Dead because of no Insurance

  1. The Boston Globe
    2/24/2004
    Vocal critic of abuse by clergy found dead
    By Brian MacQuarrie

    Patrick McSorley, a victim of defrocked priest John J. Geoghan who became
    one of the most visible critics of clergy sexual abuse, was discovered
    dead early yesterday in a North End apartment, his lawyer said yesterday.
    A close friend said McSorley, 29, occasionally went to the apartment to
    take drugs owing to a chronic substance-abuse problem that had plagued him for several years.

    "To think he had come this far and just to have it end so abruptly -- it's
    a tragic ending," said the friend, Alexa MacPherson, 29,... "I spent a lot of last summer and fall trying to help him get into a drug-rehabilitation program. He definitely was in need of some serious help," MacPherson said.

    "There were days when we would spend 10, 12, 14 hours at . . . hospitals, trying to get him in. He wanted their help so badly, and we basically got turned away because he had no health insurance."

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/mas...gy_found_dead/

    Comment: "... turned away because he had no health insurance."Patrick McSorley may or may not be one of the 18,000 young adults who will
    die this year merely because of the lack of health insurance. It is quite
    possible that his disease of chemical dependency may have been lethal even
    if he were insured. But now we'll never know.

    Some may want to blame the victim. Others may blame clergy abuse. The
    issues are complex, as they are in every instance of preventable premature death. But we can very easily eliminate the factor of being insured and move on with efforts to correct the other individual and societal problems that
    culminate in these tragedies. Just that first step alone would save 18,000
    young adult lives.
    •  
  2. 30 Comments

  3. by   stevierae
    McSorley and 85 other plaintiffs received a combined $10 million settlement from the Boston Archdiocese in 2002. McSorley received nearly $200,000, according to a source who knew him and was familiar with settlement details.

    Not blaming the victim here, just quoting the article. I understand that drug addiction is an illness, but health insurance for a 29 year old man is not outrageously expensive. Why didn't he allocate some of this money toward health insurance--a need a basic as food and water? I guess we know what his priorities were, and they killed him--not his lack of health insurance.
  4. by   fiestynurse
    The point I was trying to make is that he was turned away from an inpatient drug treatment program because he had no health insurance. I think that we can assume that he could not pay out of pocket or he would have. The hospital would have gladly taken his cash. More than 18,000 Americans die every year solely because they cannot afford private health care insurance. This is the finding of a new study entitled "Care without coverage: Too little, too late," which compares the health of insured and uninsured adults in the US, where 30 million--or one out of every seven--working-age people lack health care coverage.
  5. by   ernurse2244
    I work in a small ER, but we usually refer at least a couple of folks a month for inpatient mental health and/or substance abuse. I have never had one turned down because of lack of insurance and most do not have it. I'm in Georgia...don't know about other states.
  6. by   NurseHardee
    Come on, ernurse! I am a nurse and often have difficutly getting decent medical care for me and my family. And that's with insurance and without it.

    Nurse Hardee
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    QUOTE=ernurse2244]I work in a small ER, but we usually refer at least a couple of folks a month for inpatient mental health and/or substance abuse. I have never had one turned down because of lack of insurance and most do not have it. I'm in Georgia...don't know about other states.[/QUOTE]
  7. by   traumaRUs
    Fiesty Nurse - I know exactly what you are talking about. As an ER case manager - it is close to impossible to get someone care w/o insurance or the ability to private pay. As an aside, I have two sons, ages 18 and 23. The oldest one has NO insurance - makes fairly good money but his employer (auto mechanic - small operation) doesn't offer it. The younger one, also works, but his employer keeps the guys to 36 hours where he doesn't have to offer insurance.
  8. by   Agnus
    It seems to me (maybe I am totally wrong) that any community where I have lived in the U. S. that at least one hospital takes patients reguardless of ability to pay.

    It also seems that a very large percentage of these partients are mental health patients.

    Something is very wrong when there are places that there is no facility that will accept them.
  9. by   Dplear
    The point being is this guy COULD HAVE BOUGHT health insurance but he choose not to. I assume he spent his money on drugs. If that is the case then why the hell do I have to pay for care for his self destructive behavior? If you want affordable health care you can always get Unicare insurance. My wife has that only costs us 80 bucks a month. It is quite affordable for a single person.

    Dave
  10. by   Agnus
    Quote from Dplear
    The point being is this guy COULD HAVE BOUGHT health insurance but he choose not to. I assume he spent his money on drugs. If that is the case then why the hell do I have to pay for care for his self destructive behavior? If you want affordable health care you can always get Unicare insurance. My wife has that only costs us 80 bucks a month. It is quite affordable for a single person.

    Dave
    Dave, Insurance laws vary state to state and not all companines and all policies are avaliable in every state. could he have bought it? I don't know, that is why I question how you know.

    Don't get me wrong I don't have a bleeding heart for addics. I beleive we have to take primary responsibility for our own selves. At the same time there are many people who do not know what they need or how to get it.

    Yes I do hear you saying he knew how to get his drugs.
  11. by   NurseHardee
    What do we gain with this self righteous attitude that says... be damned with you if you are not 'responsible' as an individual? Just as an individual needs to be responsible for their own actions, so does a society as a whole. And a society that allows its citizens to have to play Russian Roulette constantly with their health, is not a responsible society.

    Nurse Hardee
    Last edit by NurseHardee on Mar 10, '04
  12. by   roxannekkb
    Quote from NurseHardee
    What do we gain with this self righteous attitude that says... be damned with you if you are not 'responsible' as an individual? Just as an individual needs to be responsible ofr their own actions, so does a society as a whole. And a society that allows its citizens to have to play Russian Roulette constantly with their health, is not a responsible society.

    Nurse Hardee
    Agree. That is very true. Obviously, this man had problems. He was a drug addict. And individual health insurance policies are simply not available in many areas, no matter how much money you have. Sad but true.

    We are severely lacking in drug rehab faciliities, and he is not the first person who could not get into one. Whatever his reasons were, for not having health insurance (and since none of us know the reason it is futile to speculate), the story remains is that he could not get care. This is the scenario for millions of people in this country--uninsured and underinsured. Those too rich for Medicaid, too young for Medicare, and too poor to afford health insurance/health bills on their own.
  13. by   jkaee
    Quote from NurseHardee
    What do we gain with this self righteous attitude that says... be damned with you if you are not 'responsible' as an individual? Just as an individual needs to be responsible ofr their own actions, so does a society as a whole. And a society that allows its citizens to have to play Russian Roulette constantly with their health, is not a responsible society.

    Nurse Hardee

    Nurse Hardee...I don't think anyone here is being self-righteous. I also don't think that anyone is saying that if someone doesn't have ins. then "be damned" to them. The fact remains is that while there are millions of people who don't have health ins, many of them COULD get insurance and just don't. I speak from experience, my sister in law and her long time boyfriend aren't insured....the only time she is is when she's pregnant and on MA, and then gets better care than I do, when I'm paying out the a** in premiums and co-pays! My sister didn't have ins. when she was in law school, and she's still paying off ER bills from when she injured herself. Everyone always says "It's about the almighty dollar!" but answer this.....would you work for free? If you got paid caring for pts. with insurance but didn't get paid for people with NO insurance, how would you feel? What would you do? It's not fair to expect all the doctors, nurses and hospitals to not get paid for their services. There are programs that you can sign up for in every state, yeah, it'll cost you some, but THAT'S WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO! I understand that there are people that truly cannot afford insurance, and they should still be cared for and receive medical treatment. But I find a good many of the cases are people that can smoke, do drugs and drink, have cable, cell phones, computers, internet, but yet can't afford to pay for a health insurance program. THAT's my problem, and maybe I'm "too close" to this issue to think objectively. But it really p***es me off when my s-i-l gets a 4-D ultrasound several times during her pregnancy on MA, but I have to fight with my insurance company that I pay to each month to get a Level II at 19 weeks.

    Thanks for letting me rant! phew!
  14. by   NurseHardee
    I believe that you need to be a little more understanding abot how the US medical system actually creates this supposed 'individual irresponsiblity' about buying insurance, or not. It is an irresponsible system itself that demands that coverage be provided only by hundreds of millions of individual acts of supposed 'responsibility' for everything.

    Take for an instant, auto liability insurance for example (and this is actually part of the US payment system for delivery of medical care!). For years universal coverage for drivers liability has been opposed by insurance companies. A universal coverage system would make payment for liability contingent upon being licensed as a driver, and/or having one's car given registration tags and license plates. Instead of such a sane system like that, individuals are constantly forced into a monthly choice of whether to pay for basic liability with limited personal funds, or not to pay. And many will juggle their money the wrong way.

    Add to that, the fact that we know that with buying medical coverage, patients will often then have their pocket book (insurance policy) treated then. Just as having no coverage can endanger one's health by not allowing excess to tx., having coverage can often endanger one's health because suppliers of 'care' will tend to overtreat! And some HMOs are just so gawd awful, that it might actually be better to have no coverage at all. Hardly incentive to rush out and make those payments for such poor quality of medical care.

    Currently I face a situation as a nurse, where the travel agency I worked for had no coverage for me and my family even as I worked. And when a contract ended, an emergency occurred. For two doctors visits that had no real care delivered, I am faced with a bill of around $1500 to get my daughter looked at! That's insane! Do you think me irresponsible if I balk at paying for such ********? I guess I am part of that group of those irresponsible people that make you so angry, right? But what is so wrong about just having everybody covered automatically, and funding the damn thing? Why make it a constant individual juggling of funds choice? Because individuals, just as businesses do, will try to opt out of paying for meia coverage what they shouldn't have to be paying that way for in the first place.

    Nurse Hardee
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    jkaee quote...
    <<Nurse Hardee...I don't think anyone here is being self-righteous. I also don't think that anyone is saying that if someone doesn't have ins. then "be damned" to them. The fact remains is that while there are millions of people who don't have health ins, many of them COULD get insurance and just don't. I speak from experience, my sister in law and her long time boyfriend aren't insured....the only time she is is when she's pregnant and on MA, and then gets better care than I do, when I'm paying out the a** in premiums and co-pays! My sister didn't have ins. when she was in law school, and she's still paying off ER bills.>>

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