Monday, October 24, 2011


Maybe it works, maybe it doesn't. I am aware that we do have some programs in this country, that are socialist by definition. I'll raise my hand up high and admit, that their are many, many, many things that I do not want my government involved in.

But, if socialized medicine is EVIL, what do you call this?????????????????????????????

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'Miracle' tornado survivor denied workers' comp
  • 'Miracle' tornado survivor denied workers' comp
  • 'Miracle' tornado survivor denied workers' comp
  • 'Miracle' tornado survivor denied workers' comp

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JOPLIN, Mo. • By all accounts, Mark Lindquist is a hero, a social worker who nearly gave his life trying to save three developmentally disabled adults from the Joplin tornado. Both houses of the Missouri Legislature honored Lindquist, the Senate resolution calling him "a true hero and inspiration to others."
But heroism doesn't pay the bills. The tornado's 200 mph wind tossed Lindquist nearly a block, broke every rib, obliterated a shoulder, knocked out most of his teeth and put him in a coma for about two months.
Lindquist's medical expenses exceed $2.5 million, and the bills keep coming. He requires 11 daily prescriptions and will need more surgery.
But he has no medical insurance. Lindquist, 51, couldn't afford it on a job paying barely above minimum wage. He assumed workers' compensation would cover his bills, but his claim was denied "based on the fact that there was no greater risk than the general public at the time you were involved in the Joplin tornado," according to a letter to Lindquist from Accident Fund Insurance Company of America, his company's workers' comp provider.
That reasoning has angered Lindquist's family, employer, even lawmakers.
"I think they need to take another look at the circumstances and revisit the claim," state Rep. Bill Lant, R-Joplin, said. "What he did went beyond heroics."
Lindquist watched the sky darken on the evening of May 22 while on his way to the group home occupied by Mark Farmer, Rick Fox and Tripp Miller, three middle-aged men with Down syndrome. Soon after he arrived, a tornado siren began to blare.
Lindquist's employer, Community Support Services, had recently put workers through a tornado drill, so Lindquist and co-worker Ryan Tackett knew what to do. Because there was no basement or shelter and the residents moved too slowly to relocate, Lindquist and Tackett placed mattresses over the men for protection, then climbed atop the mattresses for added weight.
It seemed like little more than a precaution until Lindquist heard the unmistakable roar of the twister. "I told Ryan, 'If you've ever prayed before, now is the time to do it,'" he said.
The EF-5 tornado was among the nation's worst ever. It destroyed more than 7,000 homes, including the group home, and killed 162 people.
Among the dead were Farmer, Fox and Miller, a fact that still haunts Lindquist.
"I loved them almost as much as I love my own kid," he said.
Lindquist's survival defies logic. After the storm, rescuers found Lindquist buried in rubble, impaled by a piece of metal. Large chunks of flesh were torn off. Bones from his shoulder crumbled as they placed him on a door used as a makeshift stretcher. He was later delivered to Freeman Hospital.
Meanwhile, Lindquist's sister, Linda Lindquist Baldwin, his son, 12-year-old Creed, and other relatives contacted every hospital within 100 miles of Joplin searching for him. None of the unidentified matched Lindquist's description.
His injuries were so severe that his slender, athletic body had become swollen and unrecognizable. He was in a coma. Finally, after three days, he was identified by tiny brown flecks in his hazel eyes.
Doctors told Baldwin that if Lindquist survived, it likely would be in a vegetative state. Even in a best-case scenario, he likely would be blind in one eye, never regain use of his right arm and never speak or think normally, she was told.
Things got worse. Debris that got into the open sores caused a fungal infection, one that killed five other Joplin tornado victims. Lindquist overcame the fungus but remained at Freeman until June 16. Still in a coma, he was flown to a hospital in Columbia, Mo., for a little over a month before being sent to a rehab center in Mount Vernon, Mo., where he awakened.
Lindquist's recovery amazed doctors. His right arm remains in a sling, but he has use of the hand. The eye that was temporarily blinded has full sight. He moves slowly and has short-term memory loss, but speaks well.
Baldwin said the insurance company's decision is unfathomable because if her brother hadn't been at work, he wouldn't have been hurt. He also could have jumped in his van and driven away from the group home as the tornado approached.
Lindquist said that thought never crossed his mind.
"I could have abandoned them to save myself, but I would never do that," he said.
Jahn Hurn, CEO of Community Support Services, said the agency has asked Accident Fund Insurance to reconsider Lindquist's case. Insurance company spokeswoman Stepheni Schlinker said she could not discuss an individual claim or whether the company would reconsider.
Lindquist also could seek relief through the Missouri Division of Workers Compensation but has not done so because he is weighing legal options and still dealing with health issues, Baldwin said.
Amy Susan, a spokeswoman for the division, said the state could help facilitate settlement talks with the insurance company, or Lindquist could ask an administrative law judge to hear the case. That judge would decide if the company should pay the claim.
Susan said that 132 workers' compensation claims were filed after the tornado. Only eight were denied by insurance companies.
Since word of Lindquist's plight spread, people around Joplin have pitched in, donating a few hundred dollars. Baldwin said her brother was touched by the kindness, even if it barely paid for the prescriptions, much less the medical costs.
Despite lingering pain, financial strain and uncertainty about whether he'll work again, Lindquist sees good things happening in his life.
Earlier this year, he was contacted by Carolyn Stephenson Mckinlay. They met 31 years ago in her Montana hometown, where he was helping to build a water tower. He was 21, she was 16. After a brief courtship they parted ways. Both married others, then divorced.
Mckinlay found Lindquist on Facebook earlier this year, and the two decided to meet in Joplin. The tornado hit first, but Mckinlay still came. He proposed in August, and they plan to wed.
All things considered, Lindquist said he's a lucky man.
"I'm a walking miracle," he said.

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  1. Johnny,

    This is a classic example of why insurance should be illegal. This guy did absolutely nothing wrong to cause his injuries AT WORK, and the insurance he was paying for denies to provide the coverage he paid for. Not only should they pay his medical bills, but they owe him some back pay too. I hate bureaucrats.

  2. Johnny,

    Great story. This is an example of why America has the greatest medical system in the world. In any other country except America Lindquist would be dead. No doubt one of the reasons people don't have large medical bills in those countries - people can't be helped and they die.

    Lindquist was treated with great skill and tenderness without regard to whether or not he could pay. Doctors, nurses, saved his life and rehabilitated him without knowing his ability to pay. Truly a miracle.

    Okay - Lindquist owes several million dollars - he's alive and according to this account continuing to be treated.

    What health care crisis? I don't see one. I see a miracle. Bravo Mr. Lindquist, bravo.

  3. CS writes-- This is an example of why America has the greatest medical system in the world. In any other country except America Lindquist would be dead

    WRONG! Shall I do it alphabetically for you?


  4. Mud,

    Another nonsensical drive-by. That list means nothing. People come from those countries to the United States for treatment. I've been in half of them - the assertion that their medical system is better than ours is laughable.

    You gotta get out more and stop listening to socialist drivel.

  5. TGP- I hear ya brother. When the red-tape bullshit prevents medical bills of a true hero from being paid, well I consider that a crisis.

    Mud- Alphabetically speaking, Lichtenstein would be in front of Luxembourg :)....Thanks for the comment. I've only been too two of those countries and never got sick there. So, I really can't comment on their systems.

    CS- Sir, are you fucking kidding me? A man receives life threatening injuries while trying too help mentally disabled adults during an awful tornado. Then, an insurance carrier denies a claim for payment. That's not a crisis?
    Is it at least a minor glitch?

    Bravo CS, bravo. I have too much respect for you, to start name-calling. But I will end by saying that your comment, disappointed me.

  6. Johnny,

    Cs's point is that the man recieved his treatment. He didn't have to pay to get the services. Now it is time for the people to step up and help this hero. Starting with the workman's comp issuer. Those sons-of-bitches owe him, and they should pay or go to jail. They were paid their premiums and now they should pay. And the doctors and hospitals should make a very hefty donation against their over-inflated bills. Most of their charges are complete bullshit anyway.

  7. Tenth - thank you - that indeed was my point. They saved his life and only then did they send him a bill. I don't think that anyone rationally believes that he will ever pay it.

    Johnny, I do agree with Tenth that people should step up to the plate and help this guy out. However demonizing doctors and insurance companies is over the top.

    Everyone would do well to take a look at the pricing pressure on doctors, drugs, and hospitals. When I was a kid and I went to the doctor for stitches (too many times to count) or to the dentist, my mother stopped at the window on the way out and wrote out a check for my treatment. What is different today than when I was a kid? The wholesale invasion of the medical profession by the Federal government. You can be righteously indignant at the cost of medical care - you are just focused on the wrong target.

    Insurance companies stepped up to the plate to save people from catastrophic medical bills, but have evolved now to the point where everything becomes an insurance claim.

    I love that list of second world countries. If they have a port, when a US Navy LHD pulls in, it becomes the most capable hospital in that country. I've been a Marine deployed on Navy ships (old LPH's) off the coast of Spain and Italy. Those countries flew emergency cases out to us for treatment. All that crap about us not having the greatest medical capability in the world - is just that - crap. That Saudi Prince who died here recently could have gone to any hospital in the world - where did he come? The good ole USA.

    You can make a case that medical care costs too much - but again - in everyone of those countries Mud listed, Lindquist would have died. In many of them he would have died in the emergency room waiting for a bed. It would have been a great deal cheaper than keeping him alive as those American doctors did in this case. Of course that is how liberals (democrats, socialists, progressives, whatever) plan to drive down the cost of medicine - they let people die. That's how it's done in all the countries on Mud's list.

    As for insurance companies. Medicare and Medicaid have historically turned away more people than insurance companies. The idea that government does it better is absolutely absurd. We have a British family living down the street - the guy tells me that we are lunatics if we follow them down the socialized medicine path. And he's right.

  8. The World Health Organization's ranking
    of the world's health systems:

    1 France
    2 Italy
    3 San Marino
    4 Andorra
    5 Malta
    6 Singapore
    7 Spain
    8 Oman
    9 Austria
    10 Japan
    11 Norway
    12 Portugal
    13 Monaco
    14 Greece
    15 Iceland
    16 Luxembourg
    17 Netherlands
    18 United Kingdom
    19 Ireland
    20 Switzerland
    21 Belgium
    22 Colombia
    23 Sweden
    24 Cyprus
    25 Germany
    26 Saudi Arabia
    27 United Arab Emirates
    28 Israel
    29 Morocco
    30 Canada
    31 Finland
    32 Australia
    33 Chile
    34 Denmark
    35 Dominica
    36 Costa Rica
    37 United States of America

    Gentlemen: it is not question of what you THINK about the U.S. Health Care System, but rather how it compares to other nations of the world. That indeed was my point in challending CS's statement, This is an example of why America has the greatest medical system in the world. In any other country except America Lindquist would be dead.

    Let me know what questions you may have about the data I supplied.

  9. Johnny,

    You have created a magnet for bad data. If Mud is to be believed Columbia, Cyprus, Morocco, Dominica, and Costa Rica out preform the United States in medicine. That is laughable on the face of it. When was the last time you heard anyone say, "Gee, I don't feel good, I'll head off to Dominica for a check up."

    The CATO institute points out:

    "Those who cite the WHO rankings typically present them as an objective measure of the relative performance of national health care systems. They are not. The WHO rankings depend crucially on a number of underlying assumptions— some of them logically incoherent, some characterized by substantial uncertainty, and some rooted in ideological beliefs and values that not everyone shares."

    There are 191 member nations of the UN and only one is free. The UN is the most flawed and politicized body on Earth. These are the same people who gave us the UN Climate initiative.

    From another CATO report:

    After listing a number of high visibility international leaders who came here for life-saving surgery (from countries on Mud's list) " . . . . despite its flaws, the U.S. health care system still provides the highest quality care in the world. Whether the disease is cancer, pneumonia, heart disease or AIDS, the chances of a patient surviving are far higher in the U.S. than in other countries."

    That is of course true.

    Mud, you're a hoot - why do you hate your country so much?

  10. Everyone seems too miss the point. We live in a country where an average, ordinary citizen becomes a bonafide hero. He was not sworn to serve and protect. He had not been sworn too defend our constitution.

    Just an average guy, trying to save helpless people from a horrific storm.

    You really don't think that a insurance company denying his medical claim is an evil act? Then, you are fucking nuts

  11. Johnny,

    The insurance denying his claim is a criminal act. But thats what they do. Socialized medicine wouldn't change that, but it would make the quality of his care go way down. CS's point that he got the best care in the world is the real point of our healthcare crisis. Our system has allowed medicine to advance to a point where miracles happen everyday. Insurance, on the other hand, has been forced to raise premiums because medicine can now save huge numbers of people that 20 years ago would have croaked. Its a problem that can't be fixed. To lower healthcare costs, they have to let people like Lindquist die. Who the hell wants that?

  12. Johnny,

    I get it. I think the guy is a hero. I am an insurance customer on a number of levels. I have business insurance and appropriate insurance for auto, life, home, and health. I expect that those policies will be honored - but we are entered into a contract in which I have responsibilities too. I am currently torn over the prospect of long-term health insurance. But those are decisions that we all have to make.

    Lindquist didn't have health insurance. From the text, I don't know why. If he has a job that "barely pays minimum wage" and didn't sign up for Medicaid one has to wonder - why? It sounds as if Lindquist waited until he was injured to determine whether or not his health was insured. It was not. There is more unsaid in this story than is said. Workman's compensation isn't health insurance and even if it comes through - it is wage replacement during recovery and is not designed to cover health benefits. The article mixes apples and oranges.

    My business insurance only protects me in the conduct of my business - I can't make a claim on that company if a tree falls down and hits my house. I choose not to have flood insurance, but that's because I'm high enough and far enough away from any body of water that if my house floods it will be a flood of truly Biblical proportions - my home will be the least of my worries. There are risks that we all take on the insurance front - when we get burned, regardless of the circumstances, it doesn't become the insurance company's fault.

    Again - historically the Federal government has turned down more health claims than insurance companies have according to the AMA report card (2009). Therefore socialism isn't the answer to people falling through the crack either. People assume that Medicare and Medicaid are a benevolent Federal government - they are not - they are the Nation's worst run health insurance options. The efficiency of the DMV with the bedside manner of the IRS.

    I would submit again - Lindquist was cared for and is being cared for. The fact that the doctors who pulled off a miracle expect to be paid is understandable. The way people and the government avoid these costs in the countries on the Mud_Sling list is that the Lindquists die.

    I know it seems harsh because of the circumstances, but the answer to Lindquist's problems lay in preparation, an area in which he either decided to gamble or was operating under an false assumption (probably both). Interesting enough, had Lindquist obeyed his employer (I'm not advocating that he should have abandoned the patients - but work with me here) and left the site and had the tornado picked up his car and left him with the same injuries, he would be in the same financial situation. It's only his heroism and the completely randomness of a tornado that makes this newsworthy.

    The emotional response clouds the mind and blurs the decision making process. Rather than beat up on insurance companies, you should use this opportunity to review your own coverage and options.