Fear Of $100 Hospital Bill Delayed Life Saving Care

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Even the smallest barriers to healthcare can mean the difference between life and death.

Jim Welna, a small business owner recently told The UpTake about the plight of a former employee who had an outstanding bill from HCMC for $100 and was afraid to seek additional care. His condition deteriorated and he went to the emergency room where he was diagnosed with advanced Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and died 4 months later. His care cost exceeded $1 million which was borne by all citizens.

This was all in the era before the Affordable Care Act was law. Welna says if the law were in effect then, his former employee would have seen the doctor earlier and his life may have been saved.

Welna was one of many Minnesotans from around the state who celebrated the Supreme Court’s decision to affirm the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, often called ObamaCare. The day after the court’s decision, they gathered in the Hennepin County Government Plaza at a TakeAction Minnesota sponsored rally.
Photos and more stories of how the ACA is helping people.
The law is two years old and implementation has been moving forward in Minnesota and many other states. Thousands of Minnesotans are already benefiting from the Affordable Care Act, including small businesses given tax credits, sick children who are no longer denied health coverage, young people allowed to remain on their parents’ health coverage as they navigate a challenging job market. More than 80,000 of the lowest income Minnesotans are receiving the medical care they need through the expansion of Medical Assistance made possible by the Affordable Care Act.

Thanks to the court’s decision, thousands more in Minnesota will have much more to gain from the Affordable Care Act as additional pieces of the law are put into place as Minnesota builds a Health Benefits Exchange.

Yankuba Fadera, Emergency Room Worker

Bill Sorem

Bill Sorem is a longtime advertising professional who started with Campbell Mithun and ended up with his own agency. After a tour as a sailing fleet manager in the Virgin Islands he turned to database programming as an independent consultant. He has written sailing guides for the British Virgin Islands and Belize, and written for a number of blogs. In 2010, he volunteered as a citizen journalist with The UpTake and has stayed on as a video reporter.

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