March 30, 2005

One way to get healthcare

The Times account of this incident is hard to decipher, but apparently, an auto accident occurred at 10:35 a.m. on September 13th at 3rd and Scott streets in Davenport. Michael B. Thornton of Rock Island, happened to be nearby but was not involved in the wreck. Thornton somehow presented himself to emergency workers responding to the accident (no details in the story) and was taken to Genesis hospital in Davenport and received $1200 worth of treatment, though for what, the piece doesn't say. $1200 is a lot of money, but then again, based on experience, that's about what they'd charge for examining the guy and putting a band-aid on his finger.

Apparently, Thornton represented to the hospital that he was involved in the accident. Well, that's one way to get medical care. Maybe at the sound of shattering glass, he thought, "Alright! I can finally find out why I have no feeling in my legs!"

Somehow (no clue given) the hospital or someone figured out that the guy wasn't involved with the accident.

District Judge Patrick Madden found the man guilty of Second Degree Theft, a Class D felony, despite Thornton's contention that the matter was more properly a civil matter. Thornton now faces up to 5 years in prison.

The guy was so hard up for care that when he sees an accident, he immediately thinks of scamming his way into the emergency room. Now for his initiative, he's facing prison.

Brilliant! So let's see. The guy got some medical care. Genesis won't pick up the tab and write it off. The state likely spent in excess of the cost of his care to prosecute the guy, and now he's headed for prison which will cost the taxpayers X thousand a year just to keep him there, and if he has continued health problems, they'll pick up the tab for his medical care in prison as well.

But at least Genesis didn't have to pay. I guess we're all better off. Thank our lucky stars our health care system doesn't need reform. Just ask a Republican.


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