Who's going to pay for this?
A Kansas City, Missouri man is being held on second-degree murder charges after he tossed his ailing wife from their fourth floor apartment balcony to her death, allegedly because he couldn't afford her astronomical health costs.
According to court documents, Stanley Reimer kissed his wife goodbye and then threw her over the railing. His wife, Cristie Reimer, had suffered from cancer and neurological problems and weighed just 75 pounds. The medical costs ranged from $700-$800 a week.
Court papers indicated that she had no medical insurance, however, published reports suggested that Reimer qualified for family health benefits on his job. The reports said that due to privacy concerns, his employer wouldn't say whether he was covered.
Of course, even if he had medical insurance, it's likely that it didn't cover the full cost of his wife's treatment.
This tragedy underscores the need for some kind of national health care. Those who argue that the cost of national health care is too much for the country to sustain should look at the price tag attached to the war in Iraq. Perhaps if the nation wasn't spending billions of dollars on such an unpopular war, there would be revenues to cover national health care.
Agreements that companies made with their employees, to provide health care benefits through retirement to their deaths, are being unilaterally withdrawn. Some long time Ford Motor Company retirees, for example, are seeing their health benefits reduced at year's end.
Apparently those who have outlived the actuarial tables need to be penalized for beating the odds. After all, without adequate health care, they may kick the bucket saving the companies tons of money.