Romney: If You Can’t Afford Insurance, Just Go to the Emergency Room

Thurston Howell opines
Politics • Views: 34,852

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says, what’s the big deal about universal health care anyway? You people who can’t afford car elevators can just go to the emergency room.

WASHINGTON — Downplaying the need for the government to ensure that every person has health insurance, Mitt Romney on Sunday suggested that emergency room care suffices as a substitute for the uninsured.

“Well, we do provide care for people who don’t have insurance,” he said in an interview with Scott Pelley of CBS’s “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday night. “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 different states have different ways of providing for that care.”

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84 comments
1 Randall Gross  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 10:44:29am

...and if they get hungry while they are there they can chew on some vouchers.

2 Kragar  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 10:44:38am

Last time I went to the ER, I walked out owing $4k, and that was with insurance.

3 Sheila Broflovski  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 10:46:43am

Does this freaking idiot not understand that as soon as they get you stabilized in the ER their accounts receivable team is all over you like a crash cart?

4 Kragar  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 10:49:37am

re: #3 Sheila Brovlofski

Does this freaking idiot not understand that as soon as they get you stabilized in the ER their accounts receivable team is all over you like a crash cart?

What do you mean after? I was lying on a gurney with an IV, still hadn't seen a doctor and I had someone asking for my payment info.

5 Ming  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 10:50:21am

Well, looks like Mitt is OK with emergency-room care, as long as it's paid for. From [Link: www.huffingtonpost.com...]

And in a 2007 interview with Glenn Beck, Romney called the fact that people without insurance were able to get "free care" in emergency rooms "a form of socialism."

"When they show up at the hospital, they get care. They get free care paid for by you and me. If that's not a form of socialism, I don't know what is," he said at the time.

6 darthstar  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 10:52:20am

I've posted this before, but early in my first marriage we were uninsured, making shit wages as substitute teachers, and going to the ER was our only option when my wife got sick. Hours were spent sitting in the emergency room. It was a sickening experience, but I was too proud to call my parents (my dad was a practicing doctor) to get cadillac treatment for free.

Later, after I got my first teaching job, we had Kaiser (the next best thing to being uninsured)...another ER visit there(my ex was often sick, come to think of it), and yes, we still had to wait several hours. One night, I watched a Hispanic family across from us in the waiting room. I said, "Their daughter's about to give birth." My wife argued with me, saying that Kaiser was known for their OB work and they'd never leave a woman in labor in the waiting room. A few minutes later, the girl broke her water...and sat there in wet sweats for another hour. A few hours later, my wife is getting treated and while I'm waiting for her and I see the girl on a gurney in the hallway, scratching the walls with her fingers as she's having contractions. Finally fed up with the whole thing, I walk into the room where they're treating my wife and shout, "THIS GIRL'S HAVING A FUCKING BABY OUT HERE! WHY AREN'T YOU HELPING HER?" A nurse turns and says, "She says she's not pregnant." That set me off...I told them I saw her break her water now three hours earlier and she's clawing the paint off the fucking walls right now. One nurse peaks out into the hallway, says, "Oh shit!" and the scramble was on.

Apparently she was trying to hide the pregnancy from her parents who were with her, but really, when someone's THAT pregnant, there's no denying it.

Oh, and the fucking nurses never thanked me for pointing out the obvious. Apparently they didn't like my tone.

7 Bulworth  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 10:52:33am
And in a 2007 interview with Glenn Beck, Romney called the fact that people without insurance were able to get "free care" in emergency rooms "a form of socialism."

"When they show up at the hospital, they get care. They get free care paid for by you and me. If that's not a form of socialism, I don't know what is," he said at the time.

Maybe those who are able should be required to purchase insurance and those who can't can be reasonably subsidized....

8 darthstar  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 10:54:23am

re: #2 Kragar

Last time I went to the ER, I walked out owing $4k, and that was with insurance.

It's cheaper if you stay over. One of my employees had to take her husband in for a procedure - she said it would run them about $2000.00 with insurance, but when he was in previously for a similar procedure, and they admitted him into the hospital for a night, the co-pay was about $200.00. I guess there's a difference in coverage for having to stay over. Go figure.

9 Mattand  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 10:55:34am

re: #5 Ming

Well, looks like Mitt is OK with emergency-room care, as long as it's paid for. From [Link: www.huffingtonpost.com...]

And in a 2007 interview with Glenn Beck, Romney called the fact that people without insurance were able to get "free care" in emergency rooms "a form of socialism."

"When they show up at the hospital, they get care. They get free care paid for by you and me. If that's not a form of socialism, I don't know what is," he said at the time.

Christ, DF was complaining about people bashing Romney on the last thread. When quotes like this pop up, what the hell are you supposed to say? The guy wants to be President and there is almost no issue he hasn't flipped on in the last 4 years.

10 krypto  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 10:56:12am

Romney must be posting and reading comments on Fox Nation, because that's one of the standard rightwing myths from the sort of ignorant Fox followers who post there.

ERs are required to provide emergency stabilizing care to anyone, not preventive, continuing, or maintenance care, it is NOT free but is actually very expensive medical care --- the hospital will try to collect the money afterward, and it is certainly not a good thing for ERs to be overwhlemed with people going there for non-emergency care and taking time, access, and resources from those with real emergencies.

Try this article:

Why emergency rooms don't close the health care gap
By Aaron Carroll, Special to CNN

[Link: www.cnn.com...]

11 Sheila Broflovski  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 10:56:16am

re: #4 Kragar

What do you mean after? I was lying on a gurney with an IV, still hadn't seen a doctor and I had someone asking for my payment info.

I guess you were triaged as "likely to survive and not bankrupt yet"

12 Feline Emperor of the Conservative Waste  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 10:56:23am

Mitt needs to be sat down with a few accountants and some other specialists who can explain to him the deeper economics of the social safety net and these other "socialist" remedies. He could probably afford living in a fortified community, always traveling with hired bodyguards, and knowing to avoid certain areas of cities and the countryside since they are full of people with nothing - and therefore nothing to lose. Such places also being the root areas for disease, crime, rebellion, and other social ills. All things which are a *drag* on the trade and economics of a region. And the expense of maintaining oneself and entourage in proper protection is more expensive in both the short- and long- term than collectively trying to maintain at least a minimum level of welfare for the entire population.

13 darthstar  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 10:56:54am

re: #6 darthstar

A few years ago, a friend of ours got a job at Kaiser's business office. I looked across the table (this was the first time I'd met them or most of the people at the party) and said, "Congratulations, I hope they offer Blue Shield." That got a guffaw out of a couple of people at the table.

14 Mostly sane, most of the time.  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 10:57:32am

That would be part of the problem right there: the average person has no earthly idea what medical procedures cost, and how to play the game, or what is covered and what is not, usually finding out when it's too late.

I had the insurance turn down a check-up for a child because after 6, they only covered check-ups every two years. I found this out by getting turned down by insurance. Trying to find this information otherwise was nearly impossible.

That was several insurances ago, but more information for the consumer would be helpful.

15 Lidane  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 10:58:12am

re: #4 Kragar

What do you mean after? I was lying on a gurney with an IV, still hadn't seen a doctor and I had someone asking for my payment info.

Same here. My last visit to the ER had the accounting person push a cart into my exam room to get all my info down while I was sitting there with an IV and waiting for the lab results.

16 Sheila Broflovski  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 10:58:35am

A couple of years ago my son (the Canadian) was visiting with his family when my grandson fell down and needed stitches. They were seriously considering taking him back across the border to a hospital in Windsor.

17 Tigger2  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 10:59:12am

Didn't we try that ER thing with Bush, isn't that one of the reasons Ins premiums when up so much.

18 Feline Emperor of the Conservative Waste  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 10:59:37am

re: #11 Sheila Brovlofski

I guess you were triaged as "likely to survive and not bankrupt yet"

He should have checked his chart for a "insurance remaining" listing.*

* - The Star Trek Next Generation medical read-out tables supposedly had that. Wasn't visible on the TV screen. One of the actors remarked about it in an interview.

19 Someone Please Beam Me Up!  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:00:06am

re: #8 darthstar

It's cheaper if you stay over. One of my employees had to take her husband in for a procedure - she said it would run them about $2000.00 with insurance, but when he was in previously for a similar procedure, and they admitted him into the hospital for a night, the co-pay was about $200.00. I guess there's a difference in coverage for having to stay over. Go figure.

"Emergency room copayment waived if you're admitted" is part of my insurance, and perhaps of most contracts.

20 Mostly sane, most of the time.  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:00:43am

re: #16 Sheila Brovlofski

A couple of years ago my son (the Canadian) was visiting with his family when my grandson fell down and needed stitches. They were seriously considering taking him back across the border to a hospital in Windsor.

If I'd already paid for the health care in Canada through my taxes, I wouldn't be jazzed about paying for it again.

21 BongCrodny  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:01:07am

Okay, in the last thread Dark said we should have fun bashing Mitt in this thread, so I'm here to help Dark with that:

Eat Mitt and die.
What a crock of Mitt.
Does a bear Mitt in the woods?
The Mitt has hit the fan.
Mitt happens.
Wish in one hand, Mitt in the other, and see which one gets filled first.
Mitt or get off the pot.
Same Mitt, different day.
Crazier than a Mitthouse rat.
He doesn't know Mitt from shinola.
Ten pounds of Mitt in a five pound bag.
Up Mitt Creek without a paddle.
I'm too old for this Mitt.

Thank you for your support, and have a nice day!

22 erik_t  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:01:09am

You'd think an alleged business guru/policy wonk ticket would fucking understand the basic math that preventative care is a damned sight cheaper than later treatment.

But doing the intelligent (and not to mention compassionate) thing doesn't sufficiently fuck the poor, and plus the black man did it, so too bad.

23 Someone Please Beam Me Up!  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:01:14am

re: #13 darthstar

A few years ago, a friend of ours got a job at Kaiser's business office. I looked across the table (this was the first time I'd met them or most of the people at the party) and said, "Congratulations, I hope they offer Blue Shield." That got a guffaw out of a couple of people at the table.

In my (San Francisco Bay) area, they've apparently cleaned up their act. Kaiser gets the same or better ratings as the other HMOs available around here.

24 wrenchwench  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:01:47am
A Rowe man has been twice bitten — first by a rattlesnake and then by a $186,000 hospital bill for the anti-venom treatment alone.

“They almost had to treat me for a heart attack after I received the bill,” Kurt Spencer said. He’s still waiting on invoices from Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center for doctors’ services, a 27-hour hospital stay and some blood tests.

[...]

According to a trauma surgeon trade magazine, Trauma Today, and an online wholesale pharmaceutical company, the wholesale price for CroFab is about $2,000 per vial. The price per vial at hospitals varies widely.

The cost per vial at Christus St. Vincent is about $10,000, confirmed hospital spokesman Arturo Delgado. Hospitals generally have to buy the anti-venom from a distributor, which increases the price. Delgado said anti-venom also requires special care to store, maintain and administer, all of which adds to the cost. He said insurance companies will generally pay a portion but not the actual cost to hospitals.

Spencer is grateful to still have his arm, and, since he has insurance, his out-of-pocket expense will be less than $1,000. But he’s more than a little shocked at the cost of his health care. “I couldn’t believe how frickin’ expensive this is,” he said.

25 Feline Emperor of the Conservative Waste  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:02:27am

re: #21 BongCrodny

Okay, in the last thread Dark said we should have fun bashing Mitt in this thread, so I'm here to help Dark with that:

Eat Mitt and die.
What a crock of Mitt.
Does a bear Mitt in the woods?
The Mitt has hit the fan.
Mitt happens.
Wish in one hand, Mitt in the other, and see which one gets filled first.
Mitt or get off the pot.
Same Mitt, different day.
Crazier than a Mitthouse rat.
He doesn't know Mitt from shinola.
Ten pounds of Mitt in a five pound bag.
Up Mitt Creek without a paddle.
I'm too old for this Mitt.

Thank you for your support, and have a nice day!

Needs more Mittney Dangerfield quotes.

26 darthstar  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:03:27am

re: #21 BongCrodny

Okay, in the last thread Dark said we should have fun bashing Mitt in this thread, so I'm here to help Dark with that:

Eat Mitt and die.
What a crock of Mitt.
Does a bear Mitt in the woods?
The Mitt has hit the fan.
Mitt happens.
Wish in one hand, Mitt in the other, and see which one gets filled first.
Mitt or get off the pot.
Same Mitt, different day.
Crazier than a Mitthouse rat.
He doesn't know Mitt from shinola.
Ten pounds of Mitt in a five pound bag.
Up Mitt Creek without a paddle.
I'm too old for this Mitt.

Thank you for your support, and have a nice day!

That's awfully Mitty.

27 calochortus  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:03:58am

re: #3 Sheila Brovlofski

Does this freaking idiot not understand that as soon as they get you stabilized in the ER their accounts receivable team is all over you like a crash cart?

No, he doesn't get it. Lots of people don't get it. I've had more than one person be shocked (and disbelieving) of the concept that you could be liable for the cost of ER treatment. The assumption is that you either have insurance or have no assets whatsoever.

28 Mattand  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:04:15am

re: #16 Sheila Brovlofski

A couple of years ago my son (the Canadian) was visiting with his family when my grandson fell down and needed stitches. They were seriously considering taking him back across the border to a hospital in Windsor.

I was having a conversation with my sister's friend at a party last year. The subject of health care came up. This person made the comment that when her daughter came down with a flu-like bug, they debated whether to go to the doctor or just wait it. The waffling about going to the doc was due to insurance costs.

I pointed out that's what's messed up with our health system. If your kid is sick, you should just be able to go to the MD. You shouldn't have to worry about it breaking your budget.

The dumbfounded and confused looks I got in return were appalling. Just about every person at that table was like, "What do you mean? This is how it works!" It never occurred to any of them how ass backwards the US health care system is.

29 calochortus  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:05:04am

re: #23 Someone Please Beam Me Up!

In my (San Francisco Bay) area, they've apparently cleaned up their act. Kaiser gets the same or better ratings as the other HMOs available around here.

I've been very happy with Kaiser here in the Bay Area. They're not perfect, but neither is anyone else.

30 darthstar  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:05:33am
31 Lidane  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:06:57am

re: #16 Sheila Brovlofski

A couple of years ago my son (the Canadian) was visiting with his family when my grandson fell down and needed stitches. They were seriously considering taking him back across the border to a hospital in Windsor.

Doctors and pharmacies all along the Texas-Mexico border are having to compete with their counterparts in Mexico, since most people will just drive a few minutes to cross the border and get cheaper medical care. Same services, much lower cost.

32 Feline Emperor of the Conservative Waste  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:07:38am

re: #30 darthstar

Of course they want windows, if not a door, on the plane. That way they can arrange for the staff to take the dog for a walk if it's a long flight.
/

33 Sheila Broflovski  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:07:39am

re: #20 Mostly sane, most of the time.

If I'd already paid for the health care in Canada through my taxes, I wouldn't be jazzed about paying for it again.

What they ended up doing was going to the closest ER showing their Canadian ID and Ottawa picked up the tab.

34 Mostly sane, most of the time.  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:08:06am

re: #33 Sheila Brovlofski

What they ended up doing was going to the closest ER showing their Canadian ID and Ottawa picked up the tab.

Well that makes sense. They had already paid for the Canadian health care.

35 Feline Emperor of the Conservative Waste  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:09:15am

re: #34 Mostly sane, most of the time.

Well that makes sense. They had already paid for the Canadian health care.

In the new R/R system that payment would arrive in poutine coupons and used hockey pucks!
;)

36 Lidane  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:09:18am

re: #32 Feline Emperor of the Conservative Waste

Of course they want windows, if not a door, on the plane. That way they can arrange for the staff to take the dog for a walk if it's a long flight.
/

#RomneyPlaneFeatures

37 A Mom Anon  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:10:09am

On what damned planet is an ER visit free?
Last November I was standing in my dining room while my 80 lb German Shepard/Doberman mix was chasing the cat around the table. Before I could get out of the way she ran into me full speed and took me down,HARD. Trashed my knee,tore a ligament, had tons of swelling and bruising,it sucked. Hubby took me to the ER,had x-ray,got a knee immobilizer/walking cast thing,crutches and pain meds. Since it was a Monday morning,the place wasn't busy,we were in and out in under 2 hours. The co pay was 100 bucks. The bill itself was 7500 dollars. Without insurance that 7500 dollars would have killed us financially.

What kind of an idiot actually thinks the ER is a free(or even affordable) substitute for reliable and affordable health care? WTF?

38 Blizard  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:10:40am

Emergency Rooms are the best at administering chemotherapy as well as physical therapy.

Oh, wait...

39 Lidane  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:12:01am
40 Sheila Broflovski  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:13:17am

re: #36 Lidane

#RomneyPlaneFeatures

Pet carrier on the roof!

41 BongCrodny  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:13:57am

re: #40 Sheila Brovlofski

Pet carrier on the roof!

I thought "spare tire" was hysterical.

42 darthstar  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:15:08am
43 darthstar  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:15:38am

Okay...this one wins.

44 A Mom Anon  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:18:27am

re: #30 darthstar

No,just.No. This man has no business caring for a houseplant let alone anything else if he really can't figure out why airplane windows don't just roll down like a car's. Holy crap.

45 Hercules Grytpype-Thynne  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:18:47am

re: #19 Someone Please Beam Me Up!

"Emergency room copayment waived if you're admitted" is part of my insurance, and perhaps of most contracts.

Ours too. In fact, when my son was little and suffering from croup we were offered the option of having him admitted from the ER, which we turned down only to discover, a week later, that it was going to cost us a $50 copay that would have been waived if we'd chosen to hospitalize him. I pushed back on the ground that that constituted a backward incentive structure, and won.

46 BongCrodny  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:19:42am

"Tiny bottles of Cristal."

47 makeitstop  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:20:15am

re: #39 Lidane

One of the generators at this Romney event is on fire.

They seem to have zero luck with any sort of modern contraption.

I guess that's why Mitt wants to take the country back to the days before the Industrial Revolution.

48 darthstar  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:20:35am

re: #44 A Mom Anon

No,just.No. This man has no business caring for a houseplant let alone anything else if he really can't figure out why airplane windows don't just roll down like a car's. Holy crap.

In his defense, he probably wasn't asking why you can't roll windows down, but because he's not fluent in the English language, he spews word salads that make the Palins cringe.

49 Mattand  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:21:03am

re: #44 A Mom Anon

No,just.No. This man has no business caring for a houseplant let alone anything else if he really can't figure out why airplane windows don't just roll down like a car's. Holy crap.

Wait a minute. Are you guys saying that Romney didn't know the reason an airplane's windows are sealed? Seriously?

I'm having a hard time believing that.

50 makeitstop  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:21:56am

re: #49 Mattand

Wait a minute. Are you guys saying that Romney didn't know the reason an airplane's windows are sealed? Seriously?

I'm having a hard time believing that.

I couldn't believe it either - but he actually said that.

51 Varek Raith  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:23:30am

re: #39 Lidane

[Embedded content]

Foreshadowing.

52 Feline Emperor of the Conservative Waste  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:24:28am

re: #47 makeitstop

They seem to have zero luck with any sort of modern contraption.

I guess that's why Mitt wants to take the country back to the days before the Industrial Revolution.

Peasant powered carriage elevator?

53 calochortus  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:24:38am

re: #50 makeitstop

I couldn't believe it either - but he actually said that.

Perhaps from now on she'll travel in an open-cockpit vintage bi-plane or something?

54 Mattand  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:25:08am

re: #50 makeitstop

I couldn't believe it either - but he actually said that.

Oy.

I'm trying to give him the benefit of the doubt here, in that he was worried about Ann. But, yeah, that's a tough one to defend, given that he's a guy who has probably spent a good portion of his life on airplanes.

55 darthstar  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:25:14am

This guy changes his message more often than he changes his magic underwear.

56 darthstar  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:26:26am

re: #55 darthstar

This guy changes his message more often than he changes his magic underwear.

[Embedded content]

Here's the link that got left off the retweet.

[Link: thehill.com...]

57 Kronocide  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:26:38am

Emergency room is also good for PSAs, screening for diseases, etc.

58 darthstar  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:27:20am

re: #54 Mattand

Oy.

I'm trying to give him the benefit of the doubt here, in that he was worried about Ann. But, yeah, that's a tough one to defend, given that he's a guy who has probably spent a good portion of his life on airplanes.

This was a few days after Ann was safe on the ground. And I don't believe Romney actually worries about anyone or anything.

59 calochortus  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:30:40am

re: #58 darthstar

This was a few days after Ann was safe on the ground. And I don't believe Romney actually worries about anyone or anything.

Eh, there's no reason to think Romney doesn't love his family dearly. He may be out of touch with reality for the rest of us, but I don't think that says anything about his family life.

60 Destro  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:31:02am

Also read:

[Link: littlegreenfootballs.com...]

No Health Insurance? No problem. Romney Says That Freeloading In The ER Is Now All Good

61 Lidane  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:32:41am

re: #59 calochortus

I'm sure he cares about his family. I don't have any reason to believe otherwise. That doesn't mean he knows anything about basic science or aviation.

62 Mattand  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:32:48am

re: #58 darthstar

This was a few days after Ann was safe on the ground. And I don't believe Romney actually worries about anyone or anything.

I don't expect the POTUS to be an expert in an engineering or science, but, Christ, this is like the whole "tides go in" O'Reilly meme.

To paraphrase Louis CK, you're in a giant metal tube 30,000 feet in the air. The cabin is pressurized. Having adjustable windows is a bad idea.

63 lawhawk  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:32:52am

As I posted on the dead thread, one of the reasons for sky high health costs and hospitals that are on the brink of insolvency is an overreliance on the ER for delivering health care that is better provided at a primary care provider or an urgent care center outside of a hospital ER.

A hospital ER is meant to deal with critical care patients - those who have fractures, heart attacks, serious illnesses, etc.

It's not for getting scripts for strep throat or regular immunizations or other basic health care.

According to the CDC (2011 data for ages 18-64), nearly 80% of ER visits are because of lack of access to another provider. The most common reasons for the last emergency room visit were only a hospital could help (54.5%), the doctor's office was not open (48.0%), or there was no other place to go (46.3%). Those living outside metro areas were more likely to go to ER than those in urban settings where there were other providers available.

Uninsured adults were more likely to visit the emergency room because they had no other place to go at the time of the last visit (61.6%), compared with adults having private insurance (38.9%) or those with public health plan coverage (48.5%)

ER visits rose at higher rates than other health care costs.

And some states have higher ER utilization than others. Ohio (a battleground state) is at the high end of the spectrum, while CA and HI are at the low end - on a per capita basis.

64 Targetpractice  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:33:25am

This has gotta be the most overused bullshit argument since HCR first became a major issue for Obama, that it's wrong to say those without insurance go without care because they can go to the ER. It's the cry of the rich guy who can't understand why the peasants want more when they've already got something that's "sufficient."

65 makeitstop  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:34:04am

This bit in the LAT story was interesting:

“I know in some of the communities around this particular hotel it’s hard to let people know you’re conservative without them looking at you funny," Romney said, before noting that he had lunch with “a very famous actor — very famous. Very liberal. I won’t tell you his name or he’d shoot me… He pulled me aside, he said, ‘In this town, you really can’t get work unless you’re known as a liberal,’ and he said, ‘But no one knows how I really vote.’ And there are a lot of people that feel that way."

Who's the mystery actor masquerading as a liberal? I wonder.

66 Mostly sane, most of the time.  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:35:31am

re: #63 lawhawk

As I posted on the dead thread, one of the reasons for sky high health costs and hospitals that are on the brink of insolvency is an overreliance on the ER for delivering health care that is better provided at a primary care provider or an urgent care center outside of a hospital ER.

A hospital ER is meant to deal with critical care patients - those who have fractures, heart attacks, serious illnesses, etc.

It's not for getting scripts for strep throat or regular immunizations or other basic health care.

According to the CDC (2011 data for ages 18-64), nearly 80% of ER visits are because of lack of access to another provider. The most common reasons for the last emergency room visit were only a hospital could help (54.5%), the doctor's office was not open (48.0%), or there was no other place to go (46.3%). Those living outside metro areas were more likely to go to ER than those in urban settings where there were other providers available.

Uninsured adults were more likely to visit the emergency room because they had no other place to go at the time of the last visit (61.6%), compared with adults having private insurance (38.9%) or those with public health plan coverage (48.5%)

ER visits rose at higher rates than other health care costs.

And some states have higher ER utilization than others. Ohio (a battleground state) is at the high end of the spectrum, while CA and HI are at the low end - on a per capita basis.

I've always thought that all ER's should have an urgency care next door, and the nurses should be able to bump you over.

67 darthstar  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:35:48am

re: #59 calochortus

Eh, there's no reason to think Romney doesn't love his family dearly. He may be out of touch with reality for the rest of us, but I don't think that says anything about his family life.

I'm sure he loves his family, and if asked will say, "I love my wife. I love my kids. I love my grandkids." just like that. I just don't think he really cares about anybody but himself. He sits in those interviews with Ann looking at her with this "say more nice things about me" look on his face. He really is about the most self-centered politician I've ever seen...and that's saying something, as most politicians have a selfish streak in them...it's almost a prerequisite for the job.

68 darthstar  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:36:44am

re: #65 makeitstop

This bit in the LAT story was interesting:

Who's the mystery actor masquerading as a liberal? I wonder.

Sean Penn.
//

69 Lidane  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:36:51am

re: #42 darthstar

70 calochortus  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:38:19am

re: #64 Targetpractice

This has gotta be the most overused bullshit argument since HCR first became a major issue for Obama, that it's wrong to say those without insurance go without care because they can go to the ER. It's the cry of the rich guy who can't understand why the peasants want more when they've already got something that's "sufficient."

The older I get the more I realize how many people out there want to be getting perks of some sort to make them feel "special".
(Warning: Gross generalizations ahead.)
The rich don't feel special enough if the poor have a comfortable, secure life. The middle class worries about the poor catching up with them. The poor get dumped on every day and take any opportunity they can get to make others pick up after them.

71 Sheila Broflovski  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:38:26am

re: #47 makeitstop

They seem to have zero luck with any sort of modern contraption.

I guess that's why Mitt wants to take the country back to the days before the Industrial Revolution.

Before the Industrial Revolution there was less emissions. No, he wants to roll the clock back to the days of the Triangle Shirtwaist and the days of the coal, oil, railroad, steel and mining operations, before there were unions. When assholes like George Pullman and Henry Clay Frick were godlike beings.

72 The Mountain That Blogs  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:38:38am

I can't believe we are still talking about this. I've worked a bunch in urban ERs (heck, I'm making a career out of it), and at times it seems like all we ever see are people there because they don't have doctors. Sure, we can give them a prescription for blood pressure pills, but if they can't fill it, we'll just see them again in a few years when they come back in with a stroke.

The ER is not, and was never meant to be, a substitute for longitudinal healthcare.

73 Varek Raith  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:38:47am

re: #69 Lidane

[Embedded content]

Open air spaceship!

74 lawhawk  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:39:07am

re: #66 Mostly sane, most of the time.

Some hospitals have set up PCP/urgent care facilities in neighborhoods to keep ER utilization down.

75 elektramourns  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:39:34am

Going to the ER is not a good idea, but if you have nowhere else I guess you havt to go.

ER's were never set up to be a patient's family doctor.

It is for an emergency only.

People who go to ERs all the time are often told by the staff to pleeeeasssee get a family physician and stop using the ER as a substitute for a family doc.

76 Mattand  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:40:18am

re: #65 makeitstop

This bit in the LAT story was interesting:

Who's the mystery actor masquerading as a liberal? I wonder.

I think it's bullshit. Mel Gibson was known as a conservative for years and had no trouble getting work, before his anti Semitism and wife beating became public knowledge.

Tom Selleck is another one. Guy's been employed for over 30 years and he's been open about his conservatism.

I wouldn't be surprised if Mitt ran into Zach Gallafinakis and Zach was fucking with him.

77 darthstar  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:41:09am
78 Spocomptonite  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:42:05am

re: #2 Kragar

Last time I went to the ER, I walked out owing $4k, and that was with insurance.

I had one year of very bad luck where I got hit by a truck, had an appendectomy, got 4 wisdom teeth pulled, and developed moderate Iritis. I had insurance for most of it through my parents (new rules regarding age kicked in at the exact right moment), but I'm still left paying more in medical bills than my entire first year of college cost.

79 wrenchwench  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:45:56am

re: #65 makeitstop

This bit in the LAT story was interesting:

Who's the mystery actor masquerading as a liberal? I wonder.

That was the reason for one of the Breitbart "Big" sites, Big Hollywood. Because those poor conservatives in Hollywood are so oppressed.

80 theheat  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:51:06am

And then there are chronic conditions maybe someone would need ongoing treatment for, that you'd be turned away if you sought treatment in an emergency room. And just how the hell do people who can't afford/don't have/ lost their insurance deal with those [often staggering] costs, Mittens?

If Romney was any more dense he'd be a piece of fucking lead.

81 Eventual Carrion  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 11:51:12am

re: #50 makeitstop

I couldn't believe it either - but he actually said that.

Well, things can be a little blurry trying to answer when you have been waken up by that 3 a.m. call

82 Kaessa  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 12:26:00pm

re: #66 Mostly sane, most of the time.

I've always thought that all ER's should have an urgency care next door, and the nurses should be able to bump you over.

Our local hospital does that. You go in, see the nurse, get triaged, and they decide whether it's urgent care or you need to be seen in the ER.

83 Bob Levin  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 3:20:52pm

Whoever coined the nickname 'Thurston Howell', might have placed the final nail in the coffin [I hope]. Now it's a matter of hammering it in.

84 wrenchwench  Mon, Sep 24, 2012 4:22:53pm

Emergency room docs upset with Mitt Romney

A national group of emergency room doctors is criticizing what Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said on 60 Minutes last night - that emergency rooms are a way of taking care of people who are uninsured.

Romney's quote: "Well, we do provide care for people who don't have insurance. 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 different states have different ways of providing for that care."

The American College of Emergency Physicians today stressed that emergency care is not health insurance. They also said that only 8 percent of patients who visit the nation's ERs are uninsured.

But if more people without health insurance were to rely on emergency rooms for healthcare, the system would collapse, the group says.

"All patients need health insurance that gives them access to primary care doctors and medical specialists, as well as high-quality emergency care," Dr. David Seaberg, president of the national group, said in a statement.

[...]


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