Tags: Healthcare Reform | Steve Malzberg Show | Richard Mack | healthcare | bills | fundraising | nightmare

Ex-Lawman: My Healthcare Nightmare

Wednesday, 11 Mar 2015 06:42 PM

A retired Arizona lawman says the nation's healthcare system dramatically failed him and his wife — who were hit with bills totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars after they became ill.

"I've always put money away, several hundred dollars every month for our medical bills, but this one took us by surprise. I didn't have the money," Richard Mack told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

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For Mack — a former Arizona county sheriff and founder of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association — the ordeal began when he was diagnosed with a nearly 100 percent blockage of arteries to the heart.

"I had … what the doctors called a 'widow maker.' They kept saying how lucky I was to be alive," he said.

After treatment, Mack, 62, was walloped with a bill of $85,000. And that wasn't the end of it.

"I just got the second bill, late notice from the hospital, that I owe the hospital alone $68,000 and that's not counting the doctors, the emergency room, or the radiology, or probably several other things I'm not remembering right now," he said.

Meanwhile, his 57-year-old wife, Dawn, was having her own health issues.

"She's had arthritis … She went to a doctor for cellulitis and then it turned into MRSA [a virulent staph infection].and she got hospitalized in November for five days. Her bills totaled about $35,000," Mack said.

The ex-sheriff, who's been self-employed for six years, says he was caught in the bind because he could not find affordable health insurance.

"At one time, unbeknownst to me, [my wife] even tried to get on the Obamacare website, she wasn't able to do it," he said.

"She got the big runaround that said call this number and she called the toll free number and the people on the other end of the toll free number told her to go back to the website, [and the] website didn't work."

Mack said he is opposed to relying on insurance through the Affordable Care Act.

"I just don’t' want anything to do with that big brother government. And our insurance, our self-pay, has worked for a long time."

Luckily for the Macks, Good Samaritans have come to the rescue, donating money to help them pay their debts through a website called GoFundMe.com, which was set up by friend.

"So many different people have come to our aid," Mack said.

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A retired Arizona lawman says the nation's healthcare system dramatically failed him and his wife - who were hit with bills totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars after they became ill. I've always put money away, several hundred dollars every month for our medical...
Richard Mack, healthcare, bills, fundraising, nightmare, cost, ACA, Obamacare, sheriff
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2015-42-11
Wednesday, 11 Mar 2015 06:42 PM
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