Shooting Survivors Don’t Have to Pay Their Own Medical Expenses

Every time there is a mass bombing, the headlines tell us how many have been killed. These body counts allow us to shoot more people: Robb Elementary (21 killed) was bad, but not as bad as Sandy Hook (26 killed), which was worse than Parkland (17 killed). But what about the injured survivors, who often outnumber the dead? In the 2002 mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, for example, 12 people were killed, but 58 were injured; in the Route 91 Harvest shooting, 60 people were killed, and at least 413 were injured.

Every day in the United States more than 300 people are shot, and more than 200 survive their injuries, according to Brady’s notes. That makes 76,725 gunshot survivors a year. While emotional trauma can cause problems, financial problems can be even more painful. The very lucky survivors are taken to the nearest emergency room, average, about $5,200, and is sent home. Few need additional care – multiple surgeries, nursing home stays, medical care, medical care, almost an additional cost about $179,000. Many survivors live the rest of their lives with physical disabilities such as missing or deformed limbs, often requiring wheelchairs, home modifications, and home care. Some of them end up in nursing homes or assisted living facilities, where their lifetime costs run into the millions of dollars.

Some of the survivors are relying heavily on the kindness of strangers; set up a GoFundMe campaign to get money for medical care and other things. Survivors and families of those killed in the Uvalde school shooting, for example, number 37 volunteer GoFundMe pages, which have collectively raised $6.7 million to date pay for medical care and memorial costs.

A A 2017 study by Johns Hopkins University researchers It is estimated that the US spends $2.8 billion annually on medical care for war survivors. Many survivors find themselves struggling with copays and deductibles if they have insurance, and medical bills if they don’t. An insured person who has been shot can easily find themselves liable for $20,000 on a $100,000 bill. Only 12% are able to pay their medical bills in full, according to the survey. Either way, America supports the gun industry and gun owners by taking on these unpaid debts through our taxes or increasing insurance premiums.

This approach to the medical needs of gun violence survivors is cruel, irrational, and unfair. An obvious, straightforward example of paying such costs is staring us in the face: auto insurance. Americans have recognized the price we pay for owning cars, the cost of more than 35,000 lives each year, and millions of people injured. We have created a comprehensive insurance plan to ensure that the medical costs of car accident victims are paid not by the victims but by the car owner group. As the system has changed, insurance companies have developed a number of ways to assess each driver’s risk and adjust their premiums accordingly. Men are at greater risk than women. Young people are at greater risk than middle-aged drivers. Those with speeding tickets are at greater risk than those with a good driving record. Porsche drivers are more vulnerable than Volvo owners.

It’s easy to imagine a similar plan that would include the dangers of gun owners with the goal of ensuring that innocent victims of gun violence don’t incur insurmountable debts as a punishment for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. In such a system, older gun owners with good records pay lower insurance rates than 18-year-olds, and people with multiple guns pay more than those with one gun. And, just as insurance companies offer discounts to those who take self-defense driving classes, so too can they offer discounts to gun owners who have taken a gun safety course, or who can demonstrate that they lock their guns at home.

The idea that the majority of American gun owners will not allow this violation of their rights is found among car owners, who by and large do not see mandatory insurance as intolerable, or as a sign that the government will confiscate their cars. With the exception of a small number of people who drive illegally without insurance, they may complain about their own insurance rates, but they agree that a combination of risk premiums is much better than a country where one mistake – made by yourself or another driver. – it will not only result in a total car and stay in the hospital, but financial damage. Car insurance is also established to reduce the residual risk of those who refuse to insure their cars or allow their policies to lapse temporarily. Insurance spreads these debts fairly and reduces the risk of driving. Such a system, run by market forces rather than government, would do the same for gun owners, and for the more than 200 Americans who are shot and killed every day – people who don’t have to pay the price for someone else. error.

Gun owners have managed to outsource the medical costs of their gun ownership to the rest of us. This is not a gun control idea, but an idea to better fund America’s love affair with guns. It could have benefits for gun safety: By increasing the cost of owning a gun, it would encourage Americans to buy fewer guns. And it can encourage gun owners, to seek discounts, to take more gun safety training, or to buy gun safes in their homes, where about 4.6 million children have unprotected guns.

Gun insurance probably wouldn’t have prevented the killings of Uvalde or Buffalo. But it would reduce 99% of gun accidents and violence in this country. If the American people really choose, as a matter of principle, that they want to live in a society with more guns than people and fewer restrictions on who can own them, then the least we can do is make things fair for the innocents who inevitably will. suffering from the consequences of this decision.