He learned how costly this can be after fracturing a rib in a relatively minor motorcycle accident and subsequently being hit with a bill for more than $12,000 from San Francisco General Hospital.
"There's no way I could pay something like that," Palmer, 32, told me. "I'm not a bum, but I'm not making a lot of money right now. How is anyone supposed to pay a bill like that?"
Shortly afterward, he said, a clerical staffer approached with discharge papers for Palmer to sign.
"She asked how I intended to pay for everything," Palmer said. "I told her I didn't have any insurance. She looked at me and then asked if there was anyone I could sue."