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Added a comment about news blog Greg Watts Injury Update and Fundraiser 1/23/2012 6:02 AM
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I have a couple thoughts here, one is along with iceman2058. I broke my neck this summer, 5 breaks on C1 and it required two surgeries. Over a half a million dollars later, I was very glad I had health insurance which for me and my wife with full coverage including out of network is about $400 per month. I had to pay $5000 out of pocket for more than 2 weeks in the hospital, three total surgeries (broke my hand as well) and some trendy titanium bits. Given that Greg is one of the best in the world and the risks that are involved in our sport, how is it that $300-$400 per month isn't carved out somewhere for insurance? I HATE insurance, I've always bitched about paying it ----- until this summer. I know biking doesn't pay much for these guys and $400 isn't nothing for someone not making a lot, but if you're going to bike, not carrying health insurance is about like drunk driving. A lot of my mtb friends don't carry health insurance, break a collar bone or wrist every year and then just stiff the hospital and laugh about it as they're telling the story as others are left to pick up the slack.

Greg's trying to raise the money to pay the bills which will end up being at least $50k with no surgery, or $100k+++ with (a huge chunk of my expenses was 8 days in the ICU AFTER the surgery as I had a lot of complications). Assumuing he pays $300 per month for individual coverage, that's almost 14 years worth of premiums to equal the best case scenario of $50k, if he requires surgery, he could pay premiums for the next 30 years and still come out ahead. Now $300 per month doesn't sound so bad. I feel horrible for what has happened and am one of the few that can honestly say I can relate and I'm still healing up, but I can't say I feel bad when someone in this sport at this level with these risks won't spend the same amount of money as a few sets of DH tires to keep from placing this kind of burden on their family. The injury sucks, but not having insurance is stupid and asking everyone else to pick up the slack and buy stuff at auction sends the wrong message to the kids coming up in the sport. There's a push for Leatt braces, how about a push for health insurance?

As for the sponsors, everyone needs to stop putting the blame on someone else. The sponsors pay him X dollars and what he does with that money is up to him. As a former professional snowboarder and now professional golfer, my sponsors have NEVER paid for health insurance and I've been a professional athlete with companies like The North Face and Oakley for over 17 years. I had to make the adult decision on what to do with that money, invest it, blow it, whatever. I took a small piece and put in health insurance. Sure, I could've spent that money on something WAY more fun, but doing the responsible thing is rarely the fun thing and it isn't until tragedy strikes that we take the time to look back and realize we were playing Russian Roulette.

Finally, how did he have that bad of a break and not require fusion? Was that decision based on his best health interest or on financials because of the cost of the surgery. I can't imagine that break not being unstable and there's a piece of bone fragment millimeters from his spinal cord!!!! Surgery had to be recommended as it was in my case with similar injuries. Not all cases are the same and quite honestly, looking back and knowing what I know now, I would have opted for the halo instead, but I would be making that decision based on experience and what is best for my health, not to avoid an expensive bill and Greg's BEST interest should be kept at heart, not how much it's going to cost. As the old saying goes, pay now or pay later.

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Added a new photo album Idaho Springs 5/23/2011 11:06 AM
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Added a comment about video Island Winter 2/6/2011 4:19 PM
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Beautiful camera work and editing.

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Added a comment about video In The Spotlight 1/19/2011 5:10 PM
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How did you slow down the whip near the beginning? Doesn't the 7d just shoot at 60p? That looked like at least 120 fps. What editor did you use to slow it down? I use Vegas and you can only slow down to 25% normal playback speed.

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