Isn’t it wonderful to live in the land of socialized health care, where You People can all go to the ER of our local hospitals and receive medical services that everyone else pays for? As Mitt pointed out, “If someone has a heart attack, they don’t sit in their apartment and die. We pick them up in an ambulance and take them to the hospital and give them care.” And indeed we do! But what if that same uninsured or underinsured Someone has, say, testicular cancer? Do we pick him up in an ambulance and take him to the hospital and give him care? No. We do not. We tell him that we won’t treat him, but that it’s “urgent” he get care.
This is because hospitals are only required by law to provide care for “acute” illnesses or injuries. Ball cancer is not acute, so if you have that, and you have no insurance, and you show up to a private hospital, you are on your own. But you should probably get that taken care of somehow, ok?
A provocative new documentary, “The Waiting Room,” is a snapshot of Highland Hospital in Oakland, Calif., one of the nation’s busiest safety-net hospitals, which is stretched to the limit with 241 patients a day, mostly uninsured, who need medical care they can’t afford.
They take a number and they wait, sometimes coming back two or three days in a row. It might be months before they can get a doctor’s appointment. With only one operating room, the most urgent cases go first and the rest wait. A man with a survivable gunshot wound has waited two days to be seen…
[The filmmaker] dispels the myth that safety-net hospitals are free. [A] carpetlayer with bone spurs … finally sees a specialist, but earns just a little too much to qualify for Charity Care, [and] takes home a large bill for Highland’s services.
How unfortunate, but it’s more important that we have freedom than free health care, don’t you think? Or perhaps we could just implement Medicare for all and stop worrying about this crap. But we are raving socialist commie pinkos, so what do we know.Related