There are some things that people should not make money off of. Another person’s life is one of those things.
Call me a bleeding-heart snowflake or whatever you want, but I stand firmly in my belief that greedy people can and will take advantage of those in desperate situations – and allowing it to happen is simply unacceptable.
People who are sick, dying and in need of medical care should be able to go to a local medical center or urgent care and get the help they need regardless of the money they have in the bank. Period.
But that’s not the way we currently operate.
If you need to see a doctor or need a life-saving drug and don’t have health insurance, good luck. You probably won’t be able to afford it. Even if you have insurance, it can be tough – and, as one Indiana teacher discovered, it’s not like you can share your insurance without steep consequences.
The teacher in question, Casey Smitherman, found out that one of her students was suffering from strep throat – a bacterial infection of the throat that can develop into rheumatic fever and cause heart damage.
The student didn’t have insurance and Smitherman wanted to help him out. So she took the 15-year-old to a local clinic, pretended he was her son and got him a $233 amoxicillin prescription to clear up his infection.
Reports on the incident note that police were tipped off about the alleged fraud, arrested Smitherman and charged her with identity deception, official misconduct and insurance fraud.
To get the charges dropped and avoid jail time, Smitherman will reportedly enter into a diversion program – but she told Fox 59 that it’s her ultimate goal to provide the best for her students, and that she’s still fully committed to their physical, mental and academic growth.
And for that I commend her. That said, we should never be at a point where such a step had to be taken.
The fact that this woman had to risk jail time to ensure that her student didn’t end up with heart damage over a very treatable disease because the kid couldn’t afford the treatment is sick.
I’m not saying insurance fraud is the appropriate course of action when you need medication – but crowdfunding for health care shouldn’t be one, either.
We need to do better for our most vulnerable community members and work toward providing more protections for them and less for the billion-dollar company that would potentially let your kid die to save a buck – or at least work at finding some sort of balance.
What do you think of this story about how a teacher used her insurance to get a student strep throat meds? Let us know in the comments.