Juliet Dostalek benefit: Tuesday, June 16, Matchless

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Juliet_Benefit.jpegOn Saturday, May 23 Juliet Dostalek, Brooklyn’s favorite redhead bartender, was badly injured in a motorcycle accident. She now faces a long, difficult road to recovery.  Tomorrow, Bar Matchless is holding a benefit to help raise money for Juliet’s medical bills. We’ll be there.

Riders Who Care and Matchless

  • aeolus

    As soon as I replenish my PayPal account I will make a donation though is will be but a drop in the bucket as will this benefit toward the hospital bill. Motorcycle insurance doesn’t cover medical bills, at least mine doesn’t and my tab for a week was $30k. You can go on all you like abut riding skills but when it comes, it will be in a flash and nothing can be done.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      That’s very generous of you. I can’t imagine what Juliet’s bills are coming to, they must be huge.

  • http://vfrh.forumotion.net Nick Lou

    This is tragic! My thoughts go out to her and to all her family with hopes for a speedy recovery!
    However, I can’t help but think how outrageous it is to charge money for health care like it is in the States. Medical bills? 30K????
    So let me get it straight. If you are in an accident and you simply don’t have enough money to cover medical bills, then what? They let you die? They kick you out of the hospital?

    Medical treatment is a vital social service and it ought to be free for all people. In most of Europe medical treatment is free and covered by the national health system of each country, which is in turn funded by the tax system. It is not perfect but it works quite well in most cases.

    Anyway, I sincerely hope July gets back on her feet soon! I will be there in my thoughts, guys!

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Yes, the system really is that bad. They won’t deny you emergency care, but that’s all that’s available to you. The arm I broke last year cost me $37,000. Juliet’s injuries are much, much worse.

      I had great care, but 99% of the time, uninsured patients receive second tier service. The medical bills will also ruin their credit rating for the rest of their lives, likely removing their ability to ever get a mortgage, buy a new car or take out a small loan to start their own business.

      Existing insurance payers have their policies padded to cover the costs for uninsured patients anyways and it would actually cost them less just to pay taxes to provide universal health care, but the Republican party has somehow managed to convince middle class people that voting in rich people’s interests is somehow good for them.

      • DoctorNine

        It’s not quite that simple, Wes. Let’s hit some of those points you made there:

        “They won’t deny you emergency care, but that’s all that’s available to you.”

        Hospitals differ. ‘For profit’ hospitals without real emergency rooms don’t do emergency care. They won’t even let the ambulance pull into the bay. So they game the system by avoiding that expense. Most hospitals that take trauma cases have a large percentage of that care unreinbursed, so typically they are subsidized by their county or hospital district, which views the availability of those services as akin to fire or police. So they cover the shortfalls. But even in those cases, local governments are failing, so these critical hospitals shut down. And it’s because there are too many uninsured compared to insured cases.

        Post trauma care is also variable. If you need an orthopedist or even a plastics guy to put you back together, the big, save your life stuff will be done at the initial admission. But later, return-to-full-function stuff is either pay as you go, or charity. And to be fair, a lot of docs do charity stuff. It’s the hospitals that can’t afford to go there. this is due to something called the “Balanced Budget Act of 1997′ which prevented CMS (the guys that run Medicaid and Medicare) from being billed by your local hospital to pay for this kind of care for the uninsured. this put a lot of hospitals flat out of business.

        “Existing insurance payers have their policies padded to cover the costs for uninsured patients anyway…”

        This isn’t true. While hospitals try to recover reasonable fees from insured patients, there is no direct connection between a hospital’s expenses, and what they can bill. This is quite different from most business, which can bill whatever it actually costs to deliver a service. In medicine, collusion between large insurors and government determines what the maximum payment hospitals and doctors can get. So the much larger number of uninsured patients at critical city hospitals can never be covered by simply billing the insured patients more. this is the ugly secret no one in government or the insurance industry wants you to know. They manufactured the crisis in 1997. It’s taken this long for municipalities and counties to run out of other ways of helping the uninsured and underinsured. They are flat broke now.

        And this isn’t a Republican issue. Or ‘rich people’. That’s a facile distortion. And in fact, I know you are a lot smarter than to buy such tripe. If you want to lay blame, look at rising malpractice costs, rising numbers of ininsured, and decreasing federal government support of local hospitals. That’s the actual truth. But it isn’t as sexy as the blame game.

        • aeolus

          Rich people have their own separate wing where they are pampered. The hospital and the HMOs negotiate a per bed/per diem reimbursement then when the bill comes negotiate some more on whether the patient should have been kept in the hospital for some period of the stay. In other words reimburse on a reduced basis or disallow some days entirely. The hospital initially billed me for the difference when I was only liable for a co-pay. This was for my wife’s 34 day stay, initially billed at over $100,000. to the HMO, whose initial response was they weren’t going to pay anything because I hadn’t gotten the primary care docs OK prior to sending her to the ER. This is always their opening gambit. The hospital admitted to a “mistake’ in billing me and the difference went to arbitration where it was split between hospital and HMO. In other words it’s trench warfare between hospital/insurer/patient. Also the hospital threatened to turn the bill over to a collection agency. You really need to stay healthy! And don’t even mention the rapacious pharmasuitacl sharks with their outrageous practices and stronghold on congress. And yeah the Democrats especially blue dogs aren’t much help either. But the malpractice canard is typical right wing nonsense.

          • DoctorNine

            Yeah, it’s gotten pretty ugly out there. Trench warfare is about right. But there are some things you may not realize about what it looks like from the doctors’ side. FWIW, I have been cycling for about 30+ years; way before I was an academic physician and scientist, my current gig. A lot of people think malpractice issues are a bunch of hokum, like you say. What they don’t realize, is that it’s the corporate insurors, and governmental insurance regulators that have made it into the cost problem that it is today. Insurors want to stay profitable, so they squeeze the doctors and hospitals. Insurors can change terms so no matter what, they make a profit. As I pointed out earlier, doctors and hospitals can’t. So the larger a bite the insurors take, the less likelihood that those docs and hospitals can stay afloat. So they leave certain areas, or they close their business down. It isn’t a ‘typical right wing canard’ as you say. Down here in the trenches, we are getting the strong arm from insurors, and patients think it’s the docs and hospitals that are doing it. The insurors have the perfect foil: it’s those ‘rich docs’ that are causing the rise in costs. Only that isn’t true. It’s pharma and the insurors. I really wasn’t surprised to hear about what happened with your wife. Saddened, but not surprised. Insurors have this thing called ‘DRG” which says how long you are allowed to be in the hospital for a specific diagnosis. Amazing that some bureaucrat thought this up. Instead of actually allowing doctors to determine when you are well enough to go home, why not just arbitrarily create a cut-off point, at about the average length of stay for this disease, and not pay if it takes longer than that. One size fits all. No kidding, that’s what CMS and the private insurors do. I’m pretty fed up with the whole thing. Someone somewhere needs to realize, that hospital services are just like fire and policing services. These should be governmental functions. To hell with paying for IMF funds and reconstruction in Kosovo and Iraq. How’s about a little reconstruction in our local trauma hospitals? How’s about a little ‘bailout funds’ there? Don’t get me started. Cyclists and the average guy on the street shouldn’t have to play a song and dance game to get treatment when they get into an accident. And they shouldn’t end up in bankruptcy after one medium sized event either. But, in fact, that is THE MOST COMMON cause for bankruptcy these days. Juliet is the latest victim of this government sanctioned ‘insurance’ based ruination of lives, but you can bet your bottom dollar she won’t be the last. Why? Because the insurors bought the politicians. And they both are trying to figure out how to pay lip service to reform, without ruining their cash cow. Say MOOO!!! America. You’re gonna be somebody’s steak if you crash your bike.

            • aeolus

              The worst of it was my wife died in the hospital so all the reductions for excessive care seem bizarre to say the least. The problem is in a “free market” society EVERYTHING is a commodity and the special interests have bought and payed for the legislators
              and the corporate owned media provides free propaganda. The economic melt down might provide the tipping point where the world domination illusion can no longer be sustained and a reordering of priorities of Americans first will occur. But I wouldn’t bet on it.

  • Mitch

    Well Nick, in some ways it’s actually quite similar. While I have no idea the extent of the injuries and the treatment rendered, from reading the recollection of the accident I would say the bill is somewhere around 80 – 120,000 dollars.

    They do not kick you out of the hospital. What I imagine is, in most cases, your bill is dealt down through several legal meetings between your representation and that of the hospital. Most likely, you undergo something similar to bankruptcy, where a portion of future wages are garnished to offset the bill. The remainder of the bill is ‘eaten’ by the hospital, which then forwards it on to the state to absorb. All in all, the hospital, the state, and the involved insurance companies recoup the money through increased rates and fees here and there.

    So in that way, it is somewhat like socialized medicine. We all end up paying (citizens, not businesses.)

  • General Apathy

    Psst Democrats control both houses, the presidency and govt run health care legislation is still DOA. Can’t blame Republicans for that.

  • http://artistruth.livejournal.com will

    Will deposit contribution as soon as I can.

    As for health care bureaucracy, ‘They promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world into a gigantic post office.’ -Von Mises

  • http://www.revitusa.com tex mawby

    The Rev’it! Crew will be there in support! Heal up quick Juliet. Cheers, Tex Mawby

  • Paul

    Best wishes to Julie for a speedy recovery, I’ll put some kiwi peso’s toward her costs, sorry they wont go very far with the exchange rate.

  • hjworton

    I will be contributing a small something for Julie, let us hope she makes a speedy and full recovery.

    It is sobering to read what the average US Citizen has to endure when a trip to the hospital is needed. I love your country but the whole healthcare thing scares the hell out of me.

    Ride safe everyone.

  • http://www.jandjcycle.com Jonesy

    Well i donated today, God bless and hoping for a speedy recovery… ! Keep us posted please Wes.

  • Meatspin

    Sorry but unpaid medical bills screwing up your credit is a fallacy . It’s just not in their best interest to do so.

    This girl sounds like she was just cruisin around without insurance of any kind. Kinda weird considering she was young and employed.

    • Kerry

      Meatspin,

      In NY, Ins companies do not offer medical as part of motorcycle insurance. It is something that you have to pay extra for and in many cases your yearly ins payment can come out to more than your bike cost (I have been quoted as much as $4000 a year for motorcycle insurance with medical).

      Also most service industry jobs do not provide health insurance. Costs too much. In NY I would say the majority of people do not have health insurance. It is not weird at all.

      I used to work in the medical profession and unpaid medical bills are just like any other unpaid bill and can go on your credit raiting. However hospitals tend to be more forgiving than say your credit card company and they are reluctant to report you if you work out a settlement or payment plan with them.

      Changing the subject……

      Thanks to all that came out Tuesday, it was an excellent turn out. Don’t forget to come out to this year’s Work’s show in August to find out who won the 1971 Triumph Bonneville.

    • DoctorNine

      “..Sorry but unpaid medical bills screwing up your credit is a fallacy…”

      Actually, it’s not. Recent studies. See the following:

      http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/06/05/bankruptcy.medical.bills/