Ethics: Who Should Foot the AIDS Bill?

Should Foot the AIDS Bill? A deadly disease presents a ruinous IOU BY ANDREA SACHS Reported by Cheryl P. Weinstock/New York and Dennis Wyss/San Francisco

When Robert Simpson tested positive for the AIDS virus last November, medical bills were the least of his worries. As a court reporter, Simpson, 44, was earning $48,000 a year and was covered by group health insurance. In addition, he had planned ahead by buying three disability policies. Less than a year later, however, he has fallen through the widening cracks in the U.S. medical- care system. Too weak to work, he has lost the insurance coverage from his job; moreover, he has yet to see a penny from his disability policies, although he filed six months ago. "I'm just tired...

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