Republican Death Panels


Bryan Stow’s insurance company has decided that it’s time for him to go it alone.

Two years ago, Santa Cruz California paramedic Bryan Stow was brutally beaten at an Opening Day game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants. Stow was an avid Giants fan and was wearing his colors when he was viciously attacked at Dodger Stadium, resulting in brain damage and permanent disability.

Following the beating, Stow, 44 and the father of two young children, spent six weeks in a Los Angeles hospital, his family uncertain if he would survive. He was then moved to San Francisco General, where he spent the next five months and then another five months in Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose. His insurance company determined that hospitalization was no longer needed and he was moved to the Centre for Neuroskills in Bakersfield California, where he had the benefit of every kind of rehabilitation therapy as well as necessary round the clock care.

But that has come to an end. His insurance company decided it was time for Bryan to go home. Never mind that he still needs round the clock care and there is no coverage for that. Never mind that withdrawal of the rehab therapies has caused him to suffer a big setback. His insurance ran out and that is that.

The city of San Francisco is seeking $1.2 million from the Dodgers to cover the medical bills that were not covered by Stow’s insurance. However, that is a pittance in the face of the estimated $50 million in care he will need over the rest of his life. His family isn’t wealthy and they are now facing problems that most of us can’t even begin to imagine.

Bryan Stow’s story is a very sad one indeed, but he is not alone in being abandoned in the time of greatest need due to the necessity of keeping a healthy bottom line for an insurance company. Seems that a healthy human being is secondary to the financial needs of CEOs and stockholders.

There is something intrinsically wrong with a system that abandons those in need because they just cost too much money. And yet, that is the system the Republican Party is doing everything it can to preserve. Not only that, they have held 37 votes to completely obliterate the Affordable Health Care Act that would provide lifetime coverage for people like Bryan Stow.

We hear all theses platitudes issuing from the Right about values, but the values they actually embrace are skewed in favor of corporations and the wealthiest among us. People like Bryan Stow, whose chosen career was to serve people and help them when they needed help the most, don’t matter. They are just numbers on an actuarial table, and when they get too expensive they are removed from the books. They are eliminated.

None of us can say what the future holds for Bryan and his family. There is only so much anyone can do. Fundraising events only go so far and after a while, the truth is that people forget and go on to other things. But the Stow family will still have Bryan to care for and his children will still need the things that only a healthy, productive father can provide for his family.

Our nation was built on the concept of people helping each other. Back in the day, when the pioneers pushed the boundaries and jumped off those covered wagons and built homes in the wilderness and then the towns to serve those homes, all of the people pulled together. We live in a different world today but the concept of helping each other shouldn’t be something we have cast aside. The way we do that in today’s world is via government programs to help people who need help. The United States is the only western country that lets its citizens hang out to dry when a disastrous health situation strikes and the Republicans are fighting tooth and nail to keep it that way.

And they say Obama has Death Panels. What a crock.

You can visit the Stow family website HERE.

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Ann Werner is a blogger and the author of CRAZY and Dreams and Nightmares. You can view her work at ARK Stories.

Visit her on Twitter @MsWerner and Facebook

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Ann Werner

Ann Werner

Ann Werner is a blogger and the author of CRAZY and Dreams and Nightmares. You can view her work at

Visit her on Twitter @MsWerner and Facebook Ann Werner

Ann Werner