The Emergency Room Health Clinics across the US….
The majority of people who lack medical coverage in the USA are caught in a national system of health-care that says they have too much money to qualify for the health-care services that’s available for the very poor, but these citizens don’t have enough money to pay for it themselves and their either self-employed or their employers don’t offer it.
There is a welfare system in place, but it’s needs based and confusing to use with all sorts of built in punitive land-mines if you try to get out of poverty. You have to be living on little or no income in order to qualify, although there is a limited insurance for pregnant women and a few fragmented programs to immunize children and there are public clinics that are free or inexpensive to visit.
The problem with this fractured system of health-care in the States is that millions of people don’t have a regular doctor who could notice possible serious health issues before those issues become terminal.
Many people use the emergency room as their health-care clinic and they only show up in the later stages of their health problem. The reason people use the emergency room as their health clinic, is because no one can be turned away, even if they can’t afford to pay.
This ‘Emergency Room as your health-care clinic’ is probably more expensive to the nation then simply providing basic health insurance for all citizens.
In the UK there is a national health program called the NHS and it’s not perfect, but it’s better than nothing. Those who can afford it, supplement their NHS services with private insurance. This way, those people who prefer a more luxurious, faster health-care experience can pay for the privilege or even travel to another country to get what they want or need, while everyone else has free access to basic care and maintenance and surgery if necessary.
I think Hilary Clinton was right when she pushed for national insurance so that the lower middle class would be covered. Her largest opponents were private health insurance companies who stand to lose billions of dollars if the current system of insurance was drastically changed. Also, lawyers would lose out if there was a cap put on the amount of money that people could sue for in malpractice cases.
It’s sad to think of a child suffering an earache because the parents don’t have the money to pay a doctor, so they wait until the eardrum ruptures and rush the child to the emergency room in horrible pain with a life threatening fever…. or an older person suffering and dying from a heart attack that could have been prevented if she/he had gone to the doctor and gotten on medication that they could afford…
This type of unnecessary suffering is happening everyday in the States… all because insurance companies and lawyers want to continue making as much money as possible from the current system of unfair and fragmented health-care availability, in one of the richest countries in the world.