Saturday, October 20, 2012

Mitt Romney doesn't understand emergency care


The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch interviewed Mitt Romney recently for a possible endorsement and ran the story on Oct. 11, 2012. They quoted Romney as saying, “We don’t have a setting across this country where if you don’t have insurance, we just say to you, ‘Tough luck, you’re going to die when you have your heart attack. No, you go to the hospital, you get treated, you get care, and it’s paid for, either by charity, the government or by the hospital. We don’t have people that become ill, who die in their apartment because they don’t have insurance.”

What he just described is socialized medicine. But we don't have socialized medicine in this country as the Republicans would never allow it.

Wendell Potter explains what really happens at the Huffington Post: "Romney is absolutely right, people who are uninsured don't have to die in their apartments. They can indeed be rushed to a hospital, and the hospital is obligated to treat them. … Many of the uninsured die in the hospital, in the emergency room, because they could not afford to get care earlier when it might have saved their lives. Instead of going back home to their apartments, many of them, unfortunately, go to the morgue."

I'm surprised that Romney's lack of knowledge of health care in this country hasn't gotten more traction. Perhaps it's because his lack of knowledge in so many other areas is competing for our time in the news cycle.

Do you want to know how many Americans die each year because they are uninsured compared to the same types of people who are insured? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated the number of additional deaths at 44,789 in 2009. That's more people than were killed in car crashes in the United States that year.

(Sorry about the delay in posting; I was having trouble finding the original story on the Dispatch's Web site.)

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