Real Life Stories of Healthcare…

The Knoxville Metro Pulse has the story of an uninsured woman whose family is seeking donations to help pay for her medical bills.

…Since his mother’s stroke, Josh has been working 60-plus-hour weeks. Babs was admitted to the hospital March 21 and was unresponsive for four days. Josh is praying for her to recover, but worried that she will be “dumped” from the hospital prematurely because she has no insurance—and few options besides the glass jar.

When Tennessee took federal stimulus money last year, Gov. Phil Bredesen’s office promised to reopen TennCare programs that have been shut down in 2008 for financial reasons. This is happening at a glacial pace.

The Headricks might qualify for TennCare under the “Spend Down” category, which covers families with no savings or resources to qualify for assistance. The restaurant, however, could be a stumbling block, although the building is rented and revenues are limited.

And in the meantime, Josh has immediate, day-to-day worries. Babs carries most of her recipes around in her head, and Josh is struggling to recreate them. The hardest thing, he says, has been trying to figure out how she makes her turtle brownies.

For many owners of family businesses, the reality is that paying for insurance is just to darn expensive even if you’re healthy. For people who are reaching an age where they may soon qualify for Medicare, coming up with the high premiums can be overwhelming, causing people to take the risk that Babs Headrick took.

Hopefully, the new Healthcare Reform bills will help, but we still have 5 months before the earliest provisions start kicking in. Until that process begins, I’m sure we’ll hear of more stories like that of Babs Headrick.

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