How often do any of us, over the course of our lifetimes, get the opportunity to save another human life?
But the Otsego County Board of Representatives and Cooperstown Village Board have been presented with that opportunity in the case of Mike Covert, 58.
Covert, a 25-year county employee (mostly as a deputy sheriff) and village police chief since 2013, has suffered the health travails of a modern-day Job in the past year, from kidney failure to a triple bypass to failing eyesight and deteriorating disks in his neck.
In the midst of this, he received word that, due to a technicality, his county health insurance was being cut off. Because he’d signed a waiver of village insurance when becoming police chief (he didn’t need it; he was covered by the county) the village advised him he can’t get coverage now.
With thousands in monthly out-of-pocket medical expenses, he was down to $17 a couple of weeks ago when a former sheriff’s department colleague, Mike Ten Eyck, started a GoFundMe campaign to raise $10,000 to help the chief. (Ten Eyck is a serial Samaritan: You might remember the fundraising race he organized for Jesse Torruela when the then-prison guard was fighting cancer a
People get it: As of this writing, everyday folks have contributed $19,550 to help cover Mike Covert’s bills. (To contribute, Google “gofundme mike covert” and the form will pop up.
The county reps (budget: $100+ million) and village trustees (budget: $5 million) should follow the lead of their constituents and figure out a way to get Mike
Covert health insurance.
Here’s a chance to save a life. Our representatives should embrace it.
Sure, elected officials have fiduciary responsibilities. But there must be a creative way to figure this out.