She Was 'in Agony,' Still Tried to Call Off Ambulance

Woman injured on subway reportedly said 'I have terrible insurance'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2018 7:51 AM CDT
Subway Injury Platform Prompts Health Care Debate
Seen here is a subway platform in the UK.   (Getty Images/coldsnowstorm)

A woman riding the subway in Boston got her leg stuck between the platform and a train Friday, prompting a pricey ambulance ride and setting off a healthcare debate. The 45-year-old woman, who has not been identified, stepped into a 5-inch gap as she got off the Orange Line at Massachusetts Avenue station around 5:30pm, reports the Boston Herald. Per ABC News, dozens of people then helped push and rock the train until the woman could get her leg out. "It was twisted and bloody. Skin came off. She's in agony and weeping," Boston Globe reporter Maria Cramer tweeted from the scene. Per CNN, the woman couldn't walk or stand from a cut on her left thigh, deep enough to expose bone, but pressed bystanders not to call an ambulance. "It's $3000," she said, according to Cramer. "I can't afford that."

Cramer later reported an ambulance ride for a person with her injuries costs about $1,200. But the woman "made it a point to say 'you don't understand, I have terrible insurance,'" a witness tells CNN. "Everyone just kept saying don't worry about that, you need medical help." The woman eventually went with EMTs to Boston Medical Center following a recommendation for surgery. While it's unclear what her medical bills will total, the New York Times editorial board sees a clear problem. This case is "one you might expect to see in an impoverished country" and suggests "far too many of America's politicians have placed too little value on the well-being of its citizens," the board writes, citing a 2010 study that found hospital costs were 60% higher in the US than in 12 other countries. (More health care stories.)

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