Badtux the Snarky Penguin

In a time of chimpanzees, I was a penguin.

Religious fundamentalists are motivated by the sneaking suspicion that someone, somewhere, is having fun -- and that this must be stopped.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Medical Care Tuesday: Emergency care needs 911 call

In keeping with my motif today of "all health care, all the time", comes the latest report on the miserable state of the U.S. emergency health system.

Basically, in some states, you better hope you don't get hit by a drunk driver during flu season. For example, every hospital in Phoenix has gone to diversion for as long as four hours at a time at some points last year, meaning that your ambulance could be driving around in circles for as much as FOUR HOURS before finally making it to an emergency room. For critically injured patients, that means they are dead.

Health care that kills people isn't. Most of the problems with emergency medicine today are actually problems of insurance -- because of the fact that 45.8 million people lack health insurance and that these people clog emergency rooms because doctors refuse to see them if they don't have health insurance, real emergencies cannot be properly handled. Thus my proposal to expand Medicare eligibility to all Americans. The other alternative -- expanded government spending on public health clinics -- does not work well because government is lousy at providing actual services. Government does okay taking money from one pocket and putting it into another pocket, but when it comes to actual services, does a poor job compared to a free market. Government should only provide services where the free market has failed, such as the highway system. The free market does a pretty decent job of providing health care, it is the insurance system that has failed, not the medical system. Thus it is the insurance system, not the medical system, that we should look at when trying to do something about the 16% of our national income that is sucked into the medical black hole... we cannot be competitive with other countries when we are spending twice as much on health care as most of our competitors!

- Badtux the Medical Penguin

Posted by: BadTux / 1/10/2006 01:13:00 PM  


You are so right in that the medical care in this country is so off. In a country as rich as this one, we should not be needing to fork over so much for proper care.

The right wing pundits will agree with the fact that it is insurance that is the problem. But, not the insurance companies you're thinking of. They will claim that the cost of malpratice and liability insurance for the doctors is the main culprit, not the insurance companies wanting more premiums for less coverage. I think it's all the insurance comapnies that are at fault because they're more interested in the bottom line, shareholder returns, and making up for risky ventures in the stock market. Ok, so they have to at least break even or they won't have the money to pay out on the claims.

# posted by Anonymous : 10/1/06 4:42 PM  

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