This morning I picked up the Denver Post (August 9, 2010) and, under the byline of Jennifer Brown, saw the following headline “Uninsured Swamp Denver Health.” Ms Brown stated that “A rising number of needy patients without health insurance is overwhelming community clinics in Denver, leaving some sick people to wait up to four months to see a family doctor.”
The emergency room at Denver Health, the safety net hospital, will see everyone. If they present with a heart attack or are in an automobile accident, they will receive care. However, if patients are diagnosed with heart disease or diabetes or other life threatening illnesses, it may take months for them to see a physician.
Presumably, this problem will be solved eventually by the Affordable Care Act. At least by 2014 citizens will be able to buy affordable insurance and will be subsidized to some degree or other if they have a low income. Hopefully, medical care in the form of adequate numbers of physicians and medical facilities will be available to meet the needs of ill Americans.
There are at least 40 million uninsured United States citizens now. There are at least another 40 million or so that are under-insured due to poor coverage, high premiums, high deductibles, and high copays. If the economy stays in the doldrums, these numbers can only grow.
My question to the conservatives, Tea Partiers and the like who want to see the Affordable Care Act repealed or seriously weakened is: “What is your plan?” “What should we do for people who die or suffer from an illness for no other reason than they are too poor to buy insurance or are rejected by insurance companies due to a pre-existing condition?” “Should we just let them suffer and/or die?”
Opponents of health care reform have been able to pass Proposition C in Missouri, which basically indicates a large majority of Missourians is against the requirement that everyone purchase health insurance. So what do the supporters of Prop C suggest we do? Should we just let sick people die without medical care? Should we provide a single-payer, universal health care system? Or, are these people just negative and anti everything the President and Democrats try to accomplish – at the expense of Americans needing medical care?