Huffpost Politics

Someone Might Have Died Because They Were Afraid Of How Much Calling 911 Would Cost

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EMERGENCY ROOM
Frank Pedrick via Getty Images

Living without health insurance can be a scary situation. What's even scarier is when you know you have a health problem, and fear what it will cost to save your life.

NewsOk.com tells the story of Allen, a 53-year-old Norman, Okla. man who died alone in his apartment. Heart attack and heart troubles were among the suspected causes, but according to the report, a neighbor claims he was afraid to call 911 because of how much it might cost to go to the emergency room.

As told by Allen's neighbor, Lori, to NewsOk.com:

“Why didn’t you call 911?” Lori asked him.

“I don’t have insurance,” he told her.

She told him that didn’t matter, that he could go get help.

“If I die, I die,” he told her.

Allen's story emerges alongside a May study showing emergency room visits are jumping as Obamacare kicks in. According to the American College of Emergency Physicians survey of 1,800-plus emergency room doctors in April 2014, 46 percent reported increases in the number of patients they received since Obamacare took effect in January.

A separate May Gallup study shows the percentage of Americans without health insurance is at its lowest since the polling firm started tracking that data in 2008. Recent figures show 13.4 percent of Americans were without health insurance in April, marking almost a five-percent decrease since the third quarter of 2013.

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