That’s One Way To Deal With Health Care Costs

Amazing:

Reporting from Washington— Mary Brown, a 56-year-old Florida woman who owned a small auto repair shop but had no health insurance, became the lead plaintiff challenging President Obama’s healthcare law because she was passionate about the issue.

Brown “doesn’t have insurance. She doesn’t want to pay for it. And she doesn’t want the government to tell her she has to have it,” said Karen Harned, a lawyer for the National Federation of Independent Business. Brown is a plaintiff in the federation’s case, which the Supreme Court plans to hear later this month.

But court records reveal that Brown and her husband filed for bankruptcy last fall with $4,500 in unpaid medical bills. Those bills could change Brown from a symbol of proud independence into an example of exactly the problem the healthcare law was intended to address.

I guess that is the teahadist solution to health care costs. Go without insurance, run up big medical bills, and then declare bankruptcy. Problem solved.

114 replies
  1. 1
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    She is just embracing the culture of personal responsibility.

  2. 2
    beltane says:

    Mary Brown also doesn’t understand how anyone could go hungry in this country. After all, who is to stop you from eating a big meal in a restaurant and then walking out without paying the bill?

  3. 3
    decitect says:

    moral hazard! Moral Hazard!! MORAL HAZARD!!11!!1

    oh boy, another numb nut anti-taxer, sticking it to society.

    while Joyne thinks we’re headed for nationalized health care link

  4. 4
    trollhattan says:

    “She was passionate about the issue.”

    So was Scott Roeder when he shot Doctor Tiller.

    “Why I might disagree with his methods, I understand his passion.”

    –An infinite number of typing wingnut flying monkeys.

  5. 5
    cathyx says:

    I’m sure she thinks declaring bankruptcy doesn’t cost anyone anything.

  6. 6
    David Koch says:

    If Obama only used the bully pulpit the teahadist wouldn’t be so self destructive

  7. 7
    BGinCHI says:

    Mary Brown, a Profile in Courage (narrated by Tom Brokaw).

  8. 8
    beltane says:

    Who’s the moocher now?

  9. 9
    Rafer Janders says:

    Brown “doesn’t have insurance. She doesn’t want to pay for it. And she doesn’t want the government to tell her she has to have it,”

    Similarly, I don’t have car insurance, I don’t want to pay for it, and I don’t want the government to tell me I have to have it.

    If I run someone down with my car, well, that’s just too bad, I suppose.

  10. 10
    cathyx says:

    Those bills could change Brown from a symbol of proud independence into an example of exactly the problem the healthcare law was intended to address.

    She can now be the postergirl for singlepayer healthcare.

  11. 11
    scav says:

    #VetThePosterChild

    ETA: Seriously, they clearly don’t or can’t think things through.

  12. 12
    trollhattan says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Similarly, I don’t have car insurance, I don’t want to pay for it, and I don’t want the government to tell me I have to have it. If I run someone down with my car, well, that’s just too bad, I suppose.

    You still have a right to sue the bastard pedestrian (or their survivors) for the cost of fixing your bumper. Freedom!

  13. 13
    shortstop says:

    Nice vetting, dumbasses. The National Federation of Independent Business couldn’t manage to do a little research on its poster children?

    @cathyx:

    I’m sure she thinks declaring bankruptcy doesn’t cost anyone anything.

    Or that her unpaid medical bills don’t get shoved onto the rest of us via increased healthcare costs.

    DAMN, this woman needs a good public humiliation.

    ETA: I really, really hadn’t seen scav’s remark when I wrote mine.

  14. 14
    Michael says:

    I came over here to post this article lol. What an idiot.

  15. 15
    David Koch says:

    If Mary Brown was black and ran up a bunch of debts to “hard working white people” and then defaulted she would be tarred as a “welfare queen”.

    But of course: IOKIYAR

  16. 16
    Todd says:

    IIRC, neither medical bills nor student loans are discharged in bankruptcy.

    So basically those other creditors are paying for her medical bills.

  17. 17
    kerFuFFler says:

    I read today that that awful Fox “reporter”, Ms Kelly, bragged that when she was in law school she did not have any health insurance. The dumb bitch failed to realize that that did not make her responsible or independent even if she bought her own damn contraceptives. If she had ended up in the ER and run up a huge bill, the tax payers would have been on the hook for it. We all were just lucky that she did not end up there. But for her to act like she was prudent or fiscally cautious or that she exhibited personal responsibility is just pure BS, just like from the woman in this story.

  18. 18
    Phoenix_rising says:

    guess what struck me about this was different than what struck most of you simply because I have worked at an advocacy group, analogous to NFIB in this story though in no other respect.

    So, um, when we couldn’t find a compelling set of plaintiffs whose personal circumstance exemplified the story we wanted to tell with our impact litigation, we (sit down, this may sound crazy) didn’t file the lawsuit.

    What perplexes me about this story is, Why didn’t the failure to ID a small business owner who was a good example of the class victimized by the ACA (small shop, no insurance, no significant medical costs, a reasonable ignorant person who didn’t grasp the concept of moral hazard might feel that they had paid for “nothing” when paying premiums) tell NFIB that they were wasting their members’ money?

  19. 19
    cathyx says:

    So the $25,000 dollar question and I wish someone would ask her, with no health insurance, how does she expect to pay for medical care? And don’t say declare bankruptcy. Does she think that nothing will happen to her for her to need it?

  20. 20
    gbear says:

    Well she could go ahead with the case, lose, and just keep appealling until it gets to the SCOTUS.

    Victory!

  21. 21
    shortstop says:

    @Phoenix_rising: That’s just crazy talk. You act like the desired end should match the evidence, instead of the other way around.

  22. 22
    Tom says:

    A small sample of the elementary economic concepts not taught in wingnut Econ-1 classes:

    Risk Pooling

    Externality

    Opportunity Cost

    Tragedy of the Commons

  23. 23
  24. 24
    different-church-lady says:

    Look, the woman wants the right to die broke. Why can’t we respect that?

  25. 25
    beltane says:

    @cathyx: She has made it plainly obvious that she intends to “pay” for her health care by defaulting on her debts. The fact that this is her plan tells you she thinks it’s OK to steal her health care, because that’s what being a wingnut is all about.

  26. 26
    elmo says:

    @cathyx:

    That’s easy. She’ll go to the emergency room. They are required by the Government to treat everybody, regardless of ability to pay. The Government’s got no business interfering with that!

  27. 27
    different-church-lady says:

    @David Koch: Good god, I hope she took the pill before that shoot.

  28. 28
    shortstop says:

    Best part of the story: Defensive NFIB spokesperson says they were under pressure to find plaintiffs, it was really hard to locate someone who fit the narrative, and they won’t ask Brown to step off the case because if she says she doesn’t want health insurance, that’s good enough for them. Yeah, that’ll play well.

  29. 29
    Jager says:

    A pal of mine just spent 5 days in the hospital with pnuemonia. The room was $2100 a day, his insurance pays 80%, he paid $2100 out of pocket and that was just for the room, he has no idea yet what the treatments and drugs cost.

  30. 30
    David Koch says:

    @different-church-lady:

    you can see in this photo that she’s squirming to keep the aspirin between her knees.

  31. 31
    Jager says:

    @cathyx: Well, for the next 7 years she’ll have to pay, after that she can declare bankruptcy again.

  32. 32
    WereBear says:

    @Jager: Yeah, that’s the sick part of “good” insurance: you are only on the hook for 20% of a gargantuan bill.

  33. 33
    Tom says:

    @Phoenix_rising: I think NFIB has gone a bit off the rails in recent years, a la the national Chamber of Commerce. I had some exposure to them about 20+ years ago, and they were reliably predictable on the usual bread-and-butter small business issues, but didn’t seem as ideologically blindered and partisan as the are today. (May have had something to do with when they moved their HQ from the San Francisco area to Nashville.)

  34. 34
    beltane says:

    @shortstop: I really did not like the individual mandate until I heard this story. Now I realize it’s the only way to deal with the Mary Browns of this world, people who game the system and then leave the responsible members of society holding the bag for costs incurred.

  35. 35

    You all laugh, but Joe the Plumber wasn’t really a plumber and look where he is today. Wingnut darling congress critter candidate, at least till Kaptur mops the floor with his stoopid ass.

    It is a badge of honor for republicans to do idiotic things, strategery, that hopefully gets picked up by the press, opening the door to whinging on liberal bias toward idiots.

    I don’t know how or why, but it often works.

  36. 36
    different-church-lady says:

    @Jager: The crazy ass thing is that the room is probably the lion’s share of the cost.

    I had outpatient surgery a bit back. Of the three charges involved (hospital, anesthesiologist, and surgeon), the actual surgeon was the cheapest.

  37. 37
    Pococurante says:

    Ironically it is because of people like her the GOP tried for the last ten years to exempt medical bills from bankruptcy.

  38. 38
    kc says:

    Brown “doesn’t have insurance. She doesn’t want to pay for it. And she doesn’t want the government to tell her she has to have it,”

    She just wants the government to tell her medical creditors they can’t collect from her.

  39. 39
    gnomedad says:

    Here’s the nutters’ chance to insist that someone who made poor choices just die. That should get some cheers.

  40. 40
    Rafer Janders says:

    @shortstop:

    Nice vetting, dumbasses. The National Federation of Independent Business couldn’t manage to do a little research on its poster children?

    I have here in my hand a video of her hugging a law professor….

  41. 41
    shortstop says:

    @David Koch: That made me blow Red Bull across my worktable.

    @beltane: Yes, and even the ones who don’t consciously game the system end up costing us all money through uninsured care. I am certain that somewhere in some remote mountain holler there is an American who has never used the healthcare system and never will. But that American is a very, very, very unusual American.

  42. 42
    kc says:

    I read today that that awful Fox “reporter”, Ms Kelly, bragged that when she was in law school she did not have any health insurance.

    Well, I didn’t have any health insurance when I was in grad school, either. Becuase I couldn’t afford it, despite being young and healthy, what with the tuition, the rent, etc.

  43. 43
    Rafer Janders says:

    @kerFuFFler:

    She’s an idiot, essentially.

  44. 44
    What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us? (formerly MarkJ) says:

    Running up bills and not paying for them seems to be what conservatives specialize in. Somehow they think not paying for shit means their consumption of said shit is costless to society, while everyone else should do without if they can pay, those moochers!

  45. 45
    MCA1 says:

    New wingnut meme: Keep the government out of my bankruptcy law protections!

    Simple fix – ACA health insurance mandate is optional, but if you opt out your health service providers become priority secured creditors. Good luck getting a mortgage.

  46. 46
    Rafer Janders says:

    @shortstop:

    Best part of the story: Defensive NFIB spokesperson says they were under pressure to find plaintiffs, it was really hard to locate someone who fit the narrative…

    And this failure to find an actual human being who fit the narrative that they’d been peddling told them…what?

    Nothing, that’s what! Because FREEDOM!

  47. 47
    RD says:

    Mary Brown sounds like a fake name to me.

    Has anyone vetted her?

  48. 48
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    From the linked story:

    Brown said in the petition that her only income was $275 a month in unemployment benefits.

    OH NOES! MOAR BIG GUBMIT IN MAH LIBERTY!

  49. 49
    Bludger says:

    Self haters ruin everything.

  50. 50
    Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity says:

    Megyn Kelly isn’t the least bit sluty.

    @David Koch: Oh man, I’ve seen those crazy eyes before. She’d boil your cat if she caught you looking at the TV while she was spewing some crazy gibber at you.

  51. 51
    Suffern ACE says:

    Yep. Look I know the mandate isn’t popular, but without it this is what we get. 4500 isnt why she declared bankruptcy, though is it?

  52. 52
    Chyron HR says:

    Murphy Brown went bankrupt from medical bills? What? Is this how House is going to end?

  53. 53
    BGinCHI says:

    @kerFuFFler: I thought K-Mart School of Law had a healthcare aisle.

  54. 54
    shortstop says:

    @Suffern ACE: No, she also didn’t want to pay another $50K she owed to pretty much everyone else she knows.

  55. 55
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    Smart lady, she is able to ‘negotiate’ how much she can afford to pay via bankruptcy rather than having insurance pay the whole bill.

    Free marketz for evah!!

    /winger

    What a dumb…

    @David Koch:

    I look at that face and the first thing that comes to mind is that it looks like she wants a carrot.

  56. 56
    qwerty42 says:

    Wonkette picked up on this one. Rebecca Shoenkopf concluded the post with:
    Brown intends to continue as plaintiff before the Supreme Court. Lawyers at the NFIB smiled tight corpsey smiles and agreed. Said one, doubtless before swallowing a fistful of Ludes, “[A]s long as she doesn’t want healthcare, she qualifies as a plaintiff in our mind.”

  57. 57
    Eric S. says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    4500 isnt why she declared bankruptcy, though is it?

    I was thinking the same. There had to be more debt, right? This is just the ironic part?

  58. 58
    David Koch says:

    @Rafer Janders: and a liar.

    Even if she didn’t have insurance as a student, every large university has an on-campus clinic that provide health services to their students as part of their tuition. The only thing they don’t cover is catastrophic care.

  59. 59
    Rafer Janders says:

    I guess that is the teahadist solution to health care costs. Go without insurance, run up big medical bills, and then declare bankruptcy. Problem solved.

    This is basically the approach George W. Bush took to running the country. So you can’t blame Mary Brown for thinking it might work for her, too.

    Except, of course, she’s not going to retire into a lifetime of cushy board memberships and $100K a pop speaking fees.

  60. 60
    shortstop says:

    @qwerty42: I am enjoying all this waaaaaaay too much.

    @Rafer Janders: Also, I don’t think Dub’s going to share his fresh Paraguayan water with her.

  61. 61
    quannlace says:

    doesn’t have insurance. She doesn’t want to pay for it. And she doesn’t want the government to tell her she has to have it,”

    Sooooo….what was she expecting? If she got sick, the little pixies might come in the night and leave any money she might need for her medical expenses.

    And heads up; these days $4500 is fuck-nothing in money owed for medical bills. Even with insurance. She should feel damn lucky that’s all she had to pay.

  62. 62
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Phoenix_rising:

    guess what struck me about this was different than what struck most of you simply because I have worked at an advocacy group, analogous to NFIB in this story though in no other respect.
    __
    So, um, when we couldn’t find a compelling set of plaintiffs whose personal circumstance exemplified the story we wanted to tell with our impact litigation, we (sit down, this may sound crazy) didn’t file the lawsuit.

    Ditto

  63. 63
    Citizen Alan says:

    @MCA1:

    I was just thinking the same thing, and I am wondering whether it’s feasible to amend the ACA at some point to allow for people to opt out completely in exchange for an agreement that future medical bills become nondischargeable priority debts in bankruptcy.

  64. 64
    shortstop says:

    In a video interview, Brown said freedom from government was the issue. “I’m not fighting just for me,” she said. “It’s my choice to have healthcare, not theirs.”

    HONEY! Why didn’t you say so? If you don’t want to be treated when you’re sick or injured, we’ll stop forcibly dragging your ass to the various doctors and hospitals you’re on record as bilking. See, it’s not that hard for our two sides to find common ground.

    @Citizen Alan: It could be the Red Bull talking, but I’d prefer something along the lines of guaranteeing them nothing but morphine for a comfortable death. NO, I don’t really mean that, but sometimes it’s tempting with these self-centered jackasses.

  65. 65
    jl says:

    @Phoenix_rising:

    ” they were wasting their members’ money? ”

    If you have an angle that allows you to get the benefit of other people’s money, how can that be any kind of waste?

    Edit
    @Rafer Janders:

    GW Bush: yeah, add him to the list of exemplars for our new rugged individualistic ethic: stiff thee before thee stiffs me.

    That is the common logic behind our current version of banking, this small business owner who got medical care paid for by other people (so far), and and now apparently adopted by this legal team at the NFIB.

  66. 66
    Ash Can says:

    Awesome.

  67. 67
    AA+ Bonds says:

    The simple truth is that people are (and should be) forced to stop behavior that harms others

    The rhetorical trick the Right employs is to make this some sort of positive/negative ontology question as though robbing the healthcare system is different from robbing individual Americans

  68. 68
    TenguPhule says:

    Go without insurance, run up big medical bills, and then declare bankruptcy.

    Wait, I seem to recall a bankruptcy reform bill that makes it very hard, if not next to impossible, to discharge medical bills in bankruptcy.

    Because moochers and deadbeats and CC companies are fickle dicks.

  69. 69
    TenguPhule says:

    In a video interview, Brown said freedom from government was the issue. “I’m not fighting just for me,” she said. “It’s my choice to have healthcare, not theirs.”

    So put her down like a lame horse that she is.

  70. 70
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Yeah isn’t the Republican response to send her to the glue factory or chain her up in the basement of a church

    and idk, ban a whole class of lawsuits or something, it always involves making everyone else suffer too

  71. 71
    Calouste says:

    @What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us? (formerly MarkJ):

    Somehow they think not paying for shit means their consumption of said shit is costless to society,

    These people don’t understand the concept of society, the only understand the concept of me. Society of One, so to speak. If something that also applies to other people does cost them even the tiniest amount, it is sokialism worse than Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot combined. If something doesn’t cost them anything, it can’t cost anyone anything.

  72. 72
    JPL says:

    @David Koch: Those are probably the pictures she sent Roger Ailes before she got the Fox news job.

  73. 73
    dedc79 says:

    Since the beginning of the health care mess, I have to admit it’s shocked me that this is the issue republicans are choosing to lay it all on the line for. The only explanation I’ve ever heard for it that made any sense is that it has nothing to do with health care at all – it’s pure tribalism. Which explains why someone like this idiot would take this case all the way to the Supreme Court out of pure spite.

  74. 74
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Calouste:

    hese people don’t understand the concept of society, the only understand the concept of me.

    I agree – the Right is driven by narcissistic personality disorder at best and psychopaths at worst

    This is how libertarians always, always end up taking more money from the government than other people on average, because that sort of shit is BAD,

    unless the libertarian can DO it,

    in which case it makes the libertarian a BADASS BANDIT KING

    See Charles Koch’s letter to Hayek telling him to leave Germany and collect U.S. Social Security, or Ayn Rand dying as a welfare queen, or Peter Thiel signing contracts with federal intelligence agencies, etc.

  75. 75
    JPL says:

    Mary Brown is one lucky lady to be living in FL. In most states homes are not protected against bankruptcy.

  76. 76
    joel hanes says:

    @David Koch: [ pictures of Megyn Kelly vamping in little black dress ]

    Those pictures are repellent.
    Somehow I am never able to find “attractive” when it’s hidden behind so much “stupid”.

    What’s the ugliest part of Megyn Kelly’s body ?
    What’s the ugliest part of Megyn Kelly’s body ?
    Some say it’s her nose
    Some say it’s her toes
    I say it’s her mind …

  77. 77
    Catsy says:

    @David Koch: Well played, sir. Well played.

  78. 78
    Catsy says:

    @joel hanes: For my money I think it’s an encyclopedic example of someone who is absolutely gorgeous until they open their mouth.

  79. 79
    TenguPhule says:

    I agree – the Right is driven by narcissistic personality disorder at best and psychopaths at worst

    Sociopaths actually.

    I sympathize with the Daleks, just Exterminate, Exterminate, Exterminate them.

  80. 80
    Carolinus says:

    The sad thing is she’s probably eligible for very affordable insurance under the ACA’s federal high risk pools if she’d apply.

  81. 81
    kc says:

    @dedc79:

    Since the beginning of the health care mess, I have to admit it’s shocked me that this is the issue republicans are choosing to lay it all on the line for.

    Especially since it’s basically a republican plan.

  82. 82
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Carolinus:

    The sad thing is she’s probably eligible for very affordable insurance under the ACA’s federal high risk pools if she’d apply.

    Mark my words, 30 years from now brave and enterprising young insurance agents will be luring hairy and emaciated old right wing coots out of the caves they’ve been hiding in to avoid Obamacare, just like diehard Japanese soldiers on Okinawa after WW2.

  83. 83
    New Yorker says:

    I guess that is the teahadist solution to health care costs. Go without insurance, run up big medical bills, and then declare bankruptcy.

    That’s pretty much what the Teatard “solution” was to the debt ceiling situation last summer.

  84. 84
    JR in WV says:

    Ethics, morals, things no librul knows anything about.

    Why, some of ’em aren’t even Christian! Everbody knows you can’t have morals or ethics if you don’t even go to church! I don’t know why they even get a jury trial, any tru believer knows they’re guilty of Somthin!!

    That’s the Repugnant health care platform, just take all the health care you need or want, or care to waste, and then blow off those librul docters. Why, some of em are even Jewish er even Mooselum.

    I think any group of judges with their own sense of ethics and morality would dismiss the whole case, tell ’em it was as legal as Social Security or Medicare or auto insurance requirements, all of which were already litigated, send them home in about 20 minutes.

    Instead we’re going to get a dog and pony show.

  85. 85
  86. 86
    Steve says:

    Not a single one of you remembered that Kay blogged about this story three months ago at this very blog. Don’t feel bad, Kay, you have at least one fan.

  87. 87
    David Koch says:

    @joel hanes: oh, I don’t get worked up over wingers.

    But I find it hilarious how outraged Fixxed News is about sex, yet all they do is trade on sex.

  88. 88
    trollhattan says:

    @quannlace:

    To be fair, that’s $4500 just to have her ego lanced and drained. It builds up, just like a dog’s anal glands.

  89. 89
    JR in WV says:

    How about everyone who declines health care coverage gets a small tattoo somewhere inconspicuous, that says “No health care not prepaid!”

    After the crash, the Ambulance guy looks at the back you your neck, and asks for $500, cash only.

    When they get to the ER, if they can pay for the trip, they use cash to pay for an intake workup, $75. If they want a bottle of water, $2.50. Tap is free, unless you need a cup. If they want a breakfast, $15.00, plus a tip for the food service person who delivers it. No tip is OK, but you go to the back of the queue for service.

    Lunch is a 2:40 after that, and it’s room temperature. If you need a bed sore treated, $125.00. Pain pills are a profit center!

    Everyone gets all the treatment they can afford!

  90. 90
    TRNC says:

    $4500 – that’s almost one half of a MittBet.

  91. 91
    Bruce Baugh says:

    I can’t help it. Whenever I read about the continuing adventures of Mary Brown, I think of this part of Amazon Women on the Moon.

  92. 92
    Schlemizel says:

    sooooooooo you ADMIT we don’t need ACA! we can all just go to the emergency room & declare bankruptcy. Won’t that be just perfect?

  93. 93
    replicnt6 says:

    @shortstop:

    I don’t see any risk factors that would suggest that she needs to get some health insurance post-haste. You?

  94. 94
    butler says:

    I read today that that awful Fox “reporter”, Ms Kelly, bragged that when she was in law school she did not have any health insurance.

    I have trouble believing that. In my experience most universities require basic health insurance for students. You either buy their plan or you provide proof of an outside plan. Kelly’s alma mater is no exception, google shows that they currently charge students $2000 per year for health and dental insurance coverage as part of the cost of attendance.

    This may not have been the case back when Kelly was a student in the mid 90s. However, it is the case now, so Fluke and all her fellow law students are required to pay for insurance but aren’t getting the full benefit of it. Does Kelly think that this is fair?

  95. 95
    Rafer Janders says:

    In a video interview, Brown said freedom from government was the issue. “I’m not fighting just for me,” she said. “It’s my choice to have healthcare, not theirs.”

    But, um, she didn’t choose not to have healthcare. She chose not to have health insurance. When she got sick, she still wanted the care. Just not the saving for it beforehand via insurance part.

  96. 96
    OzoneR says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    She is just embracing the culture of personal responsibility.

    I don’t know if you were kidding about this, but this is exactly what my teabagger friends would say.
    “Oh well, that’s life. The government shouldn’t be giving people handouts. And if it happens to me, then that’s the way it goes”

  97. 97
    John O says:

    While it is not true that most conservatives are stupid, it is most definitely true that most stupid people are conservative.

  98. 98
    Gex says:

    @Catsy: Indubitably!

  99. 99
    Rafer Janders says:

    @OzoneR:

    Until it actually does happen to them, and then it’s save me, save me! Help me, Big Government, you’re my only hope!

  100. 100
    RSA says:

    Brown “doesn’t have insurance. She doesn’t want to pay for it. And she doesn’t want the government to tell her she has to have it,” said Karen Harned, a lawyer for the National Federation of Independent Business.

    To rephrase Cole and others: “Brown did have bills. She didn’t want to pay them. And she did want the government to tell her creditors she didn’t have to.”

  101. 101

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  102. 102
    andrea says:

    Yeah, that’s the sick part of “good” insurance: you are only on the hook for 20% of a gargantuan bill.

    I had minor surgery last fall and ended up paying over $4000 out of pocket.

  103. 103
    Dan says:

    More politics that result in reporting like this: These people aren’t victims, they are the problem.

  104. 104
    satby says:

    @OzoneR: She no longer is a member of the class to be a plaintiff since she no longer is a business owner, and she’s on unemployment after filing for bankruptcy (in which the government offers people a way to get a fresh start by reducing or eliminating their debt). So that’s 2 ways the government is covering her ass. But she doesn’t think she should be required to have health insurance, even though she’s an overweight smoker.

  105. 105
    Mnemosyne says:

    @butler:

    This may not have been the case back when Kelly was a student in the mid 90s.

    I seriously doubt that — when I was an undergrad in the late 80s, catastrophic health insurance was tacked onto our tuition bill unless we could prove we had other insurance coverage. Plus we had the Student Health Center to go to for checkups, vaccinations, sprains, etc. that was also a line item on our tuition bill, and that was with no exceptions.

    The more likely explanation is that Kelly is an idiot who never bothered to look at her bills in college and has no clue what was or was not included.

  106. 106
    Llelldorin says:

    It really breaks your heart—millions of dollars of countertop-analytic prowess sat idle here because it never occurred to the wingers to point it at someone saying things that they agreed with.

  107. 107
  108. 108
    peggy says:

    Any serious libertarian society would not have a government sponsored bankruptcy court to save her from creditors. She would be on the hook- the whole hook.

    A waterfront house foreclosed and sold would probably pay down some of the bills but let’s not forget interest and penalties. Car repossessed so fast she wouldn’t even notice it was gone. Now down to the nitty gritty. Jewelery, wedding rings included might be worth some cash. Furniture resale value would be noted. A nasty creditor would inquire about gold teeth or perhaps kidneys/spare ova.

    In the libertarian paradise of Somalia or even the various countries Iraqi refugees now reside a money shortage becomes more personal. Wives or female children become prostitutes.

    Mary Brown has no idea how lucky she is. Plus she got her health back.

  109. 109
    BDeevDad says:

    I’d like to file a countersuit against her. People like her cause every responsible person to have rates that are $1000 more every year.

  110. 110

    […] Posted in Clown Shoes, Teabagger Stupidity | 109 comments […]

  111. 111
    Nancy Irving says:

    They declared *bankruptcy* over a measly $4500? And they are *business owners*, for Chrissake?

    Wait until she finds a lump in her breast. *That*’ll give her something to declare bankruptcy over.

    Of course, in that case the new GOP-approved bankruptcy law will put lots of new restrictions in her way to discharging debt via bankruptcy in the future. She may be paying off her bills for decades to come–if she lives that long.

  112. 112
    Nancy Irving says:

    @Carolinus: Actually, with her stated income she will easily qualify for Medicaid when/if that part of the ACA bill kicks in, in 2014.

    Oh, the irony.

  113. 113
    Nancy Irving says:

    Hm, how is she receiving UE if she was an owner of the business? Only workers, not owners, qualify for UE. Wouldn’t they have had to structure it legally so that her husband was the owner, and she was merely an employee, so that they could have paid the UE premiums that qualify her to collect benefits now?

    In which case, how can the NFIB claim she’s a business owner?

  114. 114
    Cmm says:

    My partner and I share a single income supplemented by some part time work by her. Last February she had a traumatic injury to her hand that required surgery, and after negotiations (as she was uninsured at the time) on getting down the costs, $4500 is around what we owed. In the vast scheme of things this was a relatively minor injury though she was unable to work for several months afterwards and her hand will never fully recover. And we are working hard and struggling to pay off the debts incurred, and will do so. Bankruptcy for such a relatively small amount owed was never a thought. And we are a decade yunger than these folks. Any serious illness could be just over the horizon for any of us, but the odds go up as you age. What are these people thinking? She could suffer a serious medical problem next week where the costs end up being over $100K and up, but the bankruptcy option is off the table for 7 to 10 years. Crazy! And her solution is that we all pay for it for her. If anything she is an argument for single payer healthcare, or at least the mandate she is fighting against.

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