Tuesday, November 24, 2009

In Memorium: Steven Bendinelli

I had a client in April of 2008 who had to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy due to various bills that included medical bills. At the time of filing, he did have medical insurance. However, he subsequently was laid off and subjected to the horrors of COBRA and no insurance. At the age of 37, less than two years after filing bankruptcy, Steven Bendinelli passed away.

We publish the names of our terrorist victims and mourn the loss as a society. We do not mourn or publish the names in the media of those people who die because they lacked health insurance. We leave the mourning and anger to the deceased's immediate family.

I'd known Steven and his family for many years since coming to Ogden and they are great people. I have the highest regard for them. I met a friend of the family today and learned what had happened to Steven.

He had been unemployed. He had no insurance. He got a cold. He didn't want to go to the doctor because he didn't have any money and he didn't have any income. His father went to visit him and no one answered the door. The cold had progressed, possibly to pneumonia and Steven had passed away.

There remain some uncertainties about exactly how he passed away, but one thing appears to be certain-- Steven Bendinelli died because he didn't have access to health care.

Health care should not be left to markets. If it is, experience shows that the free market kills. Health care should be the concern of society as a whole. I challenge anyone to show me how any other belief is in the slightest way moral.

To Steven's family, I give my deepest regrets in their time of sorrow and my own apology, that I couldn't do more to relieve that financial pressure.

1 comment:

JulieAnn said...

I'm so sorry. Knowing you, you did everything you could, Love. I am torn between outrage and deep sorrow for the loss to the family and more important, to Steve's four year old son who will never get to know his dad.