A NEW LOW: Man Who Died Awaiting Treatment In The Emergency Room Was Robbed By Other Patients

skeleton-waiting-room.jpgDAILY NEWS: According to Philadelphia police, Rivera walked into Aria Health’s Frankford Campus, on Frankford Avenue near Harrison Street, about 10:45 p.m. Saturday. He was alone, and apparently had walked from his nearby home on Duffield Street near Foulkrod, his son said. Rivera complained of feeling pain in his left arm and abdomen, and was told to sit in the waiting area, said police spokesman Lt. Frank Vanore. At some point during the next hour, Rivera, a longtime bilingual counselor at Olney High School, lost consciousness. He inadvertently became a target, Vanore said, to three other people in the waiting room — a black woman, a 30-something, 5-foot-8 black man in dark pants who limped, and a second man, who was later arrested at the hospital and identified as Richard Alten, 44. Alten signed up to be seen by a doctor, while his two cohorts sat near Rivera. “At some point, [Alten] is observed taking the victim’s watch and passing it to the other man,” Vanore said. When a witness ran to notify a security guard of the crime and Rivera’s condition, the limping man and his female partner fled, Vanore said. Hospital personnel rushed to Rivera’s aid, but it was too late. He was pronounced dead shortly after midnight Sunday. Vanore said police have not yet learned of Rivera’s cause of death. The family said he was believed to have died of a heart attack. MORE

RELATED: Millions of unemployed Americans face the prospect of a huge increase in health insurance costs, thanks to the looming expiration of a government subsidy. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, passed in February, launched a temporary government program to subsidize the often crippling cost of buying health insurance through a former employer’s plan after a layoff. However, the so-called COBRA subsidy was designed to last no more than nine months for each person who was unemployed. Hundreds of thousands who got this subsidy when it was first made available in March are slated to roll off the program today. The insurance subsidy will also no longer be available for Americans who lose their jobs starting today. If the subsidy is not extended, hundreds of thousands will lose the subsidy each month, forcing them to pay health insurance premiums that are three times higher than what they’re currently paying. MORE

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