Mutual Aid in Action

If something positive can be said about tragic situations it’s that people will often come together to help those in need. Several hospitals that worked on the victims of the Aurora, Colorado shooting have stated that they will limit or eliminate the medical bills:

Some of the victims fighting for their lives after being wounded in the movie theater shooting rampage may face another challenge when they get out of the hospital: enormous medical bills without the benefit of health insurance.

Members of the public, along with Warner Bros., the studio that released the Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises,” have contributed nearly $2 million to help victims, though it’s not clear how much of that will cover medical expenses. One family is raising money on its own online.

And three of the five hospitals that treated victims said Wednesday they will limit or completely wipe out medical bills.

If a notable chunk of the $2 million donated by Warner Bros. goes to help pay the medical expenses for the victims of the shooting I’ll have to give them some major kudos as well. Either way the hospitals that are working to actively help out the victims of the shooting deserve recognition:

Children’s Hospital Colorado announced it would use donations and its charity care fund to cover the medical expenses of the uninsured. For those who do have insurance, the hospital says it will waive all co-pays.

“We are committed to supporting these families as they heal,” according to a statement from the hospital, which treated six shooting victims.

HealthOne, which owns the Medical Center of Aurora and Swedish Medical Center, also says it will limit or eliminate charges based on the individual circumstances of the patients. Those hospitals have treated 22 shooting victims. However, the company cautioned its policy may not apply to all doctors working in its hospitals.

This is what mutual aid is all about, voluntarily helping those in need. We don’t need a state to put a gun to our heads to coerce us into helping our neighbors. Humans, generally, actively want to help each other but are often prevented from doing so by the state (for example, many major cities actually ban individuals from feeding the homeless). If the state would get out of our way we could actually get to work making a better world.