Sunday, July 12, 2009

Should Health Insurance Cover Willful Idiocy?

News item: A 45-year-old man in Marlborough, Connecticut knowingly picked up a five-foot timber rattlesnake which he later admitted was “stronger than he expected.” Quelle surprise! The snake bit his hand.

Onlookers called 911, and the man was taken to the hospital by ambulance. How much will that cost? Who pays? We all do, in higher insurance costs.

The man had to be hospitalized for several days. How much will that cost? Who pays? We all do, in higher insurance costs.

But wait, there’s more.

Did the man have to miss work? His employer bears the cost of the lost productivity. Who pays? We do, in the form of higher prices for goods and services from whatever business it is.

A family member decapitated the snake with a shovel. Officials from the state Department of Environmental Protection had to come to take the snake’s mangled body away. How much did that cost? Who pays? We all do, in the form of higher taxes.

Timber rattlesnakes are an endangered species in Connecticut. Is there a fine for killing an endangered animal, especially when it was defending itself from human interference? Snakes are shy, reclusive animals and do not generally bite unless they are cornered or threatened. He could have chased it away, called the DEP, or just left it alone, and it would probably have gone away. This man should be made to pay the maximum fine.

Even the man’s wife said, “He's stuck on stupid." (Darwin Award honorable mention?)

Read it for yourself at

http://www.courant.com/community/marlborough/hc-marlborough-man-rattlesnake-0706,0,1106331.story

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