Terry White, known to his friends as “Bean,” tells his story about needing affordable health care in this Washington Post piece by Laura Vozzella. Thank you for speaking out, Bean!
From the article:
“Terry White of Chesapeake had kept fit for much of his adult life with push-ups and a little running on top of jobs as a carpenter, heavy-equipment operator and shipyard worker.
“But years of wear and tear on his body from such physically taxing work caught up with him, anyway, and at a very inopportune moment: In 2008, he was perched 500 feet in the air on scaffolding in the Newport News shipyard, trying to ignore severe arthritis and nerve pain as he did touch-up painting on an aircraft carrier when both of his legs gave out.
“’They had to send the paramedic people up there to get me,’ he said.
“White, 50, chuckles, now able to appreciate the spectacle of it all. In much the same way, he musters amused detachment as he flips through medical bills that have stacked up since, debts that will probably never be behind him.
“’Oh my God, this is terrible. Wait till you see this,” he said. “Can’t do [anything] but laugh about this stuff. This one is $71,000 — surgery. This is the chemo, this is $51,000. And this is Urology of Virginia. I owe them $2,400.’
“Gallows humor is about all White has left. Since his descent from the scaffolding, he has been unable to work. Along with the crippling osteoarthritis, White also has been diagnosed with diabetes, congestive heart failure and prostate cancer.”