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View Diary: How ACA can save lives: let’s visit my Emergency Room on Thanksgiving morning (158 comments)

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  •  I don't understand (1+ / 0-)
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    ERs are the most expensive place for medical care.  In the 2 examples you gave, the people had been living with symptoms for quite awhile - why didn't they try to go to a regular doctor (ie, cheaper) rather than waiting for an eventual ER visit/s?  Why don't hospitals have clinics to treat the people before they are forced to ERs?  It seems it would be cost effective to head off the more expensive ER visits.   Hopefully the ACA will make this a moot point.

    I've been fortunate to have good health insurance for most of my adult life.  I'm really hoping that the ACA will help the Johns and Emilys of this country. Everybody deserves decent health care.

    •  You are right (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ladybug53, Cassandra Waites

      Clinic visits to catch diseases early is the best way to manage healthcare, to be sure. Problem is, getting into a clinic is very difficult to accomplish without insurance.... There are free clinics, but they are totally overwhelmed with business.

      The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it. - Albert Einstein

      by ERdoc in PA on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 04:53:04 AM PST

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    •  People don't have easy access to "a doctor" (3+ / 0-)

      People don't have easy access to a regular doctor, private physician, or even to a clinic. If you are working on shift, in a rural area, in an underserved area, and/or not fully in control of your time you might not be able to get to a clinic during open hours (as a lot of people have mentioned in this thread).  You might not be able to make it through the wait lines.

      In addition: if you have limited funds you might not be able to justify getting tests done or seeing a doctor when there are so many other demands on your pocketbook.  People also don't think "I'll catch this early when it costs less" because their experience may be that whatever you hear from a doctor is going to be bad news, or the worst, so they put off being seen for a cough because they know horror stories from friends and relatives about going in for something minor and receiving a death sentence.

    •  Because they don't have insurance (3+ / 0-)

      John and Emily didn't "try to go to a regular doctor rather than wait for an eventual ER visit" because they don't have insurance.  Private doctors' offices require payment.  So people without insurance tend to put visits off and off and off until it becomes an emergency.  Federal law requires that an ER fully evaluate anyone who walks in the door, regardless of ability to pay.  The result is that we who work in ERs see many, many people who, due to desperation, lack of funds or both, wind up in the most expensive place to provide what should have been primary care.  By the way, in our town, it is not just the uninsured.  There is not one private medical office that accepts Medicare patients, not one.  So when I work the Triage front desk, I see a regular stream of desperate older people who apologize for being there but explain "I have nowhere else to go."  Single Payer - the only way it will work.

      •  Single payer won't help with that. (0+ / 0-)

        Have you checked about Community Health Centers in your area?

        There should be one nearby. 1200 to 1400 new ones are being  built thanks to the ACA.

        I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

        by samddobermann on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 04:38:16 AM PST

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