KLRU airs video vignettes on health care

In conjunction with the project Critical Condition: Central Texas, KLRU will feature the stories of five Central Texans and their struggles to obtain adequate health care. These stories show how the health care crisis impacts both the uninsured and the insured. The vignettes that began airing on September 22. Monday to Friday at 7 p.m. tune in to see one local story or watch them all at KLRU’s Critical Condition Web site. Click the “Read the rest of this entry” link below to find out  about the people featured in the vignettes.

Local stories in the vignettes include:

Dean’s position at an auto parts store was eliminated last year. He had great insurance at the time but never really took advantage of his coverage. While at home he slipped and broke his back. He was treated at St. David’s and now faces mounting medical debt. He was lucky to be accepted as a patient at People’s Community Clinic for treatment of diabetes and other health concerns. He wishes there was a state program so he could be covered by an affordable insurance policy.

Monty & Stephanie
Monty is a small business owner in Bastrop. He and his wife were in a roll-over car accident caused by another driver. He and his son walked away from the accident with minor injuries but his wife suffered severe trauma to the brain. He couldn’t afford health insurance for him or his wife (kids are on CHIP) but he doesn’t think insurance would have covered the astronomical bills they’ve incurred to this point. Stephanie is in an unresponsive state and his options for her care are limited to putting her in a nursing home or trying to find ways to care for her around the clock at home.

Susan is currently on disability retirement from the state and seeking treatment for mental health care. She has also had two bouts of breast cancer which are in remission. She worked in public health for 25 years and is frustrated she is now a victim of the bureaucracy she tried to fight. She has insurance but has difficulties getting the treatment and medication she needs so she might one day go back to work.

Diana was paralyzed in a motorcycle accident one year ago. Her employer was too small to offer affordable insurance to employees and coverage through her husband’s company would be too costly so she was without insurance at the time of her accident. Her doctor was able to get a scholarship for rehab at HealthSouth and she is also getting help through DARS (The Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services.) Diana is now able to care for herself and do some things on her own that wouldn’t have been possible without the rehab.

John was knocked down while on the job as a principal at a private school. He was taken to the emergency room with a severe concussion. His insurance picked up the tab but stopped covering his care when they found out it happened on the job. John and his wife now have to deal with worker’s comp to try and find treatment. They’ve had to beg and plead their way into appointments only to find out doctors still haven’t been paid years after their care. They wonder if John’s symptoms would have gotten better if there wasn’t such a lapse in time it takes to get an appointment and testing done. They feel they’d be better off if they didn’t have workers comp or insurance to deal with, even if they had to pay out of pocket. At least they’d be able to do something for his care.

About Critical Condition: Central Texas
Spurred by the national documentary Critical Condition – a film that puts a human face on the (dire access to) cost of health care in America – KLRU, TV, Austin PBS, along with 12 Central Texas healthcare organizations are working together to raise awareness of the problem in Central Texas.  This partnership — Critical Condition: Central Texas — includes both television programming and community activities to bring to light the serious problems for individuals and the community because of the lack of an affordable health care system. Participating organizations in Critical Condition: Central Texas are: American Cancer Society, Austin/Travis County Community Health Centers, Austin Travis County Mental Health Mental Retardation Center, Center for Public Policy Priorities, Integrated Care Collaboration, insure-a-kid, Lone Star Circle of Care, People’s Community Clinic, Seton Family of Hospitals, St. David’s Community Health Foundation, Texans Care for Children, Travis County Healthcare District.

About Critical Condition National Outreach Campaign:
Designed and managed by Outreach Extensions and P.O.V., the Critical Condition National Outreach Campaign is made possible by funding from The Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Charles A. Frueauff Foundation, the Fledgling Fund, the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Missouri Foundation for Health, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, the Park Foundation, the Spunk Fund, and the Trull Foundation.