It’s been widely reported that many of the survivors of the shootings in Aurora, Colorado don’t have health insurance and could face massive bills for the treatment they’ve received. But now some of the hospitals that treated them have agreed to wipe out those bills:
Some of the victims fighting for their lives after being wounded in the movie theater shooting rampage may face another challenge when they get out of the hospital: enormous medical bills without the benefit of health insurance.
Members of the public, along with Warner Bros., the studio that released the Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises,” have contributed nearly $2 million to help victims, though it’s not clear how much of that will cover medical expenses. One family is raising money on its own online.
And three of the five hospitals that treated victims said Wednesday they will limit or completely wipe out medical bills…Children’s Hospital Colorado announced it would use donations and its charity care fund to cover the medical expenses of the uninsured. For those who do have insurance, the hospital says it will waive all co-pays.
“We are committed to supporting these families as they heal,” according to a statement from the hospital, which treated six shooting victims.
I’m glad to see them doing this, but it raises a rather obvious question: Do the victims of this shooting deserve such consideration any more than, say, a victim of cancer or heart disease or any other condition that can lead to huge medical bills that can’t possibly be paid without insurance (and often even with it)? That doesn’t mean the hospitals should always forgive such medical bills, nor is it a slam on hospitals in general; indeed, this article points out that two of the three hospitals who have done this provided a combined $750 million in free care last year alone. But should we applaud this as a society and then deny the same thing to others who face medical bills that could bankrupt them?