Healthcare providers are now just telling people to start GoFundMe pages, apparently
Here’s a distinctly American story that will shatter your heart and make your blood boil at the same time — a woman suffering from congestive heart failure was denied a heart transplant by administrators at her hospital. Why? Because they don’t feel she has the “secure finances” to pay her $10,000 co-pay.
So they suggested she start a GoFundMe instead.
Hedda Martin is a 60-year-old breast cancer survivor who, according to her son, is now in the throes of heart failure as a result of undergoing aggressive chemotherapy back in 2005. Her heart deteriorated earlier this fall, and she met with a transplant team to figure out a long-term solution to save her life.
Last week, the transplant team sent Martin a letter informing her they won’t consider her for a new heart — or even place her on the transplant list — until she raises the 20% needed for her copay. Which is $10,000.
“Because she needs the funding right away to qualify being put on the transplant list and not lose valuable time, we are asking for anything you may be able to afford,” her son, Alex Britt, writes on the GoFundMe page they were basically forced into creating. “We need to get mom on the heart transplant list. She can go before the transplant team again on March 26, 2019. Please help if you can.”
The letter began making the rounds on Twitter, with many people sharing their outrage of the despicable, heartbreaking situation.
Insurance groups are recommending GoFundMe as official policy – where customers can die if they can’t raise the goal in time – but sure, single payer healthcare is unreasonable.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) November 24, 2018
The American health insurance system. pic.twitter.com/k4Yzd7fAMa
— Impeach the MF💪🌸 (@Brasilmagic) November 24, 2018
So crowdfunding is now an expected aspect of your medical care? We really should start teaching these things in school, right after we teach them how to treat gunshot wounds. god bless america amiright— Paranoid Android (@smartshadeofblu) November 24, 2018
A hospital telling someone to “GoFundMe” their heart transplant. But yeah, sure, Obamacare is the problem. https://t.co/329Q1J6c5D
— Zaki Hasan (@zakiscorner) November 24, 2018
Economic Darwinism at its worst. The American healthcare system is designed to kill and bankrupt the poor and middle class and to benefit the wealthy. There are many words for this. One that comes to mind is: disgusting.— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) November 24, 2018
this god damn vicious country https://t.co/AHYJM3JHXE
— libby watson (@libbycwatson) November 24, 2018
You know you live in a fucked up country when doctors suggest crowd funding to pay for your health care. This is so disgusting. https://t.co/vCtRrE5mQk
— regular anxiety 👑💀 (@Rad_NikkiYVR) November 24, 2018
Spectrum Health, the clinic that sent Martin the letter, offered a statement to Splinter about their decision: “While our primary focus is the medical needs of the patient, the fact is that transplants require lifelong care and immunosuppression drugs, and therefore costs are sometimes a regrettable and unavoidable factor in the decision-making process.”
Martin’s son Alex just wants his mother to have the quality of life she deserves — especially for someone who is only 60 years old with so much more life to live.
“My mom was a single parent and raised me by herself,” he writes. “Ask anyone who knows her and they will tell you she is funny, bright, compassionate, loyal and witty. She loves life. Loves her garden. Loves her antique 1954 Schwinn bicycle. Loves her cats and animal rescue efforts and loves her garden. Mom is someone who you can sit at her kitchen table and coffee and pastry will appear and she will visit with friends all day if that is what is needed.”
You can donate directly to Hedda Martin’s GoFundMe (which has officially exceeded the initial goal of $10,000) here.