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Uninsured Woman Shot Self to Get Medical Care

Unemployed and uninsured, 41-year-old Kathy Myers couldn't afford to get her injured shoulder treated, so she came up with a radical plan: she shot herself to get free medical care!

Kathy Myers' troubles started when her 80-lb Golden Lab yanked on his leash during a skirmish with her Chihuahuas. The big dog yanked Myer's shoulder as well, injuring her rotator cuff.

After a month of agonizing pain, the unemployed 41-year-old used her in-laws' gun to take matters into her own hands. She placed icepacks and pillows around her head and neck, and then pulled the trigger, according to Wood TV 8 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Myers says she made a rational choice: she had hoped that the doctors who mended her flesh wound would also fix her rotator cuff.

Alas, the plan backfired:

Last Thursday doctors treated the bullet wound, but instead of fixing her injured shoulder, they gave her some antiinflammatory drugs and sent her home.

Though shooting yourself to get medical care may seem a bit extreme, Myers told reporters at WSBT-TV in South Bend, Ind., that she has no "suicide wish" and that she "wants to live" despite her problems.

And her problems may only be increasing. Besides being in even greater pain, Myers might have to go before a judge to face a charge of firing a weapon within city limits.

Aina Hunter of CBS News has more: Link (Photo: CBS)


I guess the unemployment department in Michigan does not tell people how to get temporary healthcare through COBRA.

Even when I worked in fast food (which she could do)I had health insurance. It was almost half a paycheck, but worth it.
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Never free care-you will get billed for it in the end--far more in an ER, then trying the federally funded clinics--that Indiana does have.
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If she just sold her gun she would have been able to pay for the healthcare she needed. But ok, it's another good example of why the system has to change.
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some doctors believe rotator cuff tears should be classified as a normal process of aging. almost all doctors suggest treating tears with non-invasive treatments as a first course of action.

Seems like this woman just didn't do her homework. Does she even have a rotator cuff tear? My shoulder hurt me for like 12 months before I decided to do something about it. I was convinced I had a tear. I went to the doctor, he recommended massage and I am no pain free.
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"Myers says she made a rational choice" - The shoulder is not what needs treatment...... At least here if you show-up to an emergency room, you have to be treated regardless if you have insurance or can pay.
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When I was 24 and still in college (which I paid for myself), I became seriously ill one summer. I did not have health insurance. I sold some of my posessions, went to the doctor, paid what I could and financed the rest.

I recovered and paid medical bills for the next year or so, working part time and going to school.

I was able to do this. I cannot understand why somebody who is in pain cannot bring themselves to go to the doctor and work out a financing plan to pay the costs over time.

Yes, some healthcare is overpriced, but who are we to tell doctors what they can and cannot charge? The problem isn't the system. The problem is a sense of entitlement. You aren't entitled to health care. The only human right you have is the right to kill somebody before they kill you!
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Thank God she is still alive, my friend took her life because of back pain, and she had insurance, but the pain was overwhelming and no doctor or even her husband listened to her. Her husband now sees he should have helped more instead of insisting she was mental. He gives rides to medical appointments now to people with need in repentence. We need to be human and help and really listen.
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"Guns as a solution to a medical problem? Pretty easy to guess the country of origin. And people don't want socialized medicine?"

I know. I'm an American and I had a gun for breakfast and will probably have another for a snack around 3 o'clock. I have to cut down on my intake because bullets are SERIOUSLY fattening (but obesity is a whole 'nother problem). We Americans, as a whole, love our guns and ignorant foreigners stereotyping us isn't going to change that!
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UK version: unemployed, she would be treated for free (in fact even with a job she still wouldn't have to pay). However, possession of any hand gun for any reason gets you a mandatory 5 years in prison, no excuses. To the person who commented "you aren't entitled to health care" I'd just say: the 63 million people in my country, and millions more in many other European countries ARE entitled to health care. We think it's kind of important to look after each other.
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"We think it's kind of important to look after each other."

Amen. I've always said that if there's one thing a nation should provide for its citizens, it's health and well-being. Else, what's the point of forming a nation?

Remember, by providing our nation with health care, we are providing for _ourselves_.
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I cant believe the welthiest country on earth cannot afford to give free health care to poor people.

I am european, and being a doctor or in medicine is not considered a job but a public duty.

People shooting themselves to get to a doctor..sounds medieval
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@ Christina and "foreigners" - the US does have free medical care. It comes in many different forms. It ranges from well known program names like Medicare, to unknown programs for people who live below the poverty level, or to healthcare for the homeless or unemployed.
And each state has it's own programs.

Part of the problem might be that most people do not know what options are available to them. Like I stated in my first comment. There is healthcare available to the unemployed people in Michigan. If that woman lives under the poverty level, she could also be elligble for several other programs as well.
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Last year, I found myself suddenly w/o health insurance and within a week, I was covered for free visits to the doctor. MY doctor. Not just any doctor.

I had to pay for my meds, but you can go to Walmart or shop around for the cheapest place to buy them.

There is NO reason for this woman to not have had medical care. She either did not understand how to get it or there's more to the story.

How do you think all the illegals get care here w/o health insurance? They go to the hospital ER and then they don't pay. Easy.

Americans can do it, too. Although many won't and prefer to set up payments.

I once paid off an unexpected ER bill at a hospital in Austin at 10 dollars a month. Hospitals are not evil, they will work with you.
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