A Vermont man may have to pay $500,000 in medical bills. We interviewed the Zamboni driver rapidly approaching him.

VERMONT—As health insurance premiums rise through the roof, injuries can doom many to face medical bills that will put them in inescapable debt. Such is the case for this Vermont man, who will likely pay over half a million dollars when this Zamboni driver turns his shins into shaved ice.

A cold March morning in Montpelier, a man on an ice rink thought that he was safe from all potential sources of danger. He had learned how to skate when he was but a boy, and he had no reason to think he could ever fall and hurt himself. As the ice grew worn over the day’s traffic, it became time for the Zamboni to make its regular rotation about the rink. Little did this man know that the operator of the Zamboni was a newly hired, sadistic loony looking to wreak havoc with his new three-mile-an-hour ride.

The man was cornered in a pocket of the ice rink, and the Zamboni driver slowly inched forward. It was the perfect allegory for American health care.

“Hee hee hee, I’m gonna getcha!” the driver told the press Monday. “There’s nowhere for you to run,” We read this as a metaphor for many Americans’ own financial burdens.

This tale of medical stress is not unique to the cornered man being hunted by a Zamboni. Millions of families are coerced into inescapable debt over relatively common afflictions like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. And not all are fortunate enough to hear the warning signs, like this Vermont man.