Fort Worth, TX
Mitt Romney: "We don't have a setting across this country where if you don't have insurance, we just say to you, 'Tough luck, you're going to die when you have your heart attack. No, you go to the hospital, you get treated, you get care, and it's paid for, either by charity, the government or by the hospital."
Here's the reality according to an article in the Huffington Post:
In the early hours of May 1, D.C. bartender Mike Boone came to the aid of a young woman who was being mugged.
"We were punching each other pretty hard," Boone recalled. It wasn't until blood gushed from his body and the woman screamed that the bartender realized what had really happened.
"He was punching me with a knife," Boone said.
Boone passed out on the sidewalk. He woke up the next day in a hospital bed, recovering from eight stab wounds and a collapsed lung.
Like nearly 50 million other Americans, Boone lacked health insurance. A pre-existing condition -- in his case, a broken back he suffered in 1993 -- prevented him from obtaining affordable coverage. President Barack Obama's health care law prohibits insurance companies from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions, but that reform doesn't go into effect for adults until 2014.
Indeed, the health care system did not let Boone bleed to death on the sidewalk. But it did bury him in life-altering debt. After four days in the hospital and two surgeries, the 39-year-old -- hailed as a hero on Capitol Hill and beyond for his actions -- is staring at $60,000 in medical bills so far. And they haven't stopped rolling in.
Given his pre-existing condition, Boone said, the cost of purchasing individual health insurance was astronomical. If an insurer even made him an offer, he said, he was seeing quotes of $1,000 per month -- far beyond what he could afford. Under Obamacare, Boone should be able to find an affordable plan on the new health care "exchanges" being established in 2014.
Boone's medical bills have wiped out his personal savings. He's already receiving letters from collection agencies, and he said his credit has been ruined.