are responsible for the bills?

Yet, I wonder if by guaranteeing was it more than just a signature during the course of treatment. When the hospital says, were are going to do such and such (which has a chance to save someone's life), sign here..what choices do a family have? Most probably sign first, worry about the bill later rather than say, I can't sign as I can't afford the treatment.
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Old 01-22-2012, 09:11 AM   #23
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Yet, I wonder if by guaranteeing was it more than just a signature during the course of treatment. When the hospital says, were are going to do such and such (which has a chance to save someone's life), sign here..what choices do a family have? Most probably sign first, worry about the bill later.
Contract law often has to consider whether any of the undersigned parties were agreeing to the terms "under duress," and in some jurisdictions that is grounds for making the contract unenforceable.

"Assume their financial responsibility or watch them die" is not a choice anyone should have to make.
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Old 01-22-2012, 09:19 AM   #24
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This reminds me of Christopher Reeve. I remember there were questions about who would pay his medical bills. Did he have to self-insure or have adequate insurance? I remember reading rumors, reports saying his good friend Robin Williams covered the expenses.
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Old 01-22-2012, 09:36 AM   #25
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As a competitive skier, it is customary for the event organizer to carry insurance and Sarah should have expected to be covered. Indeed if this had been a sanctioned event she would have been. What is unclear is why the event sponsor (Monster Energy Drink) failed to provide the usual coverage. It is unreasonable for all participants to have to inspect the detailed documentation of event organizers to determine if they are covered. Faced with a medical emergency, her family likely signed anything the hospital gave them, how could they do anything but? I don't see either Sarah nor her family as being at fault here. Monster seems to have taken a gamble to go uncovered.
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:19 AM   #26
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Do you have any facts that support the idea that Olympic skiers face a significantly greater risk of death than the general public?

I suspect that anyone who owns a motercycle, boat, or snowmobile has just as great a risk of accidental death.
I don't have the resources to 'prove' it, but I think it's pretty clear that during the time they are training or competing in events like this, that yes, they face a much greater risk of death and/or serious injury. If you can find out what the event promoters have to pay for insurance for these events, I think that would give a pretty clear idea of the risk.

Plus, I'm pretty sure motorcycle owners pay a higher rate than car drivers, not sure about boats and snowmobiles.

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There seems to be a strong desire in a lot of people to blame bad outcomes on the person receiving them. I suspect that people want to do that so that they can go through life thinking that if they make good decisions, bad things won't happen to them.
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Mostly people who think they are more responsible than everyone else and who seem to think bad things never happen to good people, that any time something bad happens to someone, it's their own fault and society doesn't have a moral responsibility to lift a finger to them.
Wow, that's a pretty extreme twist and unwarranted expansion of what I've said. Do you feel better now?

Sure, 'stuff happens', but responsible people do what they can to try to protect themselves to a reasonable degree. An example I've given before - when my kid graduated and went off my MegaCorp ins coverage, and had not obtained a job with coverage yet, I didn't moan and groan about the loss, we went out and got a high deductible policy for him ($60). I know other people who did not, and from what I know, their hospital bill (when they got hurt engaging in some risky 'horseplay') got covered by 'other people's money'. And no, I can't see why that irresponsibility should be defended. But they saved $60/month, I guess I was just a sap.

After typing that, I got a bit more worked up, I'm going to re-quote a portion and respond a bit more appropriately:

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and who seem to think bad things never happen to good people, that any time something bad happens to someone, it's their own fault and society doesn't have a moral responsibility to lift a finger to them.
That is downright unfair, and just plain wrong, and it is an insult. I am offended by this characterization. And never say never, or always (anytime).

I have two friends that are fighting cancer right now. These are super-good people ( I wish I could claim to be 1/10 as good as they are), who have paid close attention to their health, they are some of the most fit people I know. Yet, through no fault of their own, they have cancer, and one has even has a recurrence. One is covered by our MegaCorp ins, and you are wrong if you think that I wouldn't want our insurance to do the best they can for them, even if it meant they had to raise the average rate for the group.

When you characterize others as acting superior, you risk coming across as acting superior yourself.

Regarding some other comments, I'll admit it gets complex when we try to define just what is and isn't risky behavior and how would we assign costs to this. But I think the general concept applies - people should take responsibility for their actions. Is that really controversial?

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Old 01-22-2012, 10:23 AM   #27
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Do nations with government health care have any reciprocity agreements when their citizens travel? It would seem possible.
I don't think so. From personal experiences:

I had an aunt from Australia visiting England a few years ago and we happened to be on vactaion at the time so got to visit with her. She told us that she had got a bad case of flu the week before and had to go to the doctors. She to pay ~$125 for the visit and prescription as she didn't have travel health insurance.

In 2006 I was in England on business and a colleague from Spain got sick one evening and he had run out of his pills for that condition. He did carry an EU medical card, that he paid extra for, and it covered him in all EU countries. I took him to an out of hours clinic at 7pm, he saw a doctor and got prescription meds at no cost. We were back at the hotel to join the rest of our colleagues for dinner by 8.
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:28 AM   #28
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France does have a reciprocity agreement with a number of European and non-European countries (including the US).
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:39 AM   #29
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France does have a reciprocity agreement with a number of European and non-European countries (including the US).
That's pretty generous considering the cost disparity.

A few years back I read an article in a UK newspaper comparing the costs of common procedures across EU countries and they were all within a range of about 20%. They also had the USA listed to show the extreme, as the USA was at least twice as expensive.
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:48 AM   #30
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Do you have any facts that support the idea that Olympic skiers face a significantly greater risk of death than the general public?

I suspect that anyone who owns a motercycle, boat, or snowmobile has just as great a risk of accidental death.

There seems to be a strong desire in a lot of people to blame bad outcomes on the person receiving them. I suspect that people want to do that so that they can go through life thinking that if they make good decisions, bad things won't happen to them.
Just so we are clear on what we are talking about here. The sport she was involved in is "XGame" (X for extreme) superpipe skiing in which the participant ski's down into a half-pipe made of snow and ice with (almost vertical) 22 ft walls. The score is combined for form, height and how many twists and turns can be completed before they must ski down the side of the pipe. Many times the skier is upside down 32ft in the air and must time the descent precisely. This XGame sport using skis has just been added to the Olympic games. It has been a snowboard Olympic game for over 10 years.
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:50 AM   #31
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That's pretty generous considering the cost disparity.

A few years back I read an article in a UK newspaper comparing the costs of common procedures across EU countries and they were all within a range of about 20%. They also had the USA listed to show the extreme, as the USA was at least twice as expensive.
After researching the subject some more, there are restrictions on the amount of coverage (full reciprocity applies only in specific situations). In the US, health care services are covered up to what similar services would cost in France. So, they do encourage people to contract additional coverage when traveling to countries with expensive health care services, like the US.
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Old 01-22-2012, 11:23 AM   #32
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I am pleased to read this, ERD50. This is what I want too, but at a state or national level, not at a business / Megacorp level. Some of us will have to pay more to help out those who fall in the cracks for whatever reason. Maybe our respective views on this topic are not that far apart after all...
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One is covered by our MegaCorp ins, and you are wrong if you think that I wouldn't want our insurance to do the best they can for them, even if it meant they had to raise the average rate for the group.
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Old 01-22-2012, 11:30 AM   #33
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Sure, 'stuff happens', but responsible people do what they can to try to protect themselves to a reasonable degree. An example I've given before - when my kid graduated and went off my MegaCorp ins coverage, and had not obtained a job with coverage yet, I didn't moan and groan about the loss, we went out and got a high deductible policy for him ($60). I know other people who did not, and from what I know, their hospital bill (when they got hurt engaging in some risky 'horseplay') got covered by 'other people's money'.

-ERD50
I am beating a dead horse a bit but every time I hear these self sufficiency arguments I have to raise the health insurance issues. When DD went off my family policy (came back on later after HC reform) she was deemed uninsurable by BC/BS - the very company that had been covering her under my policy. Getting her decent coverage was a major worry. She eventually got coverage under a law in the socialist republic of DC that pools at risk individuals but there was a coverage gap (required IIRC) that could have proved disastrous. My nephew got cancer during a similar brief gap in the months after college. I did moan and groan about the problems we faced by the way. Our health care system warrants moaning and groaning.

Also, you quickly popped in about the need for skiers to take care of themselves but if, as other posters mentioned, it would be reasonable to expect event sponsors to have insurance then there is a bit of blaming the victim going on. How many among us is hyper vigilant about stuff like this? Speaking of which, I have traveled overseas numerous times blithely assured that I have medical insurance. I never looked to see if they actually covered overseas and will now confirm it before my upcoming trip to Africa.

Edit: Just verified that I am covered overseas. Thanks for nudging me to check ERD. Some of those libertarian traits are valuable.
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Old 01-22-2012, 11:39 AM   #34
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I have quite a few Canadian golf buddies (smowbirds). They pay a lot extra into their Canadian health fund if they are out of country for an extended period of time. One told me this year it cost him $5000 extra to come down here for six months this winter. Said it might be his last because next year he will reach another age plateau and it jumps to $8000. About four years ago he had a heart attack just after getting down here and had a hell of a time working out required care here vs Canada. Canada wanted him to fly back for angioplasty and stents and the cardiologist here wouldn't let him travel. The US won that battle but after full recovery, they wouldn't let him leave Canada until this year. I guess everyone in Canada pays that insurance premium if you are out of the country for six months or more.
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Old 01-22-2012, 02:09 PM   #35
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I think what is controversial is the attitude that since someone chose a risky career, we shouldn't have sympathy for them when they get hurt.

By the logic of your original post, I would expect people to shrug off the deaths of soldiers, police, and firemen (or mine workers, alaskan fishermen, overnight store clerks, etc)

Those people have willingly chosen risky occupations.

"Why should anyone be surprised when they get hurt?"

You heard about the tragic death of an incredible young athelete, and the first thing you apparently think about is making sure that no one else gets stuck with her medical bills.

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Regarding some other comments, I'll admit it gets complex when we try to define just what is and isn't risky behavior and how would we assign costs to this. But I think the general concept applies - people should take responsibility for their actions. Is that really controversial?

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Old 01-22-2012, 02:14 PM   #36
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Wow, that's a pretty extreme twist and unwarranted expansion of what I've said. Do you feel better now?
Of what you said? Funny, I don't recall posting this as a reply to you or naming you as someone with this attitude. Hence, your defensiveness about it is a little surprising to me.

I am seeing, though, a lot more backlash against people who need help than I used to before the market meltdown created a bailout mentality. It seems to have desensitized a lot of good people into acting as though they never want to lend a helping hand any more, as if they could never possibly be victimized by their own decisions (or indecisions) or even by dumb luck they couldn't control. It not only created backlash against helping entities enduring bad times but also helped fuel "compassion fatigue."
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Old 01-22-2012, 02:45 PM   #37
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$60,000 a day for medical care!!! I think it is time we question what we are paying for , who gets it, and why it is so expensive.
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Old 01-22-2012, 03:06 PM   #38
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I have quite a few Canadian golf buddies (smowbirds). They pay a lot extra into their Canadian health fund if they are out of country for an extended period of time. One told me this year it cost him $5000 extra to come down here for six months this winter. Said it might be his last because next year he will reach another age plateau and it jumps to $8000.
Would it not be a better option for him to simply get a 6 month travel insurance with high medical coverage, or is that kind of option not available for Canadians? In early 90's I was a European exchange scientist staying in the USA with J-1 visa. I was able to get up to 365 day travel insurance with unlimited medical coverage for about $100. Pre-existing conditions did not matter as long as there were no acute episodes within the last 30 days prior to departure. I believe something similar is still available for Europeans.
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Old 01-22-2012, 03:23 PM   #39
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Would it not be a better option for him to simply get a 6 month travel insurance with high medical coverage, or is that kind of option not available for Canadians? In early 90's I was a European exchange scientist staying in the USA with J-1 visa. I was able to get up to 365 day travel insurance with unlimited medical coverage for about $100. Pre-existing conditions did not matter as long as there were no acute episodes within the last 30 days prior to departure. I believe something similar is still available for Europeans.
This is exactly what he has. It's a premium to his insurance coverage for being out of the country for six months. In other words, "if you want to travel and be gone six months, you are taking a risk that could put you in peril of needing hospital care outside Canada and it will cost you this much". That's the way I understand it.
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Old 01-22-2012, 05:35 PM   #40
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I think what is controversial is the attitude that since someone chose a risky career, we shouldn't have sympathy for them when they get hurt.
....

You heard about the tragic death of an incredible young athelete, and the first thing you apparently think about is making sure that no one else gets stuck with her medical bills.
No, the first thing I asked the OP, was what he meant by 'eye opening' (and I would still appreciate an answer from him - it's practically a 'blind link' as the comment didn't really tell us what to expect or look for). There must be at least a dozen different angles on this story, I was not sure what he was getting at. And the smiley seemed odd - is there something funny here

The post before mine started talking about the medical bill, so I just followed that theme (one of many).

Quote:
By the logic of your original post, I would expect people to shrug off the deaths of soldiers, police, and firemen (or mine workers, alaskan fishermen, overnight store clerks, etc)

Those people have willingly chosen risky occupations.

"Why should anyone be surprised when they get hurt?"
I don't know what you mean by 'shrug off' a death. Any death is tragic. But yes, I have a little different gut feeling when someone dies pursuing an activity that they enjoy, when they know full well it is a very dangerous thing to do (and it is probably the danger that is part of the attraction). It's still tragic, it's sad, but it is different from hearing that a straight A student who just graduated was killed by a drunk driver when they were doing nothing wrong. If it's wrong for me to feel that way, I'm sorry, I'll just have to chalk it up to being human.

BTW, fire fighters face a lower risk than:

http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/cfoi/cfoi_rates_2010hb.pdf

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First-line supervisors/managers of retail sales workers 3.4

Fire fighters 3.2
But to the degree that people choose risky occupations, they should take steps to prepare for that risk. Certainly a commercial fisherman (a very dangerous occupation) who is the main source of income for a family should have life insurance, no?



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Of what you said? Funny, I don't recall posting this as a reply to you or naming you as someone with this attitude. Hence, your defensiveness about it is a little surprising to me.
Well, the other post I quoted said much the same thing, and it was directed at me. And you responded to another poster who was saying some of the same things I was, so yes, I did think your comments included me as 'people who think they are more responsible than everyone else'. I didn't think that was a leap, but I still feel the characterization is wrong, even if it was directed at 'some people', rather than me specifically.


RE: my willingness to pay for insurance to help assure others get good coverage:
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I am pleased to read this, ERD50. This is what I want too, but at a state or national level, not at a business / Megacorp level. Some of us will have to pay more to help out those who fall in the cracks for whatever reason. Maybe our respective views on this topic are not that far apart after all...
Well, I don't want to re-hash the whole health care debate, that's been done several times earlier on this forum. But I don't know what would make you think my views were any different from what I stated in that response. It's tough to say more w/o opening up the whole HC debate, but I'll just say that I do think everyone should be covered, and everyone should be expected to pay for the coverage (and if they truly cannot pay, a 'safety net' provides for them). And that is totally consistent with my 'responsibility' comments - everyone (who can) is taking responsibility for themselves, and pooling the risk.

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