Despite accident, couple believe they...

Despite accident, couple believe they've been dealt 'winning hand'

There are 29 comments on the Santa Cruz Sentinel story from Sep 6, 2010, titled Despite accident, couple believe they've been dealt 'winning hand'. In it, Santa Cruz Sentinel reports that:

It's going to take another six weeks before the bandages wrapped around the stump of Ken Kimes' right arm and the splint that encircles his left hand are removed, but until then, his wife says, she can do anything she wants with him.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Santa Cruz Sentinel.

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Dave

Daly City, CA

#1 Sep 6, 2010
what???$30,000 ... this is insanity, how can this nation survive with medical costs like this ?
no other country in the world operates like this. sadly it will take bankruptcy for us to come to our senses & it's not far away ...$12 trillion & counting much more if we add in unfunded liabilities that the gov conveniently excludes.
why are American's so stupid to pay 2 to 3 times more for health care than other 1st world nations? millions remain with nothing and millions are one step away from bills like this one.
Enquiring Minds

Felton, CA

#2 Sep 6, 2010
Because we're lucky enough now to have Obama-care.
HeliCopter OptOut

Capitola, CA

#3 Sep 6, 2010
Is there any way to go on record to opt out of this helicopter scam when a ground transport will work just fine? Give me a break, there are hospitals in Watsonville and Salinas!$30k is criminal.
Get Well

San Jose, CA

#4 Sep 6, 2010
God speed. Your positive and attitude, as well as your love as a married couple, will help you through the rough spots ahead.
As someone who has suffered major hand trauma, just know that it does get better.:) Be sure to be true to your hand therapy exercises!

Since: May 08

United States

#5 Sep 6, 2010
Enquiring Minds wrote:
Because we're lucky enough now to have Obama-care.
Funny about repubs memory of convenience...it only goes back to Jan,1st 2009. Is that actually what the county pays for a flight over the hill?
Get Well

San Jose, CA

#6 Sep 6, 2010
This guy needed a trauma hospital. Dominican and Watsonville do not hold this rating.

Isn't it 'great' knowing that our tax dollars are being used to fly those who shoot one another to trauma centers at $30,000 a pop?
HeliCopter OptOut wrote:
Is there any way to go on record to opt out of this helicopter scam when a ground transport will work just fine? Give me a break, there are hospitals in Watsonville and Salinas!$30k is criminal.
Matthew Kaufman

Santa Cruz, CA

#7 Sep 6, 2010
HeliCopter OptOut wrote:
Is there any way to go on record to opt out of this helicopter scam when a ground transport will work just fine? Give me a break, there are hospitals in Watsonville and Salinas!$30k is criminal.
Neither has a trauma center, and this injury was a massive trauma. And trauma centers lose money like crazy... no wonder neither hospital in the county wants to staff up for that.
who knows

United States

#8 Sep 6, 2010
Enquiring Minds wrote:
Because we're lucky enough now to have Obama-care.
Actually, we don't have Obamacare. The healthcare bill doesn't even take effect until 2014 and it is because of those costs that it exists. The $30,000 helicopter bill is pre Obamacare. The county and some insurance companies have contracts with the transportation providers and do not pay anywhere near the full price. That is the price the uninsured pay.

Since: May 09

Santa Cruz

#9 Sep 6, 2010
Can someone explain to me how an hour's flight (or less) in a helicopter can cost $30k? Sure, there is a trauma nurse or maybe a paramedic in there, or even both plus the pilot, but I don't see how they can justify charging that much. Sounds like a total scam: they have us over a barrel so we have to pay whatever they ask?
seabling8

United States

#10 Sep 6, 2010
Sandra, way to keep the sense of humor!! What else can you do in times of crisis. And by the way, if this photo represents the new hair do - good choice. It's hot! Sometimes it takes a woman... even if it means losing one's right arm. Don't mean to make light of a serious accident but you went there first. My thought go out to you for a speedy recovery. Your sense of humor will aid in that.
farmer john

Santa Cruz, CA

#11 Sep 6, 2010
well at least it did not cost him an arm AND a leg....har har har

“Dogma is poison.”

Since: May 09

Santa Cruz, CA

#13 Sep 6, 2010
Let's drop the Republican/Democrat divide for a moment and consider this:

Here's a hard-working business owner, who HAS INSURANCE... and yet, still, the only way he's going to avoid huge personal debt (perhaps even bankruptcy) is for friends and family to collect donations, and hold fundraising dinners, raffles and auctions.

Among developed countries, this sort of madness only occurs in the United States.

In Sweden, for example, annual out-of-pocket costs for medical services top out at the equivalent of $110.(Plus a max of $250/yr for prescriptions.) All additional costs are covered. COVERED. And, of course, this is high-quality service. Sweden regularly tops the worldwide health care rankings.

Would it really be so hard for us to do the same?
The Dude

Santa Cruz, CA

#14 Sep 6, 2010
$36,000 for my brother in law to be flown to San Jose after a motorcycle accident with brain injury. It saved his life.

It's a lot of money, but I think it was worth every penny. The hospitals here aren't capable enough to handle the serious stuff. The helicopter rides are expensive because you are paying for them to be standing by and ready to go on a moments notice. Helicopters are very expensive, the maintenance is very expensive, and all the insurance they must have because of the litigious society we live in makes it expensive. A pilot, co-pilot and a flight nurse don't work for free. Fuel, etc. It's cheap compared to the alternative.

I'm glad they were here for this guy, he deserves the best. With a great attitude, he's going to do just fine. A lot of us could learn for people like this. Tragedy happens, what really counts is being able to pick yourself up afterwards and move on. A sense of humor really helps too. I'd love to meet this guy and compare notes!
old school

United States

#15 Sep 6, 2010
>> Can someone explain to me how an hour's flight (or less) in a helicopter can cost $30k?

Maintaining a fleet of helicopters ready to go on short notice is very costly. Just ask CalStar (at calstar dot org) and LifeFlight (at Stanford). CalStar is a non-profit. You'd have to ask Stanford about LifeFlight, which primarily feeds Stanford with critical cases for residents to learn on, but I suspect they're not making money either.

You can sign up for a yearly membership to CalStar. Motorcyclists are particularly encouraged to do so.$40 per year is a lot cheaper than one helicopter ride, and a much more reliable funding stream for the air ambulance provider.

Costs include two trauma nurses, one pilot with over 3000 hours experience, a very expensive helicopter just sitting there between calls, four mechanics behind the scenes keeping it from being a hangar queen, parts and fuel.

Time matters in trauma calls. It's not just a matter of saving his life, but trying to salvage what's left so he's got part of one hand instead of being a double amputee. Head and spine injuries can kill quickly and Santa Cruz county simply couldn't afford to keep the fifty-odd specialists and support staff required by a trauma center on call. I sometimes wonder how we afford Dominican.
mee

United States

#16 Sep 6, 2010
Like the previous poster said, you can buy a yearly membership with CalStar. It used to be $45 a year for a family. We had to drop ours unfortunately because we're having a hard time making ends meet, but I originally purchased a membership with them after my mother-in-law had to be airlifted to the tune of $25,000 WITH insurance. That was only her portion fo the bill.

A membership with CalStar is tax deductible.
bluntsn40s

Santa Cruz, CA

#17 Sep 7, 2010
he should do some stump porn like that coke'd out chick from the 1970's with half a leg.
$
Buzzard Lagoon

Nora, Sweden

#18 Sep 7, 2010
"Can someone explain to me how an hour's flight (or less) in a helicopter can cost $30k?"

It's called corporate capitalism out of control, and it has been (slowly?) killing the U.S. economy for the past 50+ years. If you have the market cornered, you can charge whatever you want for your product/service.
Tired of the B.S.? do what I did- move to a country that cares about it's citizens more than it's corporations. I was in the doctors office 12 times last year including MRI scans, specialists, and paid the equivalent of 9 to 11 USD per visit. If I need any kind of emergency air/land transport to any specialized hospital anywhere in the country, I pay....NADA- zilch. Yes, I pay high taxes, especially as a small business owner, but it is worth it. I'll say it again, when I left the U.S. the door came nowhere near my backside.
HEJA SVERIGE!
yougotstogetdown

Santa Cruz, CA

#21 Sep 7, 2010
Buzzard Lagoon wrote:
"Can someone explain to me how an hour's flight (or less) in a helicopter can cost $30k?"
It's called corporate capitalism out of control, and it has been (slowly?) killing the U.S. economy for the past 50+ years. If you have the market cornered, you can charge whatever you want for your product/service.
Tired of the B.S.? do what I did- move to a country that cares about it's citizens more than it's corporations. I was in the doctors office 12 times last year including MRI scans, specialists, and paid the equivalent of 9 to 11 USD per visit. If I need any kind of emergency air/land transport to any specialized hospital anywhere in the country, I pay....NADA- zilch. Yes, I pay high taxes, especially as a small business owner, but it is worth it. I'll say it again, when I left the U.S. the door came nowhere near my backside.
HEJA SVERIGE!
Somebody pays-somebody ALWAYS PAYS.Nothing is for free and to pretend it is is ludicrous.Health care,medicare,social security-there not free-somebody pays for them.So glad YOU like to pay high taxes-hoop dee doody! So where is this paradise-Cuba? Sweden? Venezuela?Some other SOCIALIST nanny state which is what the obamunist is trying to do here. Glad you left-we have too many people just like you left behind. Snivelers always whining about what can govt. do for me!
Idle thoughts

Atherton, CA

#22 Sep 7, 2010
amallama wrote:
In Sweden, for example,....
Would it really be so hard for us to do the same?
Sure, but how many multi-millionaire Swedish healthcare execs are there? How much does the Swedish healthcare lobby kickback to the pols?

See, Swedes are actually deficient in their free-enterprise market. And you thought they had their problems licked.
Socialism For Everyone

Santa Cruz, CA

#23 Sep 7, 2010
amallama wrote:
Let's drop the Republican/Democrat divide for a moment and consider this:
Here's a hard-working business owner, who HAS INSURANCE... and yet, still, the only way he's going to avoid huge personal debt (perhaps even bankruptcy) is for friends and family to collect donations, and hold fundraising dinners, raffles and auctions.
Among developed countries, this sort of madness only occurs in the United States.
In Sweden, for example, annual out-of-pocket costs for medical services top out at the equivalent of $110.(Plus a max of $250/yr for prescriptions.) All additional costs are covered. COVERED. And, of course, this is high-quality service. Sweden regularly tops the worldwide health care rankings.
Would it really be so hard for us to do the same?
How many Swedes are illegal immigrants and are they also eligible for benefits? Illegal immigrants are a HUGE draw on health care here as well as a host of other "welfare" style benefits.That's a good part of why insurance costs are so high.Federal law mandates e-rooms HAVE to take care of ANYONE who comes in without insurance.Guess where that is passed onto? All the patients who come in with insurance costs the insurance co.because the hospital has to cover expenses or go broke. And in fact quite a few hospitals near the border HAVE gone broke because of that very thing. They were inundated with illegals coming over the border to the emergency rooms. This DOES have an effect!

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