Obamacare Will Solve Stories like Adam Francois American Healthcare Nightmare (REAL STORY)
I was at a friend’s office when Tyler Francois mentioned in passing that his brother Adam Francois was in an accident a few weeks ago. I do not remember in what context he told me that, however he said that his brother’s bill was in excess of $300,000.
The number got my attention immediately. I asked if his brother had health insurance. He said he did not. I then asked him if his brother was employed. After he said yes I knew I was listening to a story that needed to be told.
You see, Tyler’s brother is your typical young adult in America who had an unfortunate incident happen to him that will affect him for the rest of his life. This incident has potentially changed the entire outcome of his life financially and likely in many other ways.
I asked Tyler to ask his brother if he would allow me to interview him for a CNN iReport. He said he would. A few hours later he texted me and said his brother agreed.
Yesterday I visited their home in Kingwood, TX. Kingwood is an upper middle class suburb of Houston, TX. On the outside it seems like one of those tight lipped conservative communities. However, over the 15 years that I have lived here I continue to see sharp cracks in that armor as the reality of what 30 years of supply side economics has done to people’s wealth and income.
Adam’s Francois healthcare/health insurance story is a story that occurs millions of times throughout the country. It is a story that has life changing implications.
Adam was riding his motorcycle to work. He was going around 20 miles per hour when his bike had a malfunction. He fell off the bike and was thrown into the curb. He had broken bones all over his body.
Adam spent 20 days in one of the best hospitals/trauma centers in the country, Houston’s Memorial Herman. After-all, Houston is home to the renowned Texas Medical Center. He had seven surgeries which included bone repairs, skin grafts, and other procedures. Adam said he received very good service except for bad experiences with two nurses he reported.
Adam said that during his stay he saw many doctors and other professionals enter his room to see him many times spending less than five minutes. I asked him if he thought these visits were bill padding visits and he believed they were. He also said that he left the hospital with a lot of unneeded supplies for which he is sure would appear on his bill.
Adam has no medical insurance. Upon leaving the hospital he was informed that his current bill was around $350,000, a bill he would never be able to pay.
This story should give every American immediate pause. Adam is young and gainfully employed. He paid his taxes and contributed positively to our society. Yet because of our ever increasing wage stagnation and healthcare inflation, he was unable to afford coverage.
This one accident has potentially changed his life permanently. He has a $350,000 boat anchor hanging around his neck that will prevent him from buying a car or a house. It could potentially affect his ability to fund further education. Given that many employers now perform credit checks as part of the screening process it could affect his employment options. It has implications on his social life. As a 28 year old in his prime it may make his marriage prospects more difficult.
Adam is lucky that he has loving parents and siblings. His brother Tyler, his father, and his mother Faye Odom take turns giving him the round the clock care he needs. What would he have done if he was in a faraway American city with no relatives? What if his relatives were unable to care for him?
This is the inhumane nature of our healthcare system pre-Obamacare (Affordable Care Act). While some may disagree with different sections of the bill the fact that it would mitigate Adam Francois’ very American dilemma in its current form when effected in 2014 should be reason enough to support it. While it is true that much of the bill should be much improved, those that are against it have succumbed to false characterizations of the bill because in our healthcare insurance and healthcare system’s inefficiencies lie much of the unearned profits of those that misinform.