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Tue Jan 31, 2012, 07:02 AM

Iconic skier's death points out U.S. health gap

Since the death of Canadian skier Sarah Burke in January, fans and supporters from around the world have donated over $300,000 – more than enough to cover the massive U.S. medical bill generated by efforts to save her.

The outpouring of grief for Burke and the influx of funds are a tribute to a young woman who was a pioneer and legend in her sport. The need for a fundraiser — to help her grieving family avert bankruptcy — was viewed by some Canadians and U.S. observers as a condemnation of the U.S. health care system.

"The irony is that had the accident occurred in Canada… her care would have been covered because, unlike the U.S., Canada has a system of universal coverage," wrote Wendell Potter, an insurance executive-turned-whistleblower who writes for iWatch at the Center for Public Integrity. "No one in Canada finds themselves in that predicament, nor do they face losing their homes as many Americans do when they become critically ill or suffer an injury..."


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Burke, who died at 29, was on skis by age five, and pursuing a professional skiing career before she left high school. She pioneered women’s halfpipe skiing and was instrumental in getting the event included in the X-Games, according to a profile in Sportsnet magazine of Canada.


http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/01/30/10274212-iconic-skiers-death-points-out-us-health-gap

26 replies, 3760 views

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Arrow 26 replies Author Time Post
Reply Iconic skier's death points out U.S. health gap (Original post)
liberal N proud Jan 2012 OP
Edweird Jan 2012 #1
Fumesucker Jan 2012 #3
sfpcjock Jan 2012 #6
TheMadMonk Jan 2012 #11
bahrbearian Jan 2012 #14
girl gone mad Feb 2012 #24
liberal N proud Jan 2012 #7
Bonobo Jan 2012 #2
piratefish08 Jan 2012 #4
Vinca Jan 2012 #5
liberal N proud Jan 2012 #8
SoCalDem Jan 2012 #9
laundry_queen Jan 2012 #15
Canuckistanian Jan 2012 #18
ProgressiveProfessor Jan 2012 #10
bahrbearian Jan 2012 #16
Vinca Jan 2012 #20
bahrbearian Jan 2012 #21
Vinca Jan 2012 #22
bahrbearian Jan 2012 #23
Vinca Feb 2012 #25
SidDithers Feb 2012 #26
Romulox Jan 2012 #12
Broderick Jan 2012 #13
bahrbearian Jan 2012 #17
Broderick Jan 2012 #19

Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Tue Jan 31, 2012, 07:11 AM

1. It sure is great that Obama fought so hard to maintain our existing system.

 

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Response to Edweird (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 31, 2012, 07:29 AM

3. A major victory for the Democratic party..

Pyrrhus would grok it in an instant.

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Response to Edweird (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 31, 2012, 08:05 AM

6. He didn't.

The votes were't there for single-payer or public option, so what was he supposed to do to overcome the phony GOP filibuster abuse--manufacture votes?

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Response to sfpcjock (Reply #6)

Tue Jan 31, 2012, 11:30 AM

11. Once upon a time, a political leader with a publically popular...

 

...policy, that "didn't have the numbers" would put it to the vote anyway. Amazing how many changed their minds when sudden loud noises from the unwashed masses suggested that THEY might not have the numbers come next election day.

Now DOA bills only make it to the floor when someone wants to make a point.

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Response to sfpcjock (Reply #6)

Tue Jan 31, 2012, 12:18 PM

14. Yep thats what you do when confronted by bullies, you run. Not me.

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Response to sfpcjock (Reply #6)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 12:31 AM

24. The votes weren't there for TARP..

until Obama flew back to Washington and twisted arms late into the night.

Don't tell us he doesn't know how to fight for something he wants.

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Response to Edweird (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 31, 2012, 08:22 AM

7. Another right wing myth Obamacare

A health care reform system mostly created by Congress with many provisions included by the republicans to get the votes to pass the bill, then they all tag it Obamacare when all he did was sign the legislation.

Had he not signed it as the republicans were hoping, then nothing at all would have changed and people could still be denied insurance.

Obama did not cause this, Healthcare for Profit system did!

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Tue Jan 31, 2012, 07:13 AM

2. It's a "gap" like the Grand Canyon is a "gap". nt

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Tue Jan 31, 2012, 07:50 AM

4. a gap. a gap big enough for 45K people to fall through and die each year.

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Tue Jan 31, 2012, 07:50 AM

5. I was really puzzled by this story since most Canadians can obtain health insurance

for when they travel outside the country. Why didn't this poor woman have it?

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Response to Vinca (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 31, 2012, 08:24 AM

8. You would have thought that she or her family would have know about that

Since she skied internationally.

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Response to Vinca (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 31, 2012, 09:24 AM

9. Perhaps it was because she was involved in a very dangerous sport

and the coverage was so costly?..or unavailable to her?

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Response to SoCalDem (Reply #9)

Tue Jan 31, 2012, 12:22 PM

15. That's the only thing I can think of

because us Canadians are generally WELL aware we need supplemental insurance when we travel to the US. There was an ad campaign a few years back about it. Most people have the travel insurance through their work, but obviously she wouldn't have. Since she travels so much, and I'm certain aware of the need for insurance, PLUS add in the fact that she was covered for competition, meaning if this would have happened in a competition instead of a practice she'd have been covered, maybe she just took her chances seeing as insurance may have been very costly, or perhaps she was misinformed and thought because she was covered through the competition, she was covered for practices at the same facility. I don't know.

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Response to SoCalDem (Reply #9)

Tue Jan 31, 2012, 01:17 PM

18. That's true

Even Canadian insurance companies deny insurance to those in "high-risk" activities. And Freestyle Skiing is certainly high risk, statistically.

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Response to Vinca (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 31, 2012, 09:32 AM

10. Hubris of youth?

The other thing to consider is that she was over 21. Her estate will cover what portion of the bills it can. The family has no obligation to pay it.

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Response to Vinca (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 31, 2012, 12:26 PM

16. Your correct, it was her fault, lets blame the victim.

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Response to bahrbearian (Reply #16)

Tue Jan 31, 2012, 04:02 PM

20. Get a grip. I wasn't "blaming the victim." Just wondering why she wasn't covered.

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Response to Vinca (Reply #20)

Tue Jan 31, 2012, 04:29 PM

21. Get a Grip ,I wonder why I'm not covered?

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Response to bahrbearian (Reply #21)

Tue Jan 31, 2012, 05:30 PM

22. I give up. Why aren't you covered? Not that it has anything to do with the topic at hand.

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Response to Vinca (Reply #22)

Tue Jan 31, 2012, 06:39 PM

23. Single payer seems to be the topic at hand.

You know kind of like what Bernie Sanders promotes
You know if I was injured in Canada I would receive care.

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Response to bahrbearian (Reply #23)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 08:02 AM

25. And why, exactly, do you think I'm disagreeing with that?

When I made the first post I was remembering a neighbor's Canadian relative who became seriously ill on a visit. She was rushed to the local hospital and later transferred to a major medical center an hour away. She needed surgery, but rather than have it done at the American hospital which was horrendously expensive, the Canadian government sent a jet with a medical team to pick her up and take her to Toronto for treatment. She recovered nicely. Now, I don't expect the poor skier could have been transported anywhere, but it's surprising there are huge medical bills against her estate since most Canadians travel outside the country with insurance. Of course we need single-payer.

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Response to Vinca (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 08:26 AM

26. Every Canadian travels with additional insurance...

And, as a member of Canada's National Ski Team, the sport's governing body provides her with $5 million in coverage for when she travels, practices and competes in sanctioned events. Unfortunately, the event where she crashed was an unsanctioned exhibition hosted by her sponsor, Monster Energy Drinks.

Someone failed to ensure coverage for that event. Ms. Burke's business manager and reps from Monster haven't made many public statements. I suspect they'll be the targets in a lawsuit at some point.

Good article here http://www.thestar.com/iphone/sports/wintersports/article/1123846--questions-surround-sarah-burke-s-lack-of-medical-insurance

Sid

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Tue Jan 31, 2012, 11:32 AM

12. I have a solution: Let's just mandate that Canadians buy health insurance.

That way they will have "access to care" as long as they have access to $$$.

The same way we Americans do. Hooray!

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Tue Jan 31, 2012, 11:33 AM

13. Meanwhile in other news, 4 dems in California

kill single payer.

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Response to Broderick (Reply #13)

Tue Jan 31, 2012, 12:28 PM

17. Well I hope they were well compensated.

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Response to bahrbearian (Reply #17)

Tue Jan 31, 2012, 01:41 PM

19. Touche

I bet they were.

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