A Locksmith’s Tale

A Locksmith’s Tale

Lou Padilla says he doesn’t need health insurance to fix things, including his own broken ankle. (NPR)

‘I Do Fine Without It’ — a video snapshot from National Public Radio — is one of four short pieces that illustrate various perspectives on the topic of health insurance, collectively titled ‘A Locksmith’s Tale And Other Health Care Stories.’

Lou Padilla, a locksmith from Brooklyn, is an independent man who can’t afford health insurance — but that doesn’t bother him. Padilla believes that if you have a parachute, you’ll think less positive, and Lou’s thinking positively about health. As he puts it, ‘What the mind can conceive, the body will achieve.’ To illustrate his point, Padilla strides through his apartment without a limp, and tells the story of how he broke his ankle in a skating accident, then set it himself with a wooden splint.

Padilla’s cluttered environment is beautifully photographed, and artistic touches accompany the narrative, such as partially out-of-frame portraits and a colorful series of lock imagery. A concise edit captures his quirky personality and point of view succinctly and powerfully.

The other three videos in this package are equally rich profiles of people in very different circumstances who do not share Padilla’s optimistic outlook on health:

‘They Made It Impossible.’ The Prugals, a young couple from New Lebanon, N.Y., had to skip a lot of medical care during her last pregnancy. Their son was born prematurely, and died soon after birth.

‘Thank God I Have It.’ Stan Comora of Staten Island fell on a saw, cutting an artery in his face. He credits his health insurance company for saving his life.

‘My Son Needs It.’ Rick Bartlett of Richmond, Mass., wants his son, Trevor, to work on his farm, but can’t afford to get health insurance for him now that Trevor’s 23 and has a pre-existing condition.


Length: 2:28

Reporters: Robert Krulwich and Will Hoffman
Directed by Will Hoffman
Cinematography by Daniel Mercadante and Julius Metoyer III
Produced by Larry Cohen
Made by Everynone