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Something's been on my mind and I'm going to write about it.

I don't know Eric Skaggs and I'm not aware of his personal situation in life. That said, I'm going to state a personal opinion: It's highly risky and not responsible to go through life, much less participate in endurance sports, without health care insurance.

This is a tough time in our country for health care access. I carried GatorGradCare through the University of Florida as a graduate student, but when that ended I had a two week gap until my Blue Cross kicked in at App State. Buying a bridge policy was not easy or pleasant; I came up with a $1000 deductible plan that excluded all pre-existing conditions. That's where the problem lies - if my back flared, which it did after I flamed out at the Blue Ridge Brutal 100 - all coverage would have been denied in the event I needed another nerve block at the L5/S1. The $5000 procedure would create a huge out-of-pocket hit for my budget and income.

The situation was bad, wrong and unacceptable, but I was aware and cognizant of the situation each hour of each day while my bridge policy was in effect.

For Erik and others, please don't ignore the monster under your bed and run naked without coverage. Debts aren't easily forgiven in the medical system; bill collectors will be at your door for years to come. If finances are tight, consider a catastrophic policy that would kick in for the big medical emergencies...such as renal failure.

Let's all hope and pray that Erik recovers quickly. And let's not lose sight of how we need to protect ourselves and our assets when we choose to embrace this sometimes risky sport.


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