Sunday, September 16, 2007

Clayton Cramer on the "Uninsured Problem"

I have been wondering about what should be done about the medicine for the uninsured through emergency rooms problem. On Friday afternoon, I heard an emergency room nurse talk about the problem and the bad response from one hospital, which was to reduce the size of their emergency room to discourage people from using it, due to the wait and many surly staff. Clayton Cramer writes about the subject:

There's a widespread argument that the government needs to do something about health insurance for the uninsured. I'm more sympathetic to these concerns than I used to be, partly because using emergency rooms in place of a doctor's visit is terribly inefficient. What should cost $40 at a doctor's office becomes $150 in an emergency room. Worse, from both a human suffering standpoint, and because of the costs, some poor people, because they have no coverage, wait until a minor problem becomes a major problem.

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