Insured Sponsorship - Make Sure You Are Covered

Nov 25, 2015
by Danielle Baker  
Mark Mathews 2013 RedBull Rampage in Virgin Utah

During practice for the 2013 Red Bull Rampage, Mark Matthews hit Gee Atherton's epic gap from the previous year. He had a shady run-in and a bit of wind knocked him straight into the rock ledge with fairly devastating consequences. Mark compound fractured his femur, breaking it in two places just below his hip. Transported to the hospital in Salt Lake City, Mark underwent surgery - and that was when the real battle began for him.

Mark Matthews busted off more rock than any pick axe has done this week at Rampage. He went down hard and has a broken femur. Carried off to Salt Lake we are all bummed to see him go down like he did. Heal up soon Mark
  Mark Matthews busted off more rock than any pick axe during his crash. He went down hard and broke his femur. He was transported to the hospital Salt Lake for surgery.

Before leaving for Rampage, Mark had purchased travel medical insurance for his trip. It was after amassing close to $40,000 in medical bills that he found out his insurance would not cover him. Over the last three years, and with the support of his sponsors and community, Mark has held fundraisers in order to raise the money to pay off his debt. Knolly, iXS, Smith Optics, Chromag, SR Suntour, Dissent Labs, Spank, Camelbak, and others all stepped up to help out and now Mark can add a new sponsor to his list; Northman Insurance.

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Mark Matthew s didn t go the way he planned. With a shady run in and a bit of wind it knocked hip straight into the rock ledge of Gee s gap from last year.
  Mark suffered a brutal compound fracture to his femur.

bigquotesI feel very grateful to have partnered with Northman. They are such a unique company and their support gives me the piece of mind that I will never run into medical debt again. That takes a huge weight off my shoulders. - Mark Matthews

Northman Insurance provides insurance for extreme sports and adventure sports; international travel coverage, life insurance, income replacement, and custom solutions built to fit their clients' needs. Isaac Allen, the President of Northman Insurance, says, "we are looking to reach adventure sport athletes and eliminate gaps in current insurance offerings." It was his wife who discovered Mark's story and identified him as the perfect example of their target market, "[he is] a dude just living for the sport and riding hard." Mark's experience with discovering he wasn't covered by his insurance after a massive injury is exactly the type of situation that Isaac is hoping to negate with his company. But aside from his story, Isaac says of Mark, "he is a totally rad soul who is super humble and hard working, a perfect fit for Northman. We sponsored Mark so that he could have one less thing to worry about and he could get out and ride."

Mark Matthews

It is quite uncommon for an insurance company to sponsor an athlete as they are rarely interested in a single client, but Isaac's approach is unique in the fact that he wants to spend time with his clients and learn from them. He feels that using individual experiences and needs will help Northman to build a better coverage program. He is focused on building a program for each client as opposed to trying to fit the client's needs into existing, and somewhat restrictive, policies.

When selecting coverage for competing in out-of-country mountain bike events there are some bold exclusions like, 'no pro athletes' or 'no mountain biking downhill', but the ones that are hidden away can cause the most problems. Isaac advises that rider's always read the fine print on their policies and to ask the carrier to send an email confirmation that the coverage is exactly what you need it for; have them state that the specific contest or exact mountain you are heading to ride is covered. It is important to be as specific as possible when describing the coverage you need and to make sure that you get everything in writing.


Many companies won't insure professional athletes in sports like mountain biking, especially not for competitions where cash prizes are involved, but that is exactly why Northman Insurance now exists. "No one is offering a good solution, so we decided we would," says Isaac. It hasn't been easy, it's a very complex system and has taken the company two years in underwriting to build the right kind of coverage, but it has been worth it from Isaac's point of view; "we love mountain biking and the athletes in the sport. We want to not only solve the insurance needs but really help get the sport sorted when it comes to risk management."

Builder Movie

An Update from Mark:

"The online fundraiser I launched earlier this year made me $5000 USD. I used that money to pay off ambulance bills and physiotherapy expenses, but I still have a long way to go before that gigantic surgery bill disappears. I am still accepting donations to my PayPal account: Financial burdens aside, I am feeling 100% on the bike again and am back to progressing my riding. I would rather see any donations go to someone who needs them more than me. Paul Basagoitia is a legend who needs our support right now, we are all one big mountain bike family, send something his way."

Donate to Paul here.

MENTIONS: @mmatthews / @dbaker


  • 172 23
 Red bull should pay off the rest... For both of them
  • 57 15
 Redbull simply can't because that would then bring an argument for any past riders that had big injuries and it would uprise a whole big argument than there already is.
  • 89 23
 Alternatively ibishreddin, Red Bull can pony up the cash for all of them. A company that can afford to spend $642'460'000 (the actual figure for 2015) per year on two Formula 1 teams can afford every single pro athlete it's ever sponsored or was wounded at one of 'their' events' medical bills in the entirety twenty times over. They simply choose not to because they think they can get away with it.
  • 12 43
flag hardtailfreerider93 (Nov 25, 2015 at 12:36) (Below Threshold)
 boo hoo then they can fucking pay for all existing injuries they are worth over 5 BILLION!
  • 58 72
flag yakimonti (Nov 25, 2015 at 12:37) (Below Threshold)
 @mtbdude562 that is the biggest bullshit statement of the year. Only an American would say that. Did he choke on a Redbull soda? No, he entered a competition at his own will. So annoying to think Redbull OR any race promoter is responsible for athletes insurance.
  • 34 1
 @yakimonti whoa, easy there killer, I saw a ton of non american's say things like that when Paul got hurt this year. It simply doesn't work that way, and I agree with you, but don't lump all American's into one shitty category, i've seen many different flags make that comment.
  • 27 0
 Wouldn't it be pretty simple to require appropriate insurance for anyone competing in the event? Not saying Redbull should pick up the full tab, but c'mon, it's just a recipe for disaster.
  • 22 1
 @yakimonti that's like saying all Canadians don't care about the the environment as Victoria (surrounding municipality of 350,000) sends raw sewage into puget sound!
  • 10 2
 @yakimonti red bull is making money off of every person who is competing in rampage so it would be fair for them to give some protection for putting their bodies in the line to benefit red bull
  • 10 0
 @yakimonti your statement proves that painting with a broad brush isn't cool. I didn't think a Canadian could be that ignorant, but there you are! People have opinions all over the world. Redbull can't pay for everyone's injuries, though that would be nice. Requiring proper insurance can be a step they take though, and should be considered.
  • 15 7
 It's not Red Bull's responsibility to manage risk or liability for riders. If they're concerned about safety, as they should be, they should have their own insurance coverage. What kind of litigious a*shole do you have to be to make personal choices a corporate responsibility? Red Bull doesn't even dictate the course these guys ride... and no one is forcing them to ride.
  • 3 0
 Every athlete in any professional sport knows there is risk. And is willing to take that risk for the win, glory, and the respect of their peers. Granted every other sport has rules and safety regulations. But, How lame would Rampage be if the riders were limited to a certain length for drops and jumps. Like as my example being The NFL shortening the length on kickoffs to close the gap to reduce the speed of there collisions between players.
  • 3 0
 Going to grad school next year to continue my philosophy studies and this topic would make a decent topic for a moral/ethics paper =)~ It would be interesting because part of me doesn't think Red Bull should have to pay jack or shit, and another part of me thinks they should kick some support his way.
  • 6 0
 I have two opinions on this whole subject. First is that I think it might be unrealistic to think that redbull could simply insurefor the entire event, and still have the contest as it exists today. Even if you could find a company to underwrite something like that (or if redbull self insured it), once a third party takes on liability the door opens for all kinds of restrictions on what the riders can do. If the riders want to build whatever they want and ride it however they want, they have to be responsible for themselves. No one wants a contest where some insurance company rep or redbull can step in and tell a rider his drop is too big or a trick is too dangerous.

Second, I still think the finger needs to be pointed more at these riders individual sponsors than redbull. Redbull simply invites riders. This idea that riders are risking their lives for Redbull is ridiculous. No one is doing this for the benefit of a company that's not paying them. I agree that riders should be fairly compensated and provided adequate insurance but it's the riders individual sponsors that they are riding for and representing out there, and who gains the most from what they do. It's these companies that want thier riders getting the exposure Rampage provides. Many of the top competitors like Zink, Aggy, and Sorge etc are even out there wearing the logos of Redbull's main competition. If there is any corporate sponsor pressure on these guys it's going to come from thier own individual sponsors not Redbull. It's these companies with direct financial investment in these guys. It's these companies that people should be looking too. They are the ones who should be providing the travel money, insurance etc.
  • 6 4
 Not this stupid BS again...
  • 3 0
 But think about the precedent that would set. You really need to think about the ramifications here. Sure it seems easy enough for a company to do the right thing just this once... but the next thing you know, people will start expecting companies to do the right thing over and over.
  • 1 0
 What's wrong with just requiring the insurance? They don't have to provide it, but even as an example to other people riding to be safe and look out for yourself as best you can when being totally unsafe and risking your meat.
  • 1 0
 ^ It is required to participate in any FMB event including Rampage.......
  • 1 0
 Thanks, apparently ignorant to finer details!
  • 90 7
 Is it just me, or US Health care system along with Insurance companies are worse than in 3rd world countries? Travel insurance?! I pay equivalent of 150$ a year for "permanent body injury" insurance from a private company,on top of national work insurance which covers my eventual inability to work (must work and pay it for 2 years in a row) on top of excellent set of National Health Care insurances coming by default when paying taxes, including life insurance and provisions for my family in case of becoming disabled or deceased. I am not taking it for granted by any means, I appreciate it greatly, but WTF is wrong your country people?!
  • 19 0
Most third world countries have some sort of national health care in place.
  • 21 1
 Insurance companies make mad amounts of profit every year... greed really controls the majority of businesses
  • 37 10
 Insurance companies are really good at making money. We love them. Our country was founded by dudes who were into making money. Like, totally super into it. HYPED on it! Please don't ever be surprised when we fold, spindle, mutilate, or enslave you in our pursuit of more moolah. Trump 4 Prez.
  • 25 2
 The US health care system is a joke. Obama care was to make health care affordable and it still cost over 500 a month for my wife and I to get coverage. You might say that isn't terrible but it doesn't cover anything. The coverage only kicks in once you put out $10, 000. What a joke.
  • 2 2
 In what private company do you have that insurance Waki?
  • 9 27
flag judgerider348 (Nov 25, 2015 at 13:12) (Below Threshold)
 The problem is when the system was designed they did not take into account that people would be mooching off of it and just be lazy fu..s. If everyone put in their fair share it would work fine. Not everyone does and it is definately getting worse. There are more and more people at the bottom not contributing. The only reason it works in other countries like Canada is because there isn't a giant vacuum from society ripping it off. Everyone works in those countries and system will help if you are in need.
  • 18 2
 The US health care system is a cesspool of greed. Between pharma raking us over the coals for drugs that cost them pennies on the dollar and the health insurance companies/hospitals(many hospitals are owned by health insurance companies) arbitrarily charging patients differently depending on how powerful their insurance company is makes for a class based health system. There is a list each hospital uses that lists the costs for every procedure/service. The more powerful the insurance company the better they can dictate the costs on the list. If you are uninsured then you are charged the maximum amount, if you have cheap insurance then they haggle over the list and get you discounts compared to the uninsured patient. If you have good insurance then you pay the least because good insurance companies can dictate the costs due to their clout in the health care system. The difference of costs between the uninsured and the well insured can be staggering. And that is just one example of how broken the system has become. If only Congress would have passed the single payer health system first proposed by Obama we would have health insurance at least somewhat similar to the leading democracies in Europe.
  • 17 2
 What a load of sh*t to think that the US has a higher proportion of "lazy people" or whatever that are making the whole system expensive. All countries have lazy people and freeloaders. The US just hasn't found a way to make it work.
  • 7 2
 Since we'll never agree to pay higher taxes/single payer let's look at our current system. We in the US spend A LOT on healthcare (nearly 20% of GDP). What's happening now is the market, payers and providers, are working to correct for those with higher utilization, much like homeowners and auto insurance has done. The industry is shifting to put more responsibility on patients with the hypothesis that the patient will make better choices on where to get care and how they care for themselves. In other words, if you use more healthcare and are more risky, you pay more. As technology gets better we'll end up with things like pricing transparency which will hopefully help drive competition among providers. Think about shopping for a procedure is like going on Amazon. Or, maybe none of this will happen because of Obama/Trump/ISIS/Syria/Kim Davis/Republicans.
  • 21 1
 in 3rd world countries we don't sue the doctors for everything
  • 4 0
 I'm from The Netherlands and I thought we had/have a pretty good insurance system here. But it doesn't cover everything you thought it does. I have health insurance and travel insurance which supposedly covers sports activities, or so does it say in the fine print. So off I went for the Megavalanche Alpe d'Huez once and during the training week, I saw all those helicopters continuously going on and off lifting injured riders off the hill. A few years prior an ambulance van once had to pick me up after a crash and even though it was covered, I was still impressed by the bill for just the ambulance. About the price of a fancy rear shock. Don't want to know what the helicopter should cost! So I checked with my riding buddies at the Mega and they recommended to better check with my insurance company whether I was actually covered to be lifted off the mountain should the need arise. A quick call revealed "You're going to ride your bike down a gletcher? That's no sports activity, that's extreme sports and we won't cover that. Just the hospital bill and the ambulance van." That very same week I purchased an insurance right there in Alpe d'Huez, just to be safe for this kind of stuff.

So there are probably more companies offering this kind of insurance. I recall there used to be an add in the older Dirt (UK) magazines. But it will be a very specific insurance, not just your regular health or travel insurance. In my case though, the actual hospital bits will usually be covered. But that doesn't get you the kind of intensive treatment the pros receive to get back in form to be allowed to ride DH in a week or two after you broke a collarbone. Fair, but it would have been nice isn't it Wink ?
  • 6 4
 how about you ask your government to shift subsidies from oil industry to health care? Big Grin @AlexGustavsson - IF - vanlig Skadeförsäkring 350kr/kvartal
  • 11 2
 @ judgerider348 Surely you can't really believe it's the lazy people that have given the US one of the worst healthcare systems in the world - not the greedy companies that are trying to maximize their own profits. Imagine you have a plate with dozens and dozens of cookies on it. The healthcare company execs get all the cookies but leave 1 and then say - Look! That poor person is trying to take your cookie!

You buy their crap and blame the poor, sad.
  • 7 3
 Waki, Actually, we are hoping to be annexed by Canada so we can access a real health care system instead of a wealth producing system for insurance companies and Big Pharma. Judgerider, as an American bike rider, businessperson, employer and head of household, I say are so full of it. We're going to round you up with the rest of the Trumpites, move you all to Florida (maximum elevation 200') and never come over for Thanksgiving
  • 3 1
 @vinay - always check. In my case it is fine with riding bikes, even though national health care would cover healthcare. Always worth to buy extra insurance at the place in case a helicopter was meant to pick you up. Every normal, capitalistic insurance company will allow you to negotiate terms if you are only willing to pay more.
  • 28 1
 Fighter jets and aircraft carriers are exceptionally expensive, and there is a limited number of tax dollars to go around. Over 40% of Canada's tax income goes to health care. In America, it goes to Locheed-Martin. But, @judgerider348 sympathizes with the rich that leech off their society, and blames the poor. That's the american difference.
  • 8 6
 There is plenty of good insurance in the states, one must simply look at the options. Example: last year I got KO'd riding. Trip to the ER, cat scan and bunch of other shit I racked up $10,000.00 in an 8 hour stay. Payed my $100 deductible and walked out. i can go on and on with stories like this from myself and friends of mine. I really don't give a shit who is f*cking making money and the bureaucratic bullshit that is our government. I take care of my family, because that's my job. Stay in school, hustle hard.
  • 4 5
 Ok lesson learned. ...again. sociali(ism)zed medicine isn't working in usa. Of course, no one read the law before they signed it, and those that signed it (all democrats) are exempt from it. So, lets get back to the private system but make it so the CONSUMER can CHOOSE a plan from ANY STATE while also working on tort reform so doctors cannot be friviously sued by ambulance chaser attorneys whom never get penalized when they lose.
No one making less than @$40k can afford obamacare. Huge disaster, and united health is getting out. I used to have insane coverage for really cheap all throughout my 20s&30s now we've completely gone backwards.
The lower income earners can't afford it, there future wages get back taxed for not signing up. Disaster.
  • 7 2
 Funny, it works everywhere in the world except the US... Yeah must be the "ambulance chasers".. (You really believe that pile of crap?) WAIT, never mind, you must be a conservative politician lying to their constituents and convincing them to vote against their own best interests.
  • 5 0
 You bet Northcountry. We are up for renewal right now and to keep decent insurance for my wife and I and three dependents is over 4000 a month. That sound you hear is our fingernails being torn out while we try to hang onto the middle class. It has nothing to do with Obama care
  • 6 2
 Bernie Sanders will fix you guys up with single payer. That's what Obama should have fought tooth and nail for instead of folding to the repubs and coming up with the big compromise that is obamacare.
  • 2 2
 Vote Bernie and there is more chance of that happening.
  • 2 7
flag Vivalo (Nov 25, 2015 at 20:00) (Below Threshold)
 TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP!!! You just got Trumped!
  • 7 3
 Can we cut the shit with politicians and all reach a consensus that America has some serious problems with healthcare regardless of who covers you? If you want to blow a presidential candidate, better to do it with a sign in your front yard then the internet of all places. I never came on pinkbike to listen to you moan on Sweeden or praise Sanders. If thats what you do, Go to ( and leave us on track. Muchos Gracias
  • 1 0
 @JoseBravo Doctors in the US almost always win malpractice cases. Our healthcare sucks but it's not because of doctors being sued.
  • 2 1
 @hamncheez where you at? We need neo-liberal explanation how have socialistic practices of US government messed up the health care. How can you guys make it more private to make self-regulating market competition solve all of the issues. Those insurance companies cannot serve their clients, they have their hands tied by regulations while high taxes are ruining the economies of hospitals
  • 3 7
flag torero (Nov 26, 2015 at 4:44) (Below Threshold)
 We can not allow our health is the business of a capitalist parasites. Fight for the free public health !!!!
  • 2 6
flag torero (Nov 26, 2015 at 4:45) (Below Threshold)
 Voting does not solve problems, politicians are entrepreneurs. They are contrary to the interests of the people.
  • 3 7
flag torero (Nov 26, 2015 at 4:58) (Below Threshold)
 Destroy capitalism. In the USSR the working day was 7 hours per day, they had free health care, free housing and free education. Downvotes ... come to me.
  • 4 1
 @torero They also had an extremely low standard of living and they had to build walls to keep people in, not out.
  • 3 1
 Never go full commie! Haha
  • 3 2
 @torero Downvotes are here. Expect them. Also, how's the south pole?
  • 4 3
 It's funny that you would say that Waki... considering that anyone, anywhere in the world, with the means to do so travels from whatever socialized Healthcare system they live in in to the United States to receive treatment. The US has the best diagnostic and surgical doctors anywhere in the world for a reason... and that reason is profit.
  • 2 2
 Leroy, yes I am familiar with all the dramatic fundraisers for treatment in US for kids with rare diseases. Fantastic 1st class for the rich, yes. That's very analogical to the paradox of hero villain. The dude who takes 50 refugees on a boat for 10, taking all of their belonging is a hero in one way and a worst of scum in a hundred of others. But philosophy aside, yes I am happy for the fact that I have an option to treat my kid if she gets incurable paracoxia adaema fallaxis, and also fo the fact that I live where I live when she breaks a leg or gets a pneumonia - so yea, happy to exploit you Big Grin
  • 5 4
 Literally nothing you just said made sense... I'm not talking about fundraisers or anything like that. If someone who has money needs the very best medical treatment available, they come to the US. That isn't some hero villain paradox, that's just capitalism in action. People want to be rewarded for their efforts, the US rewards them. If you're a mediocre doctor, you go join doctors without borders and play hero in the third world... if you're exceptional, you setup private practice in the US and reap the benefits of your expertise.

And all this cost bullshit is overplayed... if you have an actual career in the US, you have insurance. It's only yet people making careers out of delivering pizza and doing shit jobs or working part time thanks to Obama's terrific "economic recovery" efforts who get screwed. I've had nearly $30k worth of knee surgeries, at a $100 out of pocket cost to me.
  • 2 1
 Hell ya, well said @badbadleroybrown
  • 2 0
 Tell it like it is Mr. Brown.
  • 2 2
 Leroy - there are people coming to US from Europe, for a treatment and it is about rare diseases that one of US hospitals and universities just as it happens with US people sick for a particular disease coming to Europe to a hospital/university that has found some sort of treatment/ cure for such particular disease. In fact Switzerland is the most popular posh hospitalization place. In Sweden I am happy to pay taxes for all people to get healthcare, including those who have as you describe it "sht jobs". I am also happy to pay for unemplyoed and immigrants. We have little problem with it since our government pays lots of money from our 30-
55% taxes go to healthcare and much less goes to oil, which we get from North Sea in large amounts and we do not need to support a fleet of Nuclear Carriers that ensures extraction of Middle East oil. Our banks also do not have much to do with Saudis. Virtual oil coming to us inside of imported goods, including food comes to us thanks to US. We enjoy someone doing the dirty job for us. Everyone here enjoys the social benefits to the highest degree also the rich. One of the top Swedish entrepreneurs, owner of a large construction company that my office often works for, goes to the same public clinic as me and my family do. Swedish students and tutors of medicine and pharmaceutics at local Sahlgrenska University hospital are very well aware of high standards of US Health Care system
because incoming students from US tend to view themselves as Gods overshadowing egotism and smartarsness of the Dutch and that is impressive if you ask me.
  • 1 3
 Ahh my source of information or rather opinion, includes mainly Bill Maher and your favorite Chomsky, but I am sure you have independent university sources
  • 3 4
 The only thing more impressive than your ignorance is the ineptitude with which you manage the English language.
  • 3 2
 Bottom line is our Canadian system is nearly half the cost of your for profit health care, yet our outcomes are just as good or better on average. Sure if you have the means a for profit system can be the best, but its not the best for everyone and as it turns out, not as effiecient as a public system ecomonically and doesnt produce better results on average.
  • 2 3
 The most comming reason for bankruptcy in the USA is due to medical bills. Zero bankruptcies in Canada due to medical bills. This stat alone says a lot. I couldnt imagine getting cancer or some other rare disease that is expensive to treat, dealing with that and in top vlowing theough my life savings.
  • 3 2
 Apparently you can't imagine spelling words correctly or typing coherent, complete sentences either...

PS - The medical spending is the leading cause of bankruptcy claim has been repeatedly debunked, with actual figures shown to be closer to around 17% of bankruptcy cases rather than the oft cited 62% figure. The misleading factor is that, among the respondents covered in the 62% figure, over 70% of them were actually insured... and their medical expenses were insignificant compared to other expenses, representing only the proverbial straw which broke the overextended camels back. The leading cause of bankruptcy in the US is actually poor debt management and excess spending, primarily related to real estate and credit card debt. This is why such a large number of individuals who should've been able to manage their healthcare related expenses fell into bankruptcy, they were living on the edge of bankruptcy already because they'd overextended themselves so relatively insignificant additional expense pushed them into bankruptcy.

...and don't make me laugh comparing Canadian physicians to American physicians. The wealthy don't travel from all around the world to have surgery in Canada, pro athletes don't travel to put their livelihoods in the hands of Canadian physicians.
  • 2 1
 @Leroy, I love the way you brush off the entire US population who doesn't have medical coverage in one short sentence. You're obviously a thinking man, who understands people very well. You also seem to understand all of the reasons why people might or might not qualify for insurance, and so can apply that to the 300+ million people affected by your dumbass logic.
  • 3 2
 Badbrad. You think because you have an opinion you're entitled to your own set of facts. The reality is that thousands of Americans fly every year to Mexico or Costa Rica for medical treatment they can't afford in the US. The ability of some foreign potentiate to fly little Ritchie to the US for chichi treatment does not mean we have a decent health care system. I'm not a pizza delivery dude but wish you'd show a little respect for some guy making mi I'm um wage , maybe to pay for his bike.
  • 5 2
 I don't give a flying fk what you think of my language, because you can't speak anything else than USish. Also, you are showing off your high self esteem on Pinkbike so you are highly likely a wanker in real life. I have never ever met a single cocky guy on Pinkbike who would shine with his riding or career. Good luck headcase
  • 1 3
 Likely a me first Christian too.
  • 4 0
 I know it's a cliche, but everyone here is right. I'm a physician in the U.S. at a major university and the cost of health care here blows my mind, like it does everyone else. Last year I had a bad crash and was hospitalized for a couple days (at my own hospital), had surgery, and the bill was over $40,000. But like @badbadleroybrown I paid only a few hundred out of pocket because I have insurance. So yes, I agree if you have insurance, good for you. But if you don't, you're in deep.

But why is it so expensive? It's very complicated and we can go on for days, and several reasons have already been mentioned. One thing I'd like to add, from what I've seen as a doctor is that we often have a never-say-die attitude when providing care. This can result in near miraculous saves, but also can lead to massive costs. Example: 82 year old man on ventilator in ICU for 2 months with every complication known to man, but we keep going and trying everything, despite the $20,000 per day price tag. Go to any ICU in a major U.S. hospital and you will see many of these cases. From what I've heard from docs in other countries, this is rare elsewhere.

Another aspect of this attitude is that anyone who comes into the ER is given top level care. That's great in principle and as a doctor I love it because everyone deserves the best care. But take the homeless alcoholic drug addict with severe psychiatric problems who is hospitalized more days out of the year than not (we call them frequent flyers). The hospital has become his $12,000 per day home. And he has no insurance, so the cost of his care is distributed to everyone with insurance and higher taxes. That's how public hospitals work. They don't make profit. I know for a fact that ours is operating at a net loss.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are real dilemmas here. A lot of people are scratching their heads as to how to fix this system, and so am I.
  • 4 1
 @fpmd But what wheel size is better?

Haha, thanks so much for speaking clearly and seeing both sides of the story, nice to see in the comments!
  • 2 3
 Ahh and I was not setting off at any online crusade against US of America, I'm done with it. I was just poking Hamncheez since we had, at least in my view, many enjoyable arguments. But off course Badboy had to get his bad boy empire pride erection, entering into capitalism vs socialism zone. I can openly tell anyone who gets into any argument by putting himself at the side of any ideology and shittin on another that I classify him as an imbecile, right away, even though I am perfectly conscious of genetical and environmental aspect forming every personality. Nothing in life is black or white, and nothing justifies any means, sht just happens. The whole point of me getting on here under this article was to highlight that there are issues at much higher level, behind all Rampage related, carnages done to individuals body, mind and economy, so the "Redbull should pay" is a very limited world view, regardless of the fact that they did not do the best job with that side of event organisation. So Badboy, the sooner you realize that egotism and ideologies are for leaders and their dumbest servants, the better quality of your life will be. Ironically the health care and in-hospital environment are no room for higher ideals - you act and do your best. As a patient - if you run into some serious trouble - you need a good dosage of fricking luck. Privatized system is a roulette. Swedish system is by no means perfect. I have been at ER with my 2,5 year old daughter having 41C fever, fainting, waiting for 6 hours to get looked at by a doctor while kids with broken arms or bad burns were being constantly taken in, getting ahead in the queue. A 1 year old kid next to us had ear inflammation screaming from pain like a man having his leg sewed off. We were given fricking ibuprofen. I finally had to go and shout at the doctors that I will break her leg if that helps to get her to a doctors room. In the end nothing happened fortunately. My work mates son barely survived such "care" having his heart stopped every few minutes - by pure luck spotted by a passing nurse. Because he did not look like he needs immediate care. Because a stabbed drunk wife beater and defending victim took attention of all doctors for three hours. So no pride and taking credit for the team here
  • 4 0
 Guys... I'm not having fun anymore
  • 4 4
 @codypup If you're making minimum wage, it's time to worry more about going to school and getting a career than crying about not having healthcare bought and paid for by others. We don't have a decent healthcare system... we have the best healthcare system in the world. People travel to Mexico because they're poor, not because Mexican physicians are good. Like everything else in life, you get what you earn. Work your ass off and get a good career and you get good medical care along with it. Slack off or be born stupid and incompetent, and you don't. This is the problem, all you minimum wage deadbeats think you deserve all the things that the rest of us worked hard to EARN. If you want a better life, earn it.. it's that simple. That is the beauty of America. All you fools with your hands out need to learn to do for yourselves. Worry less about paying for your bike today and more about building your future and the rest falls into place.

  • 4 5
 @Waki Seems you've got your knickers in a knot... sorry to let you down but I do actually excel at my career. I make plenty of money and have more than I need with plenty of investments for the future. In fact I'm currently shopping for a new truck and a second house to rent as an income property. The only reason the hand out deadbeats in this country can have any of the shit they take for granted is because of the men like me paying exorbitant taxes to fund their ineptitude. Problem is, they just keep wanting more without ever earning more... when I started working, minimum wage was $3.85, now these f*ckers think they "deserve" $15 an hour and free insurance and free everything because they want to make a career out of doing nothing but flipping burgers at McDonald's instead of doing what the rest of us did and working hard to get ahead. Every single person in this country has as much or, quite often, more opportunity than I had. The difference is what you do with the opportunity. I made the choice to work my ass of and spent the better part of two decades building my career to where it is now. While these guys bitch about what they deserve and what they're entitled to, the rest of us are out EARNING it. We could get into the dollars and sense of why this will never work in America but really, that hardly matters, because the simple fact is that the mentality these people have means they will simply always want more regardless of how much they're given. Time has proven that... so the time has come for them to deal with the harsh reality that they need to earn thethingsthey want. If they're unable to earn, they can get the mediocre healthcare afforded them in cut rate clinics or they can file for bankruptcy.

PS- Let's not ignore the fact that these folks who are demanding $15/hr for mindless work any idiot could do are the same folks saying that physicians don't deserve a high wage for the incredibly skilled, literally life saving work they do. So you can spend eight hours saying "would you like fries with that?" And think you deserve everything the American dream has to offer but the medical professionals who work 60-80 hours a week saving people's lives or ensuring their quality of life is maintained don't deserve more than they do? They do work that took literally no education while doctors dedicate a decade or more just to become a GP, let alone fellowships and such to become a truly skilled in a specific specialty..? GTFO here with that noise. Of these people with their hands out put as much effort into bettering themselves as they do into begging of others, the problem would solve itself.
  • 2 4
 @bigbadentitlementissues I don't normally wish for people to get herpes, but when I do, it's you. Stay thirsty.
  • 4 3
 Lmao... you @bishopsmike? Did I just rain on your dream of flipping burgers and delivering pizza living off the public's work while you skate by? Sorry bud, the working class has had enough of your ilk, time to get your hands out of other people's pockets.

PS - That you would wish illness or harm upon anyone only further proves what a pathetic and worthless lot you are. Those of us doing the work and paying ask the taxes don't wish ill upon anyone, we're just sick of you all demanding things you haven't worked to earn for yourselves. I'm not worried about the herp though, I don't f*ck with the skanky types of broads that associate with guys like you! Hard work and clean living leads to a happy life and quality women...
  • 3 1
  • 1 2
 Does a doctor make more than $15 per hour? Pretty sure its probably 3 to 10 times that much. Is that not enough incentive enough?

Maybe that extra money can help put someone from a lower or middleclass family through medical school so that its not just the youth from fiancially gifted families that can afford to go. Tuition has after all sky rocketed.

You are a product of your environment. You are lucky to be born in a time and place that set you on the path to becoming who you are today.

Did you grow up a poor, minority?
  • 5 4
 @inverted180 I did grow up poor, and in the neighborhoods where I grew up, being white made me the minority... I didn't need a doctor to dig into his pockets to pay my way. I did it myself, as did my siblings. I'm one of five children and we all grew up poor, my father was a mechanic. My oldest brother is now the ceo of a highly successful tech company in San Francisco which he started after being ceo at two other companies, having worked his way up from a mid level executive after putting himself through college. Second oldest brother is a nurse practitioner who put himself through school, at Yale no less, after spending years as a total f*ck up getting into trouble with police to the point he had to leave the country for seven years while waiting for statute of limitations to expire. Next is my sister, who got mixed up with drugs and had a kid at seventeen (who is now an RN in the ER herself), and still managed to put herself through nursing school whIle being a young single mother. Then my youngest older brother is a doctor and partner at a successful hospital in Florida, who also put himself through college. I oversee the entirety of west coast IT operations and infrastructure for a company with over 3000 employees in 12 states domestically and three countries. None of us have taken anything from life but that which we earned. Misguided youth nor squandered opportunities early on led us to failure or the belief that we were owed anything from anyone but ourselves.

"Up to a point a person’s life is shaped by environment, heredity, and changes in the world about them. Then there comes a time when it lies within their grasp to shape the clay of their life into the sort of thing they wish it to be. Only the weak blame parents, their race, their times, lack of good fortune or the quirks of fate. Everyone has the power to say, "This I am today. That I shall be tomorrow." The wish, however, must be implemented by deeds."

^^^ words to live by there.
  • 3 2
 @bblb Just because I respect those doing their best with low wage jobs doesn't mean you can typecast me there. My income will be closing in on seven figures this year not counting my hard working wife. Our health care system is poor and strains even our resources. The people I know leaving this country for health care are middle class. Not bums. Now I'm out and going riding because WAKI and I should both know better than to argue with a Teapot.
  • 1 0
 I think this is the longest single comment thread on pinkbike. Look here: (
  • 2 0 your saying you had a father...

2 questions.

Why was your father a poor mechanic? Anyone who is a hard worker could easily do better by your assertion. He must have been lazy free loader.

Would you trade your job for the same amount of pay to do hard physical labour? A lot of the times the shatiest jobs pay the least and the rewarding good job pays the best.
  • 1 3
 1. It's you're 2. Of course I had a father 3. He never graduated high school... he never freeloaded a day in his life but a mechanic's income doesn't go far with five kids. 4. Nope, I like what I do. It's extremely intellectually challenging and pays well. My only regret in life is having never served in the military, I really think that should be a requirement for citizenship. At this point in life though, I'm too old to take a six figure pay cut to go shoot at ISIS.
  • 2 3
 @codypup If you're making seven figures and can't afford your healthcare you're either a liar, take absolute shit care of yourself, horrifically mismanage your income and debt, have an epic drug or gambling problem, or some combination of the above.
  • 2 2
 Badboy - I personally value the work of people who pick up my garbage, clean the toilets at my office, serve me food, drive trucks than heroic efforts of some DH World Champ. I see their effort as valuable as the wok of CEO of a construction company signing a contract with me to design a big block of apartments that puts food on my table. Those "jobs" are making it possible for me to focus on my job and on my family. They need good health care for themselves and for their families. I am more than happy to pay for their treatment from my high taxes. Will I wish my kids to be ganitors? I don't care much. You know what gets on my nerves and what I will be pounding into their heads? I have a great job, but delided society around me, including my wife, believing in "The Secret" like fairy tales, pushes me to take more responsibility and get promoted. I'm so happy where I am because that allows me to work 70% and be with my kids but the world tells me that it is foolish to not want more. So I will be telling my kids that it is ok to be a toilet cleaner. Why? You won't get it with your self made man attitude but generally we have very little clue how little free will we have and how much is imposed on us by genes and environment.

And you got more points for imbecile on my card for this ISIS thing. You pay them every day dude. Saudis are a title sponsor to ISIS and they get money from your pocket. Teddy Roosevelt, Bitter Lake. You turned the region into middle ages (for our common benefit) and now you want to send them into stone age? Come, bomb the sht out of them and 10 years later the current decapitation inc. youtube channel will look like walk in the park compared to guys that will follow. Stay where you are...
  • 2 3
 @Waki It's always impressive how much you can type while saying nothing of value. You're an idiot Waki, a well intentioned and idealistic one at least, but an idiot nonetheless. Teach your kids to be whatever you want, someone has to do the shit jobs... but the reality is, no they are not worth as much as CEO's and skilled laborers. If you took all the janitors out of Apple, people would gripe about picking up their own trash but the company would carry on with relatively equal prospects of success. Remove all the software or hardware engineers, or the executives responsible for profitable business strategies, and the company fails... those educated professionals, by their talent and hardwork and as a result of the success they achieve thereupon, enable the existence of the unskilled professions that you attempt to count as equal.

A small business just starting out doesn't have janitors, it has educated and talented, hard working entrepreneurs who fill every role. Through the success of those individuals, the relative luxury of employing the unskilled is born. Only the incredible success of the educated and skilled even allows for a world with so much convenience and excess that people like you can make such baselessly foolish claims. Egalitarianism is nothing more than a myth created to make people feel better about the inequalities of natural selection. This is the basic reality that people like you consistently miss... I can do everything the janitor does, but virtually nothing that my job entails is the janitor able to do.
  • 4 2
 BBLB.. thank you for the spelling lesson. You told me something I already knew but I know its soooooooo important for you that a casual discussion written on my cell phone have zero mistakes. Sorry I dont proof read these. Did you have trouble reading and understandimg the word and what I meant?

Why is it "of course" that you had a father. Many kids dont. And Im still left wi5ndering why he never pulled up his socks to make a better life you guys.

You seem like the kind of a hole that will be CEO one day making 300x an average employee wage and thinking they are 300x better than the average person.
  • 3 2
 BBLB - me idealistic? I read Nietzsche and Zizek. No, I can simply see a few relations more than you do, I am extremely practical and cold - I don't support anything that has no influence on what I do, like DH World Cup Racing. I don't give a tiniest fk how much they earn, nobody deserves anything and arthletes are one of the least productive people on the planet. I would not like to be in my janitors shoes, nor would I in yours, I would never do what racers are doing. You don't ger what I am talking about because you are a headcase having no clue how you got to where you are, hence you don't appreciate anything below your level, hence you are emotionally dumb towards people you refer to as losers or bottom feeders. You were born in a certain place with certain set of genes, making you feel drawn towards certain things, making you good at certain things. Then your parents shaped you, then teachers you met, then kids you played with, all the lucks and accidents you dealt with. All of your cognition is genetic, You are a coefficient of collisions of atoms having a few freak reactions and reflexes, changing your trajectory and you treat yourself as a self made man. I guess you chose MTB yourself and your spouse was a rational decision. Traumas experienced by grandparents affect the predispositions for depression in their grand children. Hence some people born in less well off families, having depressive tendencies and low self esteem will never get a career, even if they went to the same class with you. And because they handle your sht, you should hope for a system that covers them.

If you say that everything is for grabs, you just need to go out and take it by working hard and stepping forward then your self awareness is comparable with a lobster.
  • 1 3
 @Wski Literally everything you just said was bullshit. You contradicted yourself and make no sense, you claim I'm emotionally dumb but believe yourself to be practical and cold... quite the contrary, you're emotionally blinded while I'm cold rational. You want to believe some people are just unfortunate abs deserve a break for their misfortune because it makes you feel better, the truth is just as I've said... you deserve only what you earn. All the rest is just excuses. I'm done with your ignorance now.
  • 2 1
 Thank you, I think we reached a conclusion: every next argument between us, regardless of the subject will go: you are wrong, shut up, you useless idiot - we will save a lot of words with exactly same result. I enjoyed it.
  • 1 2
 @inverted180 You can't manage to use the correct word to convey your meaning, but I should believe you have the answer to all the world's inequity? Yes, it matters.

Of course because we all have fathers. Whether my father was a captain of industry or neck deep in a bottle of Captain Morgan's isn't relevant to the actions taken by my siblings and myself to ensure our success. It's really quite pathetic that your repeatedly trying to insult my father with your insinuation that he didn't work hard. Could he have taken other paths and made other choices, certainly... his choices aren't relevant to the discussion. He chose his path and walked it without ever expecting others to do for him. Whether he could've done more isn't relevant to this discussion... because he didn't expect anything that he didn't earn. You're left wondering exactly because you lack a basic grasp of personal responsibility. I've never sat back and asked why he didn't do more, because it's my responsibility to do what's necessary to succeed in my life and no one else's. This is the fundamental difference you can't grasp, I'm not more successful because of what other people have done for... I'm more successful precisely because I don't expect others to do for me. While you wonder about why my father didn't do more for me or why yours didn't do enough for you, I go to work and do for myself.

You insinuate that not having as father would be crippling somehow... yet I know several accomplished men who never knew their fathers while also knowing several who were born to multi- million dollar inheritances who did nothing with their lives and squandered the fortunes left to them. Blaming your father, or lack thereof, for your failings in life is proof only that you're a weak individual. Nothing in your life is your parents fault, nothing is society's fault, nothing is the fault of the era or location to which you were born... these are all just excuses made by the weak to justify their failure. There's a reason people like me succeed while others fail, it's because we choose to prioritize things and take the steps necessary to achieve the goals we set. We don't bemoan our circumstance and wait for others to do for us. We do for ourselves.

So... quit your crying about not being given enough, or not knowing your daddy, or whatever your issue is, get your hand out of other people's pockets, and realize that you deserve only what you earn.
  • 1 1
 Keep blaming the world and genetics for your failures Waki...

  • 3 0
 BBLB. I'm comfortably sitting in the 6+ figures, have never been fired or used unemployment (but happily pay the tax for it). I grew up on farm but my Dad never owned one. He went bankrupt in the 80's. We never had a lot but I had a good up bringing and surely one that taught me hard work and love. You think I'm a freeloader, I never asked for anything and had to work hard and make good choices to get where I am. That still doesn't blind me to the fact that some people have it much harder than me.

The world is an F'd up place. Thousands of kids die every single day from hunger. They aren't worried about how to get a good career they are just trying to survive.

Whether you want to admit it or not you have opportunities bestowed unto you that allowed you to become who you are today. You did not do everything on your own.....sorry.

I agree some people have all the opportunity in the world and do nothing with it and some people have very little given to them in life and make a lot of it but just because one person can do something doesn't mean the next with have the same circumstances and mind set (taught or realized) allowing him to do the same. Ya there are dead beats but they are the exception not the rule and even then they are still products of genetics and environment.

Your world view is too simplistic. Ya you didn't need any doctors, teachers, coaches, ministers, friends, mother or father to get you where you are today, you did it all by yourself. No one gave you shot and hired you for anything, you created your own businesses, right? Sure you worked hard but you also need opportunity and no matter what you say its not the same for everyone.

Nothing is the fault of society or the era or location you are born? Good thing you weren't born into a third world country starving for food. Your hopeless. I'm done.
  • 2 1
 I don't blame the world for genetics. They just are, like a sun raising and setting to make it poetic for you. Weak individual, according to which point of reference? You? my boss, my wife, my kid, coworker I admire, girls I fancy or Kanye? Your second paragraph stands against quite a lot of what modern psychology and neuroscience is telling, however what does fit the picture is the very fact, that your attitude is common for people widely recognized as achievers. So is your neglectful attitude towards people lower in the food chain - nobody gets everything and one simply cannot reach above the average in a particular discipline when having as much consideration as I do. So yes I believe you that you have a great career, you fit the picture. And it doesn't impress me by a tiniest bit since in my peer group and family setting it does not matter. Nobody gets everything. You are passionate about your job and if you do it that well, then it must take sht loads of your time. So did my career and at one point I decided that working so many over hours, putting so much passion into every design scenario is simply not worth my time, health and relationship. I won several competitions and brought big clients to my office, I am always selected to the most important projects. I have nothing to be ashamed of in my work performance. I still decided to stop my career and do a job and breaking moment was riding back from dirt jumps through a posh neighborhood and meeting one of our clients in the garden. After this conversation I thought that I can have it. By the time I get 50, if I keep on kicking then just like him I will be living in a place like that - great house, huge Range Rover. And then I went to a party with lots of big shots and their up and coming puppies (like I was to my boss). Then I went for a lunch with my friends and I was sure which team I prefer to meet in 20 years time. Money, power and fame are not my thing, I don't want to bare their load, nothing comes for free aye? And family comes into the picture as well. I work 70% I take Fridays off to stay with my kids on my own, and leave one hour earlier every day to help my wife put them to bed. For a year I took 50% parental leave (paid 80% in Sweden), and half of a year 100%, taking care of my daughter and son at home, so that my wife can finish her PhD. You think you'er tough? Stay with two hyperactive toddlers for two months. Being an occasional psychopath I am totally free of anxiety driven by urge to pursue commonly recognized indicators of success in life: money, power or fame. If they drop on me one day, I'll take them gladly, I do enjoy driving cool cars and seeing apartments of our clients, but I ain't gonna chase them. I don't care much for it. I do get flattered when I am contacted by bike industry people or recognized by top racers in the WC pits, but I do not chase that feeling. I just troll the sht out of the place because I frickin enjoy it. I find it meaningful.

  • 3 1
 I am not saying you are wrong with your world view BBDL - I totaly get where you are coming from, I am saying you are wrong with thinking you could apply it to anybody.
  • 1 3
 @inverted180 Nowhere did I say I haven't been afforded opportunities, I said that everyone in this country has had as much or more opportunity than I have so the idea that they deserve free shit off my hard work is bullshit. Every single person in this country has the opportunity to go work shit jobs until 2am and then be back up at 7am to go to school until noon and then do it all over again. Everyone has the opportunity to work hard enough in that situation to get scholarships to help pay for school, hell many have even more opportunity for scholarships thanks to minority affirmative action and scholarships for the extremely poor. Everyone has the opportunity to take that education and get a job with it, work hard, get ahead, and have the life I have.

And success is relative, some people may not want my life but then they don't deserve access to what I've earned. That's the disconnect here... too many people in this country want 30 hour work weeks, 12 weeks of vacation, and everything paid for by the government. The Bernie Sanders delusion doesn't work. If they want the benefits of success, then they need to work hard and succeed. It's that simple.

I will concede the point that if you're born in some third world shithole you're more or less f*cked though. But those aren't the people crying for free healthcare and hand outs.
  • 1 3
 @Waki You're missing the point. I'm not saying everyone needs to work as much as I do, I'm not saying everyone needs to chase a career. What I'm saying is that, if you choose to live differently you are not entitled to the rewards reaped from my hard work. You don't "deserve" everything that every wealthy person has worked to receive simply because you want it. That's the disconnect. I have no issues with someone who wants to live a more simple life... but I do have issues with people who expect me and others like me to continue to pay ever increasing portions of what we earn so that they can have a life closer to what I live in terms of luxury without ever having to work for it. Apart from the obvious absurdity of such a suggestion... That's a recipe for failure if its implemented.
  • 4 1
 Still so simplistic. Your born in the US and everyone has the exact same chance, circumstances and opportunity to suceed or your born in a third world country and your screwed. Is your television black and white too?

Again your a lost cause.

Healthcare isnt free in Canada. Its no more free than our fire, police, roads, inspectors, military etc etc etc
  • 1 3
 Yeah, you are pretty much screwed of you're born in the third world... have you been there? There's no middle class, you're either born into wealth or you're stuck grinding for nothing. You think they've got free high level healthcare for everyone in Iraq?

No shit it isn't free in Canada, where did I say it was? Nothing in this world is free, someone is always paying the cost. The problem in the US is the relative cost currently being paid by those in my income bracket and above grossly exceeds the contributions of cumulative masses who won't, can't, or otherwise aren't contributing. Yet those who won't, can't, or aren't contributing draw upon those resources exponentially more than the rest of us while continually demanding more of us so that they can have more free shit. Maybe it's because you have no grasp upon the issue in the US from where you ate in Canada but you really have no idea how extensive the problem is. People make careers out of social welfare and raise their children to do the same, while reproducing at a rate that exceeds the productive citizens who are paying for their lives. It's an unsustainable system pure and simple. You can bury your head in the sand and pretend it isn't happening or you can say enough is enough and end the problem before it becomes even more economically crippling than it already is.
  • 4 1
 "But those aren't the people crying for free healthcare and hand outs."

I can not debate someone who doesn't even know what they are saying.

  • 1 3
 I know exactly what I'm saying... I've actually been to the third world, I've actually volunteered for charity organizations in the third world... and I've actually seen the way the recipients of charity receive it with gratitude and a touch of shame. They aren't asking for ever increasing benefit, they're practically ashamed to need help in the first place. Meanwhile, in the US you've got able bodied young 20-somethings who think I should be paying for their healthcare, contraceptives, cell phone, school tuition, housing, and meal plans while sitting around wondering what else they can ask for. That's the problem... where's there is an actual need, I'm not opposed to charity, but I am strongly opposed to entitlement, particularly where there is no valid need. But you are correct in saying you can't debate. You've made no real relevant points in this entire discussion.
  • 4 1
 Just for the record fire services used to be private and for profit too. I want you to think about me when the usa gets a version of single payer healthcare (cause you will). Or perhaps you wont be around cause your ideas sound antique. I cant imaine you have too many years left.

It seems like you love your country but hate everyone in it. Strange.

I feel I have struck your nerves with logic and this makes me happy. Thank you.
  • 2 1
 @inverted 180. Thank you. BBLB really just hates 99% of us though. But thank you.
  • 2 2
 @inverted180 You'd have had to have said something logical to have struck a nerve with your logic, which you haven't.

The US will never get single payer, it won't work. Not in this century, nor the next. You have no understanding of the rate of spending in the US on entitlement programs, it's already untenable... adding to it is simply ensured disaster. Only the poor and the stupid believe otherwise. Even if we were to take senile Uncle Bernie's idea of taxing every penny above $1 million at 100%, it doesn't represent enough revenue to pay for Medicare for just three years. It's basic math and it doesn't work.

@codypup Nah, I don't hate you... that would require a level of emotional investment in you that I'm not capable of. I'm just not willing to pay for your mistakes.
  • 3 1
 @badbadleroybrown There are a myriad of reasons why the US may not get a single payer system and I agree that it is unlikely in the short to medium term, especially in light of the lobbying that accompanies the current system, however, I would like to call into question your calculation on costs.

Making calculations as to how much a single single-payer system would cost based on the costs of running the current system based on "for profit" insurance companies will tend to miss an important point.

As "The Healing of America", by T. D. Reid explained, there are two najor reasons why U.S. health care is so expensive:

(1) Unlike other countries, the U.S. government doesn't manage prices currently; and
(2) The for-profit system adds tremendous costs. Just as an example, it was suggested in the book that up to 20c on the dollar is lost to marketing and advertising.

As a result, a single payer system that is not for profit would have a different cost structure.
SIngle payer healthcare is not some kind of Golden Ticket to excellent healthcare for all, yet, oversimplified calculations of costs, whilst easy to do, should be avoided I think.
  • 3 2
 I stay off the internet for ONE weekend to enjoy my Indian Genocide day and I have 60+ notifications in Pinkbike.

I stopped reading once everyone started measuring penis sizes based on how poor they grew up.

@WAKIdesigns I forgot what the point of this whole thing was.

PS in the USA, even before Obamacare, over 50% of all money spent on healthcare was spent by government. Even before obamacare, there were tens of thousands of pages of regulations on how healthcare providers can provide healthcare, and how and where insurers must insure customers. Hardly a "free market", in fact, after the financial services sector, the healthcare sector is the MOST socialized part of the American economy.
  • 3 1
 I have a very small and soft penis @hamncheez. My kids will need social system as their loser, bottom feeder dad will give them no respectable example and will bring them down in case they stick their heads up. I may even become an alcoholic to make sure they stay down
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns Doesn't Sweden have a really high alcoholism problem already? Surely they can find other alcoholic role models in their lives already.
  • 2 0
 Yes Swedes drink a lot.. which is strange because you cant buy alcohol in food stores. Just in "Systembolaget" stores.
  • 3 0
 Yes all Swedes drink a lot and all of their women are slutty. We are taking in so many Muslims, hoping they will constitute Shia law in here and save us from our filthy ways
  • 2 1
 Can I move in with you? Sounds like a vast improvement to me.
  • 1 0
 Just get your travel insurance. Or not, because Sweden.
  • 2 0
 US insurance company will still be required to cover Swedish hospitalization expenses. However I would not be surprised if it would be much easier to get cover for injury sustained while being wasted and driving a tractor off a cliff, than for injury being a result of riding a bike, sober, off the same cliff... alcohol lobby is strong, Everywhere!
  • 43 0
 Well done Northman.
  • 2 0
 Now sponsor Paul Bas!
  • 14 0
 Just to clarify:
Northman didn't pay any of my medical bills they just cover me know. Paul is American, they are a Canadian insurance company so they wouldn't work for him.
It would be rad to see an American company follow in Northman's footsteps!
  • 1 0
 The North Remembers.
  • 6 0
 Northman is going global next year!!
  • 30 2
 As someone who lives in Australia where we have a 1st world health care system I struggle to comprehend what it must be like living in the US where the notion of health care has been hijacked by politics and private sector interests. When I had a big moto crash that essentially gave me an additional 2 knees, all my ambulance, surgery and rehabilitation costs were covered by our public system which took the financial crisis out of the equation for me so I could focus on recovery. It is shit that a country with America's wealth is so reluctant to look after its people's well-being. It would certainly go some way to curtailing what I did for fun if I had to weigh every moment that should be a spontaneous outlet into an evaluation of the consequences if it all went balls-up. And that just ain't right.
  • 7 4
 In America, very few want to pay the taxes required for national health care. Many prefer someone else (the rich) pay for their health care. If everyone pitched it, the budget might be there. But until everyone realizes they need to pitch in, our health care system will have that issue. I keep hearing that health care is free in other countries. I doubt it is free. Someone is paying/chipping in for it

Many of those that can afford to pay for health insurance in America prefer not to because they feel healthy. Its not until they have health issues do they feel the need to call out for national health care services.
  • 8 3
 "a country with America's wealth" - not any more. With a national debt of $18.2 trillion dollars and climbing, it obvious why the US can't look after its citizens.
  • 4 0
 @kdenisec you are quite correct, someone does pay. There's a medicare levy on your income and those that earn more, pay more. It's a system that sort of works and those of us that have had to use it are grateful
  • 2 1
 USA is the richest country in the world. FACT.

As for who will pay the burden of single payer....think about who pays the majority of the burden of health care now? You have the employer pick up the bill but the problem is as it gets more and more expensive they are picking up less of the tab. Not to mention people with jobs that dont provide insurance or people who are out of work.

Since health insurance costs will not need to be paid by the employer anymore they can afford to pay more taxes. But dont worry a single payer system is more cost efficient and those greedy bastards (large corps, no small business) can afford it.
  • 1 0
 @kdenisec: you make a very good point and I fall into the waiting-til-I-feel-unhealthy boat in a certain respect. I have been in the military for the last 10 years and we have some of the best insurance that an American can have. I crashed at Winter Park in 2013 and had to be carted off by the mountain patrol with an oxygen mask strapped to my face because I couldn't breathe (thanks again WP, y'all took care of me!). I bruised a rib and was laid up in the hospital for a few hours and all I had to do was show my government ID and the rest was history. I am getting ready to leave the service next year and all the sudden this is becoming important, and pretty scary as far as health insurance goes.
  • 13 0
 So stoked to see an insurance company actually looking out for their clients vs just trying to take their money.
  • 8 0
 Feel sorry for anyone this happens to, but if I was doing this, I would be pretty clued up on making sure I'm covered on Insurance.

I race enduro in the uk and require insurance for it, and know exactly what I can claim for etc, as well as having private healthcare through work. If I was ever going to compete in rampage, I would make sure I was covered.

Same applies to all these riders, I find it amazing they don't have the correct insurance, regardless of whether Red Bull should or should not be responsible. Do you see DH riders suing the UCI for injuries sustained? Need to start thinking of it more as Rampage, sponsored by Red Bull. They provide a free event for millions to enjoy around the globe, and everyone complains....
  • 1 3
 Insurance in the UK pointless unless you are trying to protect from loss of earnings due to an injury, which only really applies to self employed or freelance.
  • 1 0
 thank you dirtrider121 for saying it. now i don't have to.
  • 8 0
 Hey guys!

Here's a little recap on what Northman Insurance is all about:

Northman Co. is an insurance company designed specifically for adventure athletes. Most insurance companies won’t cover many sports and activities and more often than not, the athletes themselves don’t even know it until it’s too late.

That’s where we come in. No more tricks. No more leaving athletes high and dry.

1. No sport exclusions
2. Complete medical coverage for races, events, and competitions
3. We foot the bill at the hospital
4. Annual option: low monthly payment for year long coverage (last minute trip, no problem!)

Northman Co. is quickly becoming the go to Insurance Brokerage for athletes in adventure sport and travel.
The great news is we'll be offering these services worldwide in early 2016!

If you have any questions, feel free to shoot us an email:

p.s. creep us on Instagram! @northmanco
  • 8 0
 "[he is] a dude just living for the sport and riding hard. he is a totally rad soul." -President of a insurance company

so awesome, and a breath of fresh air in todays world of corporate stiffs
  • 5 0
 Ths u.s. healthcare system leaves much to be desired. It really is terrible that you have to weigh consequences of bills and debt instead of having fun and progressing yourself. People stay at shitty dead end jobs just to keep insurance benefits that are more affordable than buying for yourself, and even then it usually still costs you a couple hundred bucks a month. Ive got a kid on the way and am worrysome of how much debt I will have when its all said and done. Screw it im moving north!
  • 6 1
 We'll take ya! Bring yer toque.
  • 2 0
 Banana belt.. Ontario, only a few months of cold...actually more south than all bordering states and nearly as south as northern california. Pretty dang flat thou. .
  • 1 1
 I like how people think they can just move here. Smile
  • 1 0
 Merican invasion incoming
  • 1 0
 We can't fight, we don't have guns lol.
  • 4 0
 Even though I see a lot of advertising in this article, I think it is great that you guys shared this! Sadly too many people are still riding without medical insurance. Hope this will be an eye opener for many amateur and pro riders. I like how both Mark Matthews and Pinkbike are doing the best they can to inform people about this problem and hopefully help many riders prevent getting into an extra ad situation when things go wrong.
  • 10 2
 40k!!!!!!! O my F$¥kin God!!!! for a broken leg. USA you are a disgrace!
  • 7 0
 To be fair, a compound fracture of the femur isn't exactly your average 'broken leg' but yea you're not wrong.
  • 1 0
 i had a bad crash last year, Broke my arm, and completely destroyed my back. Xrays, Fibre GlassCast x2 , MRi on my lower back, 1 month of physio. No insurance. Total cost was Zero!! The Irish healthcare system is nothing to write home about but they do their best look after their citizens most of the time
  • 3 0
 red bull are putting in lots of money in to lots of sports. if they had to pay for all injuries in all sports they would not do any of it and we would all suffer. if a F1 driver crashes they dont go to the organisers to pay the bills. this seem more a problem with the American health system. this sort of stuff should be sorted /planed for with there sponsors before it happens not a reaction to a crash. it would take a lot of stress out of it all
ps. if you dont like the risks in something don't do it.
if you take that risk you know what the consequences maybe.
  • 3 0
 disregarding the valid discussion on American healthcare for a moment... This dude still has a massive medical bill to pay but is still actively advocating for people to donate to Paul Bas, rather than himself. Incredible, and for that massively selfless post, I'll be donating to them both. Get well soon Paul, and great to hear you're back riding Mark!
  • 8 1
 Bernie for PREZ.
  • 1 0
 This is really simple. If the riders care about this, they should strike and demand it. Have we forgotten what made this country work for everyone for so long? Selfish corporations and individuals fail the greater community. Collaborate.
  • 5 1
 we need this for paul!!!!!!!! #irideforpaul
  • 2 0
 I've dealt with injuries at crankworx back in 2005 and I'm from the states,I had to drive home to get real help,at least the Canadian ER patched me up enough to drive
  • 2 1
 So, riders have to go out and practically kill themselves, for what??? Good TV ratings??? Step up red bull, or any other rampage sponsors, help these athletes!!! Let's hope Bass gets the help he deserves!!!!
  • 3 0
 Mark Matthews is all class.
  • 1 0
 They need better personal insurance for the USA.thats the system we live in,you pay more up front and you are insurance is bs
  • 2 0
 Did anyone actually look at the company's website? A buck a day! What a deal! That's cheaper than Canadian medical coverage!
  • 2 0
 that x-ray is crazy, that bone was shattered
  • 3 5
 As a former motorcycle road-racer, I had my own insurance, but you can bet that EVERY SINGLE race/'event' that I took part/competed in COVERED US FOR SAID EVENT as well. EVERY event entry form and/or license application I ever filled out asked for your insurance info, as well as you're primary doctor's contact info.
This is why that deal last year when that Rampage rider came on here looking for help to cover his medical expenses from the event floored me.
You can damn-well bet Red Bull HAD insurance for the event, if for no other reason than ANYONE who participated in the event that got hurt could've sued the land-owner(assuming it is/was the state of Utah). Hell, a fricken burglar who breaks into your house while YOU'RE GONE and somehow hurts himself can SUE YOU!
Bottom line is this: If you're gonna take part in ANY so-called 'risky' sport, then it is absolutely ON YOU to have medical insurance to cover any injury you might suffer.
Most insurance companies have policies that solely cover serious injuries, so the young(er) people who may not get sick often, and if/when they do don't go to the dr. for it can get and afford a policy that will ensure they'll get proper treatment if/when they do happen to suffer any serious injury.
The bottom line is, if you're gonna compete in events that are risky in nature-and Rampage sure as HECK qualifies as such, it's on YOU to make sure YOU have medical insurance. Every single participant in said events is either an ADULT, or has to have a Parent/Guardian sign for them. And as ADULTS, we are responsible for OUR OWN WELL BEING.
Having to go on the internet to solicit donations to pay for your broken leg is definitely NOT an 'acceptable' way to 'cover' your injury, and that individual quite frankly should not have been able to enter not only Rampage, but ANY such event.
  • 11 0
 Thanks for your uninformed opinion, but I see your point. I was under the impression I was fully covered. When I purchased it I told them exactly what I needed it for. They found some bullshit excuse in the policy not to cover me. I actually opened up a claim against my insurance company. Maybe because I'm Canadian I have a different mentality towards it, but the American health care system is not acceptable. I'm stoked all those worries are behind me now with a solid insurance company like Northman backing me.
  • 1 0
 No your mentality is correct. The healthcare system in the US is terrible. It's fine for people who are lucky enough to have a good job and have a good policy (I guarantee those are the people who you might see defending it on here), but the truth is that such policies (or any policies) are out of reach for a large portion of the US population. Call me crazy but I've never considered proper healthcare (a basic human need) to be a luxury or a privilege that only those who are well off deserve.
  • 2 0
 Oh Canada!
  • 3 3
 Pretty lame that Redbull didn't step up at all.
  • 1 0
 looks like a Session.
  • 2 5
 Surprise! Do stuff like that on a bike and guess what will likely happen.
  • 1 1
 What you have a ton of fun,maybe sometimes you get hurt?So what it's not like I live in Thailand!
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