Uninsured 22-Year-Old Boehner Constituent Dies From Swine Flu

Posted by TheLCster

Kimberly Young

Kimberly Young

This story really hit home for me. I am one of the uninsured 24 year-old college students mentioned in the study. With so many people uninsured, what is going to happen this fall and winter with the H1N1 flu? Someone needs to ask Boehner about that.

ThinkProgress/Victor Zapanta—A 22-year-old woman from Oxford, Ohio, died from swine flu on Wednesday. Kimberly Young graduated from Miami University in December and continued to live in Oxford, Ohio, within Minority Leader John Boehner’s congressional distrct. Reports now indicate that after initially getting sick, Young put off treatment because she was uninsured:

Young became ill about two weeks ago, but didn’t seek care initially because she didn’t have health insurance and was worried about the cost, according to Brent Mowery, her friend and former roommate. […]

On Tuesday, Sept. 22, Young’s condition suddenly worsened and her roommate drove her to McCullough Hyde Memorial Hospital in Oxford, where she was flown in critical condition to University Hospital in Cincinnati.

“That’s the most tragic part about it. If she had insurance, she would have gone to the doctor,” Mowery said.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 30 percent of 19-24 year olds are uninsured, more than any other group. Despite the conservative argument that young people are voluntarily refusing health coverage in favor of extra spending money, the reality is that high costs on the individual market put coverage out of reach. As Suzy Khimm notes at Campus Progress, young people “are far more likely to be working part-time or lower-paying jobs for employers who don’t offer coverage”:



Filed under Education, Medicine, Partisan Politics, Politics, Republicans, Uncategorized

22 responses to “Uninsured 22-Year-Old Boehner Constituent Dies From Swine Flu

  1. audiegrl

    This really makes me angry. I think someone should ask John Boehner about this young ladies death?

    This is going to be a really deadly flu season for the uninsured. The elected Republican officials (who BTW already have insurance) think we need to slow down and wait. Maybe they would like to explain that to this poor girls family.

    For me, this unnecessary death is as significant and as the death of Neda was to Iranian protesters.

    RIP Kimberly…

  2. bassackwards

    This is a very sad story… because last time I was in the emergency room I specifically asked the person admitting my wife what do you do with people that can’t pay. She said we are legally bound to treat them.

    Before I pass judgement on Boehner, it might be nice to know some things. Does his state have any kind of assistance for those in medical need if they are low income? Mine does. The problem is people don’t bother to check with the state and find out about this stuff. Some people just aren’t sharp enough to know how to find out, but some just expect it to get dropped in their lap.

    So this is an extremely sad story, but until I did a little bit more fact checking, I don’t plan on playing the blame game.

    • audiegrl

      From what I could find, the stats for Ohio are as follows:

      Ohioans saw the ranks of uninsured climb to 1.3 million, or an average of 11.6 percent of the state’s population for 2007-2008. This was an increase from 1.2 million, or an average of 10.7 percent, in 2005-2006.

      I see what you are trying to say, because I heard Rep. Eric Cantor tell the same thing to a crying woman at a health care Townhall. In other words, fend for yourself. But that’s a whole different topic.

      The reason that this is such a big problem with H1N1, is that the disease appears like a common flu or cold. So most people that get it will not go to the doctor (especially the uninsured) and will try to treat H1N1 at home. They will continue to treat it at home and go to work, thus spreading it to more people.

      In fact that is exactly what happened to this poor girl, she was not taken to the emergency room for over a week, and by then it was too late.

      So the real problem is that if she had insurance she would have been more likely to go to the doctor right away.

      As she was a graduate from college, I doubt your statement about her not being sharp enough to find out if she could get treated by some state charity.

      To me, if John Boehner’s constituents need health care and don’t know what is available to them, then as their elected official, Boehner should at least take steps to make sure the people in Ohio know what is available to them. That is his job. I’m sure that if Jennifer was his daughter, he would make sure she had all the information she needed.

  3. bassackwards

    The stats are great, but that still doesn’t answer the question. Does the state offer any program that might have covered her? Most people don’t know and don’t ever know until something really bad happens and they are forced to figure it out. For example, I can’t understand how people walk around with no health care at all. In my state (and I know this varies from state to state) you can walk in to your local State Farm agency and have catastrophic health care policy for less than what you are paying for a cell phone bill.

    Obviously, this does NOTHING to change the situation for this person, but if I didn’t have insurance I’d try and explore all the options and if nothing else, get the catastrophic policy if available.

    If nothing else, Boehner should ensure that any programs that might benefit his constituents without insurance are not buried in the state web site etc.

    • audiegrl

      Please feel free to do your own research on the topic of getting healthcare in Ohio if you have no insurance. Then we can all see it. Also, please find out what states have the same easy State Farm solution that you described, I’m sure all the readers will appreciate that info and it might actually help someone. 🙂

      As this girl lived in Boehner’s congressional district, I would think that he should be acting on this and making sure this never happens to another person in Ohio, rather than leaving the discussion and research up to bloggers like us. Or issuing a statement or forming a task force, or something, anything, that shows he cares that this tragedy happened in his own state and district.

      Again, this is his job. This is what we pay him for.

      This story is heart-breaking, and I’m sure if she knew it could be fatal (and not just a normal flu) she would have taken additional steps to get treated, regardless of whether she had insurance or not. But that’s the diabolical nature of H1N1, it starts out like a regular cold, and a week later you can be dead. What a waste of a life.

  4. bassackwards

    You’re right. This is a heart breaking story. Nobody should die from the flu.

    I believe the reason the catastrophic health insurance option is available (where you can just walk in and buy real time) in my state is because we have a no pre-existing condition clause.

    Hopefully, that will be part of any federal bill that is drafted. Enjoy your blog.

    • audiegrl

      I was asking for a personal reason, I have a couple of young friends that are uninsured, so I was asking for them, and anyone else who reads this blog. 🙂 One of the things I heard mentioned in one of the zillion bills floating around, is a provision to extend insurance for kids on their parents existing policies. Our daughter fell off last year when she turned 23. I wasn’t surprised to read that the 19-24 age group is 30% uninsured. For kids like my daughter, they fall through the college-grad school loop hole. So they end up being uninsured for a couple of years. I hope the new bill will help these kids.

      Glad you like the blog, we all enjoy a good discussion and try to post some interesting topics 🙂

  5. Amy

    This is seriously disgusting. Not Boehner — you people. A poor girl dies from a rare sickness and you blame a politician who EXPLICITLY supports ways of making our health care system better? But because he doesn’t think government jerkoffs like himself can do it, you somehow blame HIM for her death? Take a reality check, people — you not only sound demented, you’ve let politics infect the very fabric of your being. And it’s disgusting.

    • “government jerkoffs like himself ”

      so much name calling Amy…

      and I hardly know you 😉

    • “a politician who EXPLICITLY supports ways of making our health care system better?”

      please give examples, links and specifics of what you assert.

      I can’t find any from this Rep. Boehner. that qualify as “ways of making our health care system better”

    • audiegrl

      I love responding to any one who creatively uses ‘seriously disgusting’ and ‘you people’ in the same sentence. 🙂

      As long as this site exists we will continue to ask questions and hold our elected officials accountable for the things that we are paying them to do. Like looking out for the people in their own congressional districts.

      At no time did the diaries poster TheLCster, or anyone who commented on this needless death, (me & bassackwards), shown anything other than respect and grief for this young woman’s life, and for her family.

      If Rep. Boehner always ‘EXPLICITLY supports ways of making our health care system better’ as you say. Please show us a statement or any mention from him or his staff where they have talked about this poor young woman’s death and how he plans to make sure this never happens again.

      Boehner and his party promised a month ago to show the new Republican health care plan. To date all I have heard is crickets… and excuses that we need to slow this process down.

      As bassackwards and I discussed earlier in the thread, at the very least, this should be a wake up call for Boehner that he needs to do more to inform the people in his district and his state of the different health care alternatives and emergency measures that are available in the state of Ohio.

      So, if anyone commenting on this thread needs to get a reality check and stop acting in a disgusting manner, it is you Amy.

      The 44Diaries is a place where all view points and discussion are welcome. Hell, we encourage it. But hyperbolic and over-the-top comments like yours will always be met with distain, which is all that they deserve.

    • lastly, you say:

      “A poor girl dies from a rare sickness ”

      it ain’t rare at all. Sanjay Gupta of CNN just recovered from Swine Flu…

      It’s a potential pandemic.

      The point is this poor girl had no insurance, we are fighting to make sure that never happens again, Amy.

    • buellboy

      I say , I say and I say it again Amy you’ve been had! Hoodwinked! Led astray! Intermingled in your half hearted defense of this poor girl who died needlessly, you take up for the politician? Not sure if you noticed this so called debate on health care has nothing to do with health care any longer. It’s about the politics you claim everyone else is talking. Careful Amy when you point the finger of blame there’s always 3 other fingers pointing back at you!

  6. Amy

    You haven’t seen anything from him that YOU like because he doesn’t support a government run health care system. Go to any of his websites (healthcare.gop.gov), listen to any of his interviews — it isn’t a matter of not wanting reform, it’s a matter of opposing putting government bureaucrats in charge. Clearly your version of holding officials accountable, however, is holding them “accountable” for not supporting your leftist view of the world. And of using a young girl’s tragic death as a bludgeon. Pathetic.

    • No Amy, I haven’t seen anything at all from Bohner, except saying NO to everything anyone with a D next to their name has suggested. If you have an example of something Bohner has proposed please post it here and give a link to the documentation, I’d love to be proven wrong.

    • Amy says: “You haven’t seen anything from him that YOU like because he doesn’t support a government run health care system.”

      Amy, Boehner is IN A GOVERNMENT HELTH PLAN…
      as are all members of congress and AL VETERANS and EVERYONE on Medicare… these plans actually work.

      Amy, I would submit to you that in this case maybe private Insurance companies that deny treatment and cancel policies due to illness are the ones that will do you harm.

      The government is US, you and me.

      congressional health plan:

      “Congress’s Own Health Plan As A Model For Medicare Reform”


    • Audiegrl


      Please tell me that you are not blaming ‘leftist views on this blog for using this needless death as a bludgeon?

      If you want to see an example of ‘right-wing Elected officials’ using a woman’s tragic medical condition as a political bludgeon…I just have two words for you…Terry Schiavo

      In fact the far right-wing fringe Teabbags are still using this poor woman’s image for their political quackery signs in Washington on 9/12, even though she has been dead for 4 years. SMDH

  7. Amy

    And by the way, you said it’s been X number of says since Republicans were supposed to have a bill. Um, Democrats are in charge — and they still have no single bill. And it’s been more than 100 days since Republicans asked the President for a meeting to talk health care. Why won’t the President meet with them? Blaming guys who don’t run Congress or the White House – and using this girl’s death to do it – is, again, pathetic.

  8. thelcster

    well i tried to leave my opinions out of this for a while but i have to say, i thought this was a pretty simple case of someone in need of help not getting it and they unfortunately passed away. while i’m glad everyone has their own opinions on the matter, i think all of our opinions have come far too late for this young woman. so keep up the good posting, and sometimes bickering, but we need to fix this health care issue now.

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