I have never once had a blue patient come into ER and while hearing the following conversation between doctor and RT:
"Does this man have insurance?" the doctor said.
"No!" answered the nurse.
"Well, then stop bagging."
Not only would that be unethical, it's illegal inside the United States. In this way, whether a patient can afford it or not, no person can be turned down for services.
But most patients who come into the ER aren't blue, and could easily be seen by a family practitioner. These patients come to the ER not because the doctor's office is closed, but because they are on Medicaid or Medicare, and their healthcare is "free."
As I discussed earlier, it's these patients that are driving up the cost of medicine. So, how do we get these patients to think twice about going to the ER.
Keep in mind, that if they need to be in the ER they need to be there. I'm not trying to prevent an Asthmatic from going to the ER when he's really short-of-breath.
But for that adult with a common cold, or old man with a slight headache or nose bleed, or that kid with a mole on his finger that's been there his whole life, they need to stay home like most people who pay for their insurance stay home.
How do we keep them there?
My proposal, which will be severely criticized I am sure, is to make these people pay at least $5. Perhaps this would make them think a minute before wobbling into the hospital. Demand would go down, and the cost of medicine would go down too.
This $5 does not seem to much, considering most people in poverty have no problem finding money to buy beer and cigarettes and food.
I watched a program yesterday on CNN about there being no options for this one lady who was over 500 pounds and in poverty. My point is, if she is in poverty, how did she get so obese.
It's a free country, and people can be out of shape, can smoke, can eat all they want without worrying about the consequenses all they want. People also have a constitutional right to be stupid. And they also have a constitutional duty to do their part and pay for their health care, the same way they pay for all that other stuff.
And when these patients get that $5 bill in the mail from Shoreline hospital, they can toss that bill in the trash and, by law, Shoreline hospital will still be required by law to take care of that patient the next time he has a medical "emergency."
Yet they will still be accountable.
The Declaration of Independence states that we, as humans, are born with "unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
The key word there being pursuit of Happiness, as the purpose of the United States Government is to create an atmosphere where people can prosper if they so choose, it does not state that the government has to guarantee them this right.
Thus, Americans have the right to pursue healthcare, not a right to healthcare system.
However flawed our healthcare system is, it is still the best healthcare system in the world. If you don't believe me, just wait until Uncle Sam controls all the rest of it.