As with every other entity, health care costs the uninsured much more than it does the insured. With insurance an office visit costs the client twenty dollars. The uninsured client with the same problem will have to pay the full amount. Low income people pay outrageous interest rates for car loans and way too much money for substandard furniture rental. Often they pay exorbitant rent for housing that leaves a lot to be desired. Of course, many times the uninsured actually pay nothing for health care. Those who don’t own homes or have jobs most often simply don’t pay. Hospitals have a built in write-off for a certain percentage of its’ patients. This is part of the reason an aspirin costs fifteen dollars. Just as with the airlines, many hospitals no longer have graham crackers or milk as snacks for patients. Nurses are overworked because the money it takes to pay their salaries is shriveling up due to the high rate of the uninsured.
One solution to the problem of no insurance is to ask those who are physically able to exchange community service for money owed hospitals or doctors. This would certainly be appropriate for the unemployed and may actually lead to permanent employment. There is plenty of community service work to be done; picking up litter, cleaning state office buildings, painting, etc. etc. This would actually be similar to the former WPA projects.
While this would not actually help the medical facilities to whom these people didn’t pay, money saved by the government could be funneled back into to these institutions.
Another solution would be a clinic to which people could subscribe for a negligible fee. The services at this clinic would be greatly reduced in price; payment would be cash only and medical professionals could donate services. As a registered nurse, I know that many doctors already donate time; most of my colleagues would be happy to participate in such a venture. Many hospitals actually consider volunteer work in a nurse’s quest to increase his or her level of practice.
A significant number of the uninsured is here illegally. The government needs to be more diligent about seeing to it that people who are here illegally actually strive towards citizenship or return to their country of origin. This problem of illegal immigrant migration has caused many hospitals on the southern border states have had to close because of this problem.
Probably the most important factor in dealing with the uninsured is to preach prevention. People who stay healthy don’t need to go to the doctor as often. Formation of and participation in vegetable and fruit co-ops could be a source of fruits and vegetables to those for whom these vital foods are currently too expensive. Public service ads should stress the importance of handwashing, good nutrition and overall cleanliness as a first line defense against illness. There are actually people who don’t know how important hand washing is in disease prevention; a more knowledgeable public is a healthier o