[FoRK] Another election year.... another bum economy

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Thu Jun 16 14:21:46 PDT 2011


On 6/16/11 1:50 PM, Gregory Alan Bolcer wrote:
> On 6/16/2011 1:35 PM, Stephen Williams wrote:
>> Right now, insurance companies are gaming the system by trying to only
>> cover low-risk, health-so-far people, dropping people as soon as they
>> can when they have an issue.
>
> Right now, hospitals are closing their doors due to financial losses. Dozens in California alone.  The main cause is legally 
> required and legally enforced, mandated health services for the uninsured.

Coupled with hospitals transitioning from public institutions to private companies over the last 40 years, not a good combination.  
We're all being taxed indirectly, but by insurance companies and other business people who are charging a good margin on those 
"taxes".  Better to be taxed without that overhead perhaps.

>
> You have two choices, bail out hospitals with government money to ensure that the general populace has access to emergency 
> services or make sure everyone is insured, and what, deny coverage to those who can't show they are?

If everyone had to be covered somehow, then you wouldn't have the problem.  Even if you only covered those with a driver's license, 
those in school, and those who work, you'd probably be able to absorb the rest.

>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_Medical_Treatment_and_Active_Labor_Act
>
> After the law was passed, 55% of all US emergency care now goes uncompensated.

And the other 45% are paying such crazy rates that they are seeking alternatives to avoid the apparently-scarce resource.  This 
probably has been leading to that percentage increasing as more reasonable and available urgent cares develop.  We keep reminding 
ourselves that we don't really know where the hospital is.  Upon occasion, we just go to our provider urgent care which charges 
office visit rates ($15-20 copay) rather than emergency room visits ($100-150 copay, plus percentage of the hundreds or thousands 
involved).

>
> You guys remember the firefighter story from last year?
> http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/04/firefighters-watch-as-hom_n_750272.html
>
> The guy didn't pay the $75 fire protection fee, so the firefighters let the house burn to the ground as he watched.

Very wrong.  They could just have billed some significant amount for that case.

Did you hear about the story in the Bay Area where a guy walked into the shallow water?  The emergency crews were there, but they 
hadn't spent the already allocated money for water rescue certification.  So they watched him slowly drown because they weren't 
authorized to walk into the water.  Some time later, a woman dragged the now-dead man to shore for them.  A protest was scheduled 
for many people to walk into the water at that spot.

>
> Doctors have an oath not to sit and watch.
>
> Greg
>
sdw



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