Healthcare Lessons in a Crash

This column was published on UPI’s Religion and Spirituality Forum on September 8, 2007. 

Some time ago a congress of honest men refused an appropriation of several hundreds of millions of dollars to feed our people. They said, and meant it, that the economic structure of the country would collapse under the pressure of such expenditure. And now the same men, just as honestly, are devoting many billions to the manufacture, transportation and detonation of explosives to protect the people they would not feed.

–John Steinbeck, from The Sea of Cortez, 1941

Last month, after a lifetime of riding a bicycle and after more than five years of cycling seriously for pleasure and fitness, I experienced my first real accident. I was riding down a mountain road, going maybe thirty miles an hour, coming out of a blind curve, when I saw a pickup truck pulling into a driveway, across oncoming traffic. The truck was too close and I was going too fast. My brakes locked and I hit the pavement.

I often hear stories about folks in such situations and usually their stories involve visions of God beckoning beyond a blissful light, or perhaps autobiographical images flashing through the mind. My own reaction was more terrestrial. As I slid down the road toward the rolling tires, I was asking myself “how am I going to pay for this?”

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