Man Tries To Refuse Hospital Visit After Crash to Avoid Bankruptcy
A Loomis man without coverage says first responders forced him to the hospital after his motorcycle crash. Now he faces more than $40,000 in bills he doesn’t feel he should have to pay.
It was a cool summer’s day in August when Terry Barth was out riding his Harley in Plumas County. The winding country road in front of him took an unexpected turn. Thrown off his bike, Terry was roughed up and hit his head. When the paramedics arrived, he says he declined treatment.
“I said i told you i can’t go, I don’t have insurance,” he recalls.
Against his wishes, he says they loaded him up anyway.
“And I was still yelling the words in the ambulance, I can’t go. I told you I can’t go.”
Rushed to a hospital in Quincy against his will, doctors then loaded Terry into an air ambulance to Enloe Medical Center in Chico which was the closest trauma center. Terry learned he suffered a concussion and a broken bone around his eye. Against doctor’s orders, he walked out of the hospital and went home only to get slapped with bills totalling more than $40,000 for the care he says he never wanted.
This is the point that we’ve gotten to. People are afraid, after any accident, not of how it’s going to affect them physically, but that it’s going to bankrupt them, mean their kid can’t go to a good college. My wife has insurance and we’re dealing with the costs from her hospital visit because of the enormous red tape which the private insurers have no incentive whatsoever to help us through. The health care system in this country needs work, but the health insurance system in this country is broken.
The ACA was a baby step forward. In order to make real progress, the GOP has to either be reformed, or they have to be beaten in the individual states.