Opinion: Competition needed for life saving flights, says Heuvelton man
Friday, August 11, 2017 - 8:04 am

To the Editor:

In response to “Medicare Inflates Price,” which appeared in the Aug. 5-11 issue of North Country This Week: I can understand why.

I was dying from a massive infection and had to get to Syracuse. It was explained to my wife that Air Service would be very expensive and take 2.5 hours of more, bed to bed, while an ambulance ride would cost many thousands less and I'd be bed to bed in a lot less than three hours unless there were a bad accident, whatever.

Now, I know why it was so carefully explained to us! $60,000 versus a few hundred for the ambulance. In a few weeks I was back home and recuperating with a county nurse to help with the dressings which were substantial.

This Air Rescue costs and methods of collection are totally unacceptable and it's my opinion they need to be put out of business quickly. Surely, there are volunteer methods and arrangements that can be made if one does choose to use air rescue.

I am so grateful my doctor explained all that to my wife. They at least need to tell people what the costs will be ahead of time.

Something must be done; those bills would still be high at $12,000, considering they only get you to the airport, and not to a waiting bed. To have switched from a helicopter to a plane, in my opinion, was sheer stupidity. There has to be a better way — competition!

Tom Rivet