Author: Jason Geiger
Outside of Buffalo, NY there rests the cozy village of East Aurora. On a side street lives a 60-something loving single mother whose name is Carol. Carol has always enjoyed hard work but prefers the simple life. She never dreamed of being a business executive or mid-level manager and is happy as one can be with the wages that she earns working at the local East Aurora Advertiser. Life is good but purposely lacks the drama and undo pressures many of us “Good Americans” find chasing the next step in our pursuit of the American Dream. Accordingly, Carol does not own or car. In fact she has never even gotten her driver’s license.
On the evening of Monday, April 11th, Carol had a sudden, fast and hard hitting chest infection that literally took her voice away. One moment she is fine, sixty minutes later she is epically congested and gets immediate laryngitis.
This dear sweet lady who has a lower income lifestyle but always pays her bills is left in a predicament with few options that she can afford. She could call an ambulance and go to the hospital and pay for this huge expense slowly for the next year or two. Or perhaps she can get a cab to come to this little village and go to an Urgent Care facility but is nearly as expensive. Or lastly she can call her son, who lives 45 minutes away and they might just make it to urgent care a few minutes before they close.
Fortunately this time this story does not have a terrible ending. Carol and her son made it to Urgent care with just a few minutes to spare. A prescription of steroids quickly helped with her inflammation and after a few days she got back to the job at that small town advertiser that she loves so much.
Many low-income people in this situation would have just gotten an ambulance and paid big for the ride, not to mention the long waits at emergency rooms. This is usually followed by an expensive cab ride back. While our story does not end terribly other stories don’t. It frustrates us all that we can do better for without raising the costs. Surprisingly this step forward relies on our community getting Uber.
As a halfway decent resident Buffalo, NY and American, I demand of my lawmakers to cut the red tape and act now.
If Uber would have been allowed back in April, Carol’s son could have simply sent her a ride. Not only would it have been there about 40 minutes sooner, there would have been no chance of missing the urgent care operating hours.
If Carol’s son would have been away on business, her choices would have been much more limited and much more expensive.
It is easy to see how others in similar situations could benefit from every community have Uber. It’s truly ironic that a ride-share company could be a small part of that better and more affordable healthcare solution that we all want. While it may only be dozens a year in our local community, it might in fact be a hundred or more not to mention thousands nationally.
While the above case alone is be a good enough reason to fast track the overly political process, keep in mind that some Uber cities have reduced DUI’s by 10% when Uber has become available. (Source)
As a halfway decent resident Buffalo, NY and American, I demand of my lawmakers to cut the red tape and act now. It’s time to save lives, reduce costs for those of us that need it most and just generally raise our quality of life.
As a son, I would like to tell my mom I’m glad she is feeling better and wish her a nice non-stressful time this coming Mother’s day. Love ya Carol Mom!