Our non-system of health care has institutionalized the most inefficient, most costly and least effective way of paying for and delivering health care. The problem is most extreme for those who are indigent and/or have no health insurance coverage. They/we pay more for lousy health care. No wonder our health care outcomes are so mediocre.
People who are uninsured and have no access to health care are forced to delay care. Minor problems become major and costs for care, when sought, are higher. Guess who pays these higher costs when the uninsured can’t pay their bills?
When the uninsured and/or indigent become sick their problems are handled inefficiently (at ER’s for example) and other higher cost facilities. Guess who gets to pay for these excess costs when the uninsured are unable to pay?
If an uninsured person is fully indigent he/she may qualify for Medicaid. Guess whose taxes pay for this insurance?
Finally, w hen an uninsured person shows up at a hospital or other facility he/she pays retail. That is, their charges do not reflect the discount that insurers and industry insiders negotiate. So those least able to pay end up paying the most. That’s the reason one of the leading causes of bankruptcy in the U.S. is medical bills. Guess who pays for these unpaid bills with increased charges for their own services?
All of this goes away with universal coverage in a national insurance program. We need that change, now!
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