Many Americans are terrified of ambulances, not because they’re sick or hurt, but because of the potential bill, which could run in the thousands.
On Sunday night, “Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver told the story of a woman whose leg became trapped by a train but begged people not to call an ambulance because she can’t afford it.
“It is a pretty strong indictment of our current healthcare system that that woman’s main concern was getting crushed financially even while she was getting crushed physically,” he said.
Those who work in emergency medical services are often poorly paid and highly stressed, with many agencies begging for donations for everything from food to equipment. Oliver noted that EMS isn’t even considered an essential service in 39 states, so local governments don’t have to provide it.
That, in turn, means EMS has less access to government funding.
“Finding out that EMS is not deemed essential is like finding out that most states don’t consider geese to be birds,” Oliver said. “That’s what they are. They have beaks, wings, feathers, they rain shit from the sky. Sully Sullenberger is their Jeffrey Dahmer. They’re fucking birds. I didn’t realize anyone was even disputing that!”
See his full indictment of the system in the clip below:
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