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LinkAsia | Apr 10
China is worried about a real estate bubble. Housing prices have been rising by double digits in almost every Chinese city, and in Beijing alone ha...
As we're all too aware here in the United States, healthcare isn't cheap. And in China, one man risked everything to make sure that his wife could undergo kidney dialysis, even if it meant committing fraud. Authorities eventually caught up to Liao Dan, and he could face up to ten years in prison, along with an outstanding balance of over $27,000 in medical expenses. But as CCTV reports, some people in China are touched by his story. They are helping him pay his bill, and they're also calling for the judges to be lenient.
Austerity or prosperity? For Mr. Liao, neither matters more than his wife's life. Desperation is the only feeling Mr. Liao has experienced over the past few years. His wife, Mrs. Du, was diagnosed with uremia in 2007. She can't enjoy the social insurance benefits in Beijing, and the family was too poor to afford the medical fees, which come to more than 5,000 yuan a month. Both Mr. Liao and his wife are retired.
To earn more money, Mr. Liao had to drive an unregistered motorcycle taxi, but the money he got was far from enough. To save his wife's life, Mr. Liao made fake receipts for blood dialysis treatments from 2007 to 2011. According to court authorities, the total cost of the treatments was about 172,000 yuan.
Liao's case was soon picked up by Chinese media. Since the start of the trial, more than 1.5 million netizens on Sina Weibo, a popular micro-blogging website, have discussed the topic. Some support him, saying he had no other choice and he couldn't watch his wife die. They say the court should reduce Liao's sentence and people should give him support and donations.
However, others say no matter how moving Liao's story is, he should take responsibility for the crime he is accused of if he is convicted. So far, he has paid his debt to the hospital using money he got from donations. The criminal law states that someone convicted of fraud will face a sentence of three to ten years in prison. What will happen to Mr. Liao and his family is still an open question.
There are more than 250 million migrant workers in China like Liao and his wife. But only 20 percent are covered by medical insurance.