Alex Chilton Was Uninsured At The Time Of His Death

06/09/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Alex Pareene highlights a sad footnote in the long and loving profile of recently-deceased Big Star frontman Alex Chilton that ran in the April 7 edition of the New Orleans Times-Picayune -- he was one of the nation's many citizens without health insurance.

At least twice in the week before his fatal heart attack, Chilton experienced shortness of breath and chills while cutting grass. But he did not seek medical attention, Kersting said, in part because he had no health insurance.

On the morning of March 17, she went to work. Chilton called her after suffering another episode; she arrived home before the ambulance, and drove him to the hospital. He lost consciousness a block from the emergency room, after urging Kersting to run the red light.

Naturally, it would have been unreasonable for Chilton to have been the beneficiary of access to state-funded health care coverage simply because he had some sort of long and distinguished career that left a lasting and important influence on American culture, right?

Pareene has his own piece on the late Alex Chilton. Reading it would be a really nice thing to do on a Friday afternoon, so go do that. We'll keep you posted when they pay tribute to Chilton's legacy at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans (ha, I'm kidding).

Alex Chilton Commemorated By Rep. Steve Cohen (VIDEO)

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