• A (Deadly) Day In The Life Of The Uninsured.

    Right now, there are 52 million Americans who do not have health insurance. An additional 73 million Americans have trouble paying for their health care, and 75 million deferred medical treatment because of it.

    This is the story of one man who, like many Americans, didn't have health insurance. And it cost him his life.

    Doctors at University Hospital in Cincinnati said a 24-year-old father died Wednesday from a tooth infection.

    Patti Collins, wife of famed local musician Bootsy Collins, said she couldn't believe what happened to her nephew, Kyle Willis, who left behind a 6-year-old daughter.

    "I said, 'What do you mean they're calling the family?' (My daughter) said, 'Mom, the infection (Willis) had in his tooth has gone to his brain," Collins said.

    But doctors said that rare as it may be, what started out as a toothache eventually killed the young father and aspiring paralegal.

    Family members said Willis' wisdom tooth started hurting two weeks ago. Dentists said it needed to be pulled, but being an unemployed single father, Willis decided to ignore the pain.

    Collins said her nephew was out of work and didn't have health insurance.

    In most cases, the only way Americans can get decent health benefits without paying an arm and a leg (pardon) for them is to find a job that offers health benefits as a perk. Like many Americans, I'm sure he lost whatever health benefits he had the moment he was laid off.

    And like most Americans without health insurance, he had to wait until he absolutely had to go to the emergency room in order to receive treatment.

    But when Willis started getting headaches and his face began to swell, he went to the emergency room.

    "The (doctors) gave him antibiotic and pain medication. But he couldn't afford to pay for the antibiotic, so he chose the pain meds, which was not what he needed," Collins said.

    Doctors told Willis' family that while the pain had stopped, the infection kept spreading -- eventually attacking his brain and causing it to swell.

    "He should have gone to the dentist to take care of the toothache, and it wouldn't have escalated to this. It's a lesson learned by all," Collins said. 
    Collins said the family wants to make sure what happened to Willis never happens to anyone else.
    Family members said they are trying to get an account together for Willis' funeral expenses, and they're also hoping to create another fund for his daughter's college education.

    This man will never get to see his daughter grow up, go off to college, start a career or start her a family of her own. And this man will never get to realize his goal of becoming a paralegal. A promising life lost and a family torn apart.

    But wait...he's the nephew of Bootsy Collins' wife? Couldn't he have gotten his rich uncle to foot the medical bills?

    It's a shame his uncle didn't come forward with a measley $20 when it would have saved his life.

    Who knows what the family situation was like? I know family members who wouldn't piss on one another to put them out if they were on fire. Family dynamics are strange like that.

    At some point, the comments were "cleansed" of the more "base" comments. And here's one such comment, in all it's epic glory:

    Terrible, a dentist actually expects to get paid for their work? Horrible people, those dentists. ENTITLEMENTS that is what is wrong with the healthcare system, just like the rest of the country. Who is making money? The dentist down the street, or the MEGA Corp "insurance" company with it's skyscrapers? A good living, hopefully, vs dividends for shareholders. Quit blaming dentists for the troubles. How many smokes can you give up to get your teeth worked on? What about the stupid lotto tickets

    Everyone complaining about dental "insurance" being hard to get, it is NOT insurance. It is a dental "benefit". It was not designed for people who don't take care of themselves. The max benefit is the same as it was in 1964 for most people. Benefit companies do everything they can to make sure you don't use it if you have it too. WHHHAAA, dentists are too expensive. You go to school, get the loans, risk your license on idiots all day, then see if you think it should be cheaper.

    All the people who want the govt to be involved in their health are CRAZY. The govt has no interest in your health, just your votes. Healthcare reform won't fix stupid. This was just dumb, this is pure neglect, bad choices in life. Quit blaming everyone else for your bad choices. Sad he died, but no different than a grown man playing in rush hour traffic. It was bound to happen.

    The guy had gold on his neck he could have pawned. He could have brushed and flossed like all of you SHOULD and he would not have had this happen. Quit trying to blame everyone else, he let it happen to himself. If he cared enough to spend ~$8 a month on his teeth (floss/paste/brush) and use them correctly, he isn't going to get this kind of thing happening. PERIOD. All the bellyachers saying I don't have any enamel/I have soft teeth too, GROW UP. No, breast feeding DOES NOT hurt your teeth.

    The stupid, it burns.

    Instead of treating universal health care as a preventative measure that not only saves lives, but also lowers the cost to taxpayers and businesses, it's deemed a "socialist/Marxist" invention used by limp-wristed socialist Europeans and Canadians, one that seeks to make doctors poor, bleed God-fearing taxpayers dry and keep welfare queens nice and healthy. And to die-hard conservatives, the fact that you don't have health insurance is a personal failing, therefore you deserve everything that happens to you.

    These same people often have enough money to swing the thousands of dollars per year needed for health coverage or have the federal government take care of that (DoD/DoJ/government contractors). It's a case of "Got Mine, Fuck You" Syndrome.

    It's too bad Obama passed that limp-wristed healthcare reform bill without including the public option. If it didn't help Kyle Willis in time, at least it would have helped so many other Americans currently without health insurance.