July 24th, 2009
12:23 PM ET
11 years ago

King: Uninsured 23-year-old battles leukemia, medical bills

 A nurse takes blood from Gregory Rose, who has leukemia.

A nurse takes blood from Gregory Rose, who has leukemia.

ARLINGTON, Texas (CNN) - To begin with, Gregory Rose didn't have health insurance. Plus, it was finals week. So his first instinct was to ignore the pain.

A walk across his apartment convinced him otherwise.

"My hip was like on fire, grinding" is how he recalled the morning seven months ago that changed everything. "I know pain, and I've never felt that kind of pain before," Rose said.

At the hospital, a blood test with startling results: a dramatically elevated white blood cell count. He had leukemia, at 23.

Rose had no health insurance because he was too old to be covered on his parents' policy and too young and seemingly healthy to think he needed it.

So count Rose among the estimated 47 million Americans who lack health insurance, and as a resident of a state with the highest percentage of uninsured: Nearly one in four Texans do not have health coverage.

Full story

Filed under: Health care • State of the Union
soundoff (83 Responses)
  1. LLM in MD

    let me fix my typos....

    WE ARE OVER DUE FOR A PUBLIC OPTION!! I STAND WITH YOU MR. PRESIDENT!! At least you are attempting to fullfil your promise to help those who need care. I HATE hearing republicans say we have the BEST healthcare in the world–this doesn't mean it's the BEST!!

    July 24, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  2. Gary, Indiana

    This is NOT true. There are insurance policies for students. And, as long as a student is able to carry certain amount of credits in college, they can continue to be insured under their parents' policy.

    July 24, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  3. Josh

    This guy felt he was too young and healthy to need insurance. The story did not say he could not afford it. He made the conscious decision not to spend money on insurance. That is the beauty of this country (at least until now): we have the freedom to spend our money however we choose (mostly). By imposing a public "option," and by "option" I'm using that term very loosely, that choice is taken away and you will have to pay for insurance via higher taxes. Long live liberty.

    July 24, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  4. Brandy

    Excuse me. Doesn't every state have medicaid or something like that? They do here. No one is DENIED medical care at the hospital I work for. Period. Apply for medicaid or aid that is already in place.

    July 24, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  5. Roger

    I wonder what Michael Steele has to say about this. How about this? Gregory, since I don't know or use my healthcare, I'll give it to you. You seem to need it more than I do.

    July 24, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  6. KG, Twin Cities

    I sincerley hope Gregory Rose get better.

    July 24, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  7. Berda

    My heart and prayers go out to this young man and to the thousands with similar stories. To me, this is a national disgrace. We want to be the LEADER of the free world, but we can't/won't take care of our own. What's equally appalling is the simple answer to the problem. Look at the other national healthcare programs around the world. Pinpoint the weakness and FIX THEM!!!!! Get a Think Tank together of efficiency experts, healthcare providers, business people , whoever necessary and work out the kinks. I refuse to believe it cannot be done. This is America – we can do whatever we put our minds to.

    July 24, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  8. Stacey California

    I agree with you Melissa @ July 24th, 2009 12:52pm ET

    if we don't get a handle on our illegal situation, the new healthcare plan will be compromised. Unfortunately, and yes empathetically, but they have pretty much highly contributed to our almost bankrupted existing social services. Since, they don't have insurance, they rely on emergency rooms for assistance/care. And guess who front the bill. As part of the problem, here in CA they will be cutting medicaid drastically. I don't understand why Bush admin did not resolve the nation's immigration problem, esp after terror attacks. I guess this was too domestic for them.

    July 24, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
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