My favorite part is the well-paid, well-insured cardiologist telling the pizza delivery guy to "get his priorities straight" and he'll come up with the money somehow, comparing the US$10,000 operation to replace the battery with keeping the oil changed in his car. The arrogance is astounding.
In 2003, William Koehler of Pittsburgh, Pa. lost his job as an electronics technician. He lost his health insurance, too, but he'd been lucky enough to have the defibrillator battery in his heart changed just the previous year. No insurer would cover him except for one company which refused to cover anything related to his arrhythmia, says his sister.
He survived as long as his battery did, dying on March 7, 2009 at 57.