A survey of Floyd County residents a few years ago showed more than 60 percent do not have any form of health insurance.

That’s not surprising in a county where, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the per capita annual income is $16,345. Basic health insurance for two people through Anthem Blue Cross costs more than $12,000 a year. That doesn’t leave much for basics like food or rent.

Even those with health insurance find themselves strapped to pay for the things that aren’t covered. We’ve contributed to two fundraisers in recent months for a county employee battling colon cancer.

Carilion Health Care Systems, the "non-profit" company that holds a virtual monopoly on the area’s medical providers, banked more than $100 million in profits in 2007. Yet the costs of medical care provided by Carilion far exceeds that of independent operations in Roanoke and other parts of Southwestern Virginia.

The situation gets worse for Seniors Some 15.7 percent of Floyd County’s 14,789 residents are 65 or older — many living on fixed incomes.

Which means too many residents of our county simply can’t afford to get sick.

AN ADDITIONAL MEDICAL NOTE: Floyd County framer and blogger David St. Lawrence suffered a heart attack recently and is in the Cardiac Care Unit of Roanoke Memorial Hospital.  He’s keeping us updated on his condition through his blog — Ripples. Our best wishes to David for a speedy recovery.


  1. Henry’s become famous for his fact-challenged drive bys…if you don’t play in it you don’t have to wash it off.

  2. I have health insurance and it only costs me $104 a month, there is a hitch in this price though my deductible is $5000. I’m in the medical field and I don’t seek medical treatment for anything “minor” I have gone with out stitches on cuts because I figured I could live with a scar but not with a $1000 bill. I’m not unique in this many people do not go to the doctor because of the bill. Carilion is business and as a business its job is to make money. Until we as a society agree that everyone is entitled free basic health care all of us will pay the “price”. Some of us can afford it some of us cant, thats capitalism!!

  3. Full coverage and the largest employer in the area. Granted, I could quit my job and pay a whole lot more for coverage but I decided not to do that.

    I have worked at a myriad of shops and they all had health insurance. I realize that some people don’t feel that health insurance is important so they don’t look for an employer that offers it. I have always considered health insurance when I went job hunting. It’s part of the package.

    That $2500 in the ER is going to pay for a lot of things, especially protection for the staff if anything goes wrong. We want good cheap health care but we want millions of dollars if anything goes wrong.

  4. Many people in the county are self-employed. Others work for employers who do not provide health benefits. Your comparison doesn’t take that into account.

  5. I think this only proves that a socialized health care system is not a viable solution. Instead, prioritize people who really need full health care services. Employers who give a premium on their employees’ health care benefits should be given better taxation schemes. Private companies should step in and offer cheaper medicines. And finally, the Congress should stop shooting down progressive reforms. Now, we’re talking.

  6. Indeed, a lot of people do not have health insurance because not everyone can afford to have one. Still, some who do have, also gets to pay if their ailment is included in the coverage. With the high costs of medical care, people should be getting the quality health care service they deserve.

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