Rachel Sanoff
August 29, 2016 4:39 pm
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After the horrific mass shooting that took place during Latin Night at Orlando LGBT night club Pulse earlier this summer, survivors experienced lengthy hospitalizations and numerous complex surgeries. The price of these life-saving treatments was astronomical — more than most people living in America can afford, and certainly more than many Pulse survivors could afford.

But in an act of empathy and humanity, the two hospitals responsible for treating the nightclub shooting survivors have written off all medical expenses — coming out to approximately $5.5 million dollars in medical bills.

As APlus notes, 44 million American people do not have health insurance — and that includes some survivors of the Pulse shooting.

34-year-old Mario Lopez is an uninsured survivor of the attack who owed approximately $20,000 in medical bills. He told the Orlando Sentinel“I was so worried because I can’t afford any of that… I just went out for a fun night with friends. No one expected this to happen. My life was turned upside down, and then I had to worry about how I was going to pay back the hospital.”

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Families of victims who did not survive after receiving hospital treatment at Orlando Health or Florida Hospital will also not be charged for any of their deceased loved ones’ medical bills. The two hospitals are using state and federal funds, crime victim compensation, donations, and private insurance to pay the millions of dollars owed.

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CEO and President of Orlando Health, David Strong, released a statement to the Orlando Sentinel:

“The Pulse shooting was a horrendous tragedy for the victims, their families and our entire community. During this very trying time, many organizations, individuals and charities have reached out to Orlando Health to show their support. This is simply our way of paying that kindness forward.”

When a devastating tragedy strikes, medical bills should be the last thing on a person’s mind. And in many countries, that is the case. As APlus mentions, the actions taken by Orlando Health and Florida Hospital help us envision what this country would look like with universal healthcare.

We hope that the elimination of this financial burden provides some peace to the survivors and the grieving.

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