Local News

Having insurance 'going to be like Christmas'

Posted March 22, 2010

— Uninsured Triangle residents said Monday that they eagerly await the overhaul of the nation's health care system.

"It's just going to be like Christmas," said DeCarlo Flythe, who lost health coverage for his family when he was laid off almost three years ago. "It's going to be great. You know, no worries (about) the bills. We are going to go ahead and pay our co-pay and be alright."

Patient checked at Walltown Clinic in Durham Job losses left many people uninsured

Flythe, a diabetic, said he checked into buying a policy for his family, but he couldn't afford it. He recently landed another job, but the new benefits haven't kicked in yet.

"I worry day to day, honestly," he said. "I pray to make sure my child or my wife don't' get sick because, if they go to the hospital, we are looking at a couple of thousand (dollars in bills)."

Flythe was among the patients Monday at the Walltown Clinic, a joint program of Duke University and Lincoln Community Health Center that serves the low-income neighborhoods near Duke's campus. The clinic serves 3,000 to 4,000 patients a year – 80 percent don't have health insurance – and charges co-pays based on what patients can afford.

"People will come in and say, 'I suddenly don't have a job. I've lost my insurance. Can you help me?'" said Kaity Granda, a physician's assistant at the clinic.

Norman Rucker said he hasn't had health insurance in almost 10 years because his employers haven't offered it.

"I'm not a person who gets sick a lot, so I didn't think I'd need any medicine," said Rucker, who racked up about $100,000 in hospital bills over that period by going to the emergency room whenever he needed care. "I'm trying to pay them off. Collection agencies call me all the time."

Rucker's wife has insurance, but the couple couldn't afford to put him on the policy. Now, he's excited he may also have coverage because of health care reform.

"It'll make the world better. It'll make us all better, actually," he said.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • stanleycustom Mar 24, 2010

    What a maroon, he doesn't realize Christmas won't be here for four years. Looks like another 45,000 per year will die for the next four years. So much for health care.

  • dlb800 Mar 24, 2010

    Look people... we need to get together and force these people out of congress. Let's take back this country!

    As for those who 'like' and 'support' healthcare. How do you expect this to be paid for? This country is in severe debt. This healthcare bill is definitely not going to save money, nor is it paid for. It's not going to reduce the deficit.
    Think about it. How can you add 34,000,000 people to health insurance, and not increase the deficit.

  • Deb1003 Mar 24, 2010

    It's estimated that the true cost of insurance premiums will increase by 10-13%. There is no Cap on how much insurance companies can charge. Therefore, even if you have insurance, there's no guarantee it won't jump considerably over the next several years. Why do you think the insurance company stock prices rose right after Obama signed the bill? They are going to make out like bandits, no cost controls were implemented, all citizens will be req'd to have health insurance.

  • Clover Mar 23, 2010

    hardwork919, I can see that colliedave already answered my question:

    "most of these individuals will be earning far less than 88K and will far short of paying for their insurance coverage and the rest will be covered by the gobberment much less the costs of their health care"


    They may end up paying the fines, but we'll be paying for most of their care. Plus they'll be receiving a plethora of new government hand-outs not even associated with health care.

    Guess this sounds like hardwork919 is also for amnesty.

    No surprise there!

  • mcjenny50 Mar 23, 2010

    Just like Christmas! Reminds me of the lady that was interviewed and talked about how she wasn't going to have to worry about gas for her car or her mortgage because Obama was "going to take care of us." When asked where the money was coming from she said she "didn't know - Obama. Obama money I guess." I guess obamacare is being paid for by Santa.

  • tw1970 Mar 23, 2010

    Who is John Galt?

  • Joe Messenger Mar 23, 2010

    Let us question his credibility and degrade this person. Anyone in a trouble, it is that person's fault.

    We as a society shouldn't care for anyone, If someone get into trouble then he must have done something wrong.

    People getting sick after losing job is completely their fault, The person must be lazy and have un-healthy habit and got sick.

    I have highly educated friend with good experience, He got laid of last year and his wife was expecting their second child, He struggled to find the job and for insurance need to use the COBRA (The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, signed into law by President Ronald Reagan).

    I told my friend that how it was his fault for all his trouble and told him that COBRA is "Govt interference" in his life, He agreed with me.

    Can we repeal this COBRA too with the current HCR Bill?

  • yak56 Mar 23, 2010

    If the Lawyers we not so greedy, the insurance companies would be less of an issue. Beyond that, if obama was not such a power hungry man, we might have a chance. But, he has the power and money to get his way. With or without our vote!

  • mwothe Mar 23, 2010


    I don't recall the story mentioning anyone's ancestry or race. Perhaps YOU are making that assumption. Sounds like the implied racism you complain about is in your mirror looking back at you. Wow, how typical.

  • corey3rd Mar 23, 2010

    Remind me again how "you people" paid for invading Iraq? Or the billions spent in Afghanistan to keep that country rolling in opium? Where did that money come from? Where did those billions disappear to? You people invaded a country while raiding the treasury. Not to mention all the billions stolen by Goldman Sachs.

    Where is that money? Who is paying for a decade in Iraq and Afghanistan on what was supposed to be a in and out operation?

    Bankrupt a nation? You started it.