Jan 172010
 

I’ve written about Crusher on my blog in the past. He’s the guy that made me seriously question whether I was right for BJJ. I saw him and thought, “Oh crap. I’m in the wrong place!” As is the case with most BJJ guys, though, Crusher is a very cool guy.

When I began training in 2006, he was a brown belt, Coach Foster’s first student to reach that rank (and until recently, his only student). Crusher is a former power lifter… think world’s strongest man. He was built like that, like an oak tree. He was immune to being choked because his neck was only 2″ long and was as big around as my waist.

In the first month or so of training, I paired up with Crusher in sparring. Coach said to him, “He’s new, so teach him some stuff.” So, he promptly rolled me into mount (yes, he pulled mount on me… how demoralizing!), let me work for a bit, then reversed me and passed my guard. Remembering that he’s supposed to be teaching me “some stuff” he says as an afterthought, “Okay. Right here… you’re losing.” :)

Crusher’s real name is Jason McKissack, and until about a year ago, he was a police officer on the Seattle PD. As he tried to break up a fight, he was jumped by the group, including both parties in the fight. Here’s a link to the original article:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2008009370_webcop20m.html

The brain damage he sustained has left his equilibrium completely out of whack. Well, now, because he’s no longer able to serve on the PD, they’re cutting his medical coverage. Since he is no longer a police officer, the only way his family could continue to get medical coverage is if he were killed.

Here’s the link to a video of the story and to the article itself that ran a few days ago locally.

We’ve had 6 officers killed in the line of duty within the last few months and that’s a tragedy. But I know that the families of these slain officers have received an overwhelming display of support, financial and emotional, from the entire community. They did their jobs and the community came through when needed. What really pisses me off about this situation is that Jason says in the article that his family would be better off if he had died. That just sucks. That he survived should be celebrated, not penalized. His family should be better off that he survived, not worse.

There’s a house bill being proposed that would insure that officers injured in the line of duty and unable to return to duty would keep their medical benefits. HB1679 would protect first responders by ensuring catastrophic medical care. Take a look. If you’re in WA, consider letting your State Rep know that it’s important to you. As things stand right now, I believe we’re morally obliged to take care of our first responders. It’s the right thing to do, and this bill does that.

Now, all of that aside, besides the personal interest I have in this story, this also brings up other topical points I’m curious about. What do you guys think?

Regardless of your stance on health care (although if we had single payer, this wouldn’t be an issue), what do you think about the reality that, as it stands, in the case of a medical emergency it’s often better for the family if the person dies than if they live but suffer from a permanent, disabling condition? How would you handle the loss of employment, loss of income and often the loss of medical insurance coupled with enormous personal debt and medical debt wreaks havoc on a family? Divorce is very common, bankruptcy also commonplace and homelessness for the disabled individual is a real possibility if everyone he or she thought was there… suddenly isn’t. “Sorry, honey. I just can’t handle it any more. You’re not the person I married.” Is this an issue for you? Important? Do you guys believe the chips fall where they may… just bad luck? What would happen to you and your families if you were in a car accident or something, could no longer work, lose your medical coverage and wrack up six digit medical bills? Are you prepared?

  9 Responses to “A Friend in Need”

Comments (9)
  1.  

    My thoughts and prayers are with Crusher. Somewhere along the way to certain savage elements among us it has become “ok” to put your hands on a police officer or cause them harm. I’ve read with outrage the violence done to law enforcement in your region and now your friend Crusher. May he heal and may God protect him and his family.

  2.  

    A moving post. Hope Crusher’s family can find a way through it all.
    In the UK, the NHS is much criticised, but at least we have it, and it has helped
    me and my family many times for both minor and major things that went wrong.
    In our so-called civilised modern world, why can’t we as human beings have a social welfare and healthcare system for the benefit of all?

    •  

      I’ve read and heard horror stories about the NHS system in the UK and the single payer system in Canada (just a few hours North of here). But by far, I hear more people who wonder why we’re waiting so long and can’t imagine NOT having their universal care.

      I know that, personally, it’s cheaper for me personally to pay cash than to go through my insurance. The cash rate is $40 per visit. My copay for chiro is $50. Seriously. I’m literally paying a premium to my insurance company AND picking up 100% of the tab at the chiropractor. But at least I have insurance.

      Thanks for the comment!

  3.  

    $50 copay? I don’t think so. And if that’s the case get a new plan.

    The guy was hurt in the line of duty serving the community. He should be taken care of the rest of his life by the department.

    However, lets please not use that as a platform to consider socialist healthcare reform that take away the liberty of choice and at the same time decreases the quality of care. AND fatten the pockets of special interest groups behind closed doors! Give me a million breaks! Im in the trenches of insurance everyday, you don’t want another Medicare or similar program. Trust me it’s a gov’t run, broke system. Private insurance needs improvement but you don’t scrap the whole system! Yes the horror stories just a few hours north of here are true. When I talk to my Canadian colleagues about the proposed system by Dems the laugh. “Good luck with that” they’ll say.

    Thank God Scott Brown won. I think that tells you what the majority of America thinks about this so called reform, and it’s not “spread the wealth”.

    That said my letter on Crusher’s behalf and all the brave men and women who protect us, has been written and sent.

    •  

      Hey Sean. Thanks, as always, for your comments.

      While we don’t agree on healthcare, I can definitely see your points and would enjoy drinking a beer or two and talking it over in greater detail. I don’t tend to post on political topics very often, but I do have opinions and they will leak out from time to time. In this particular case, health care is central to the story, it’s topical and it’s already politicized.

      That said, I referred to single payer, which has nothing to do with what the Dems are doing. My experience with the “free” market is that, where a choice between morality and profit, profit tends to win in the long run. That’s where we’re at now. Peoples’ health is a commodity to be managed for profit.

      A few things that the Dems bill doesn’t have that I believe are critical are rate regulation and caps and repeal of the anti-trust exemptions. What the bill would need is adequate federal regulation, making it illegal for companies to cherry pick their clients through pre-existing condition clauses, an end to lifetime benefit limits and to an insurance company’s ability to drop clients who are simply too expensive. Last time I checked, the Dem bill has none of these things, and adds an unconstitutional mandate that every citizen purchase insurance from a private company. It’s crazy. AND it doesn’t ultimately fix any problems… just creates more.

      So, all of that to say that you and I can agree that the direction that Congress is heading now is the wrong one, even if we disagree on where we should be headed.

  4.  

    I find this disturbing and reprehensible by the department that they would even consider not taking care of him and his family. Utterly shameful! :( The managers/chief/etc., in charge should be ashamed that they are behaving in such a manner!

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