Adapted from the Twitter feed. Wednesday, December 21, 2016.
And what is the cost to the country of having millions of people doing without medical care?
Oh for crying out loud!
A Republican congressman outlined the way he would like to see the health care system operate if Obamacare is repealed, as GOP lawmakers are promising. It is a brave new world in which parents would wait and think about it before bringing in their sick or injured kids for costly treatments.
The example Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI) gave in an interview with MLive.com was from his own experience when he waited until the morning after to take his youngest son to the doctor with an injured arm, because he did not want to waste money on an expensive emergency room visit. The arm, it turned out, was broken.
"We weren't sure what was going on. It was in the evening, so I splinted it up and we wrapped it up, and the decision was, okay, do we go to the ER? We thought it was a sprain, but weren't sure," Huizenga said, adding that he and his wife "took every precaution and decided to go in the next morning."
"When it [comes to] those type of things, do you keep your child home from school and take him the next morning to the doctor because of a cold or a flu, versus take him into the emergency room? If you don't have a cost difference, you'll make different decisions," he said….
"Way too often, people pull out their insurance card and they say 'I don't know the difference or cost between an X-ray or an MRI or CT Scan.' I might make a little different decision if I did know [what] some of those costs were and those costs came back to me," he said.
That’s from Talking Points Memo.
I’d like to give Huizenga the benefit of the doubt and assume he’s misremembering conveniently to serve his political purposes and that he didn’t listen to his kid crying in pain and say to his wife, “You know, ER visits have high co-pays, let’s see if he sleeps it off.” I’m assuming instead he and his wife had a normal parent’s reaction and let their hope their kid wasn’t badly hurt cloud their judgment. Kid might not have been crying. He might not have been in that much pain. You don’t whisk your kids to the emergency room every time they say ouch.
But he’s a Republican and they tend to be a little tight with their money. Maybe he does do a cost-benefit analysis whenever his children need medical attention. Most people don’t and many times they don’t have the time or the inclination---when a bone is actually sticking out through the skin, for instance. And setting up the circumstances under which people would be forced to ask themselves “Can I afford this?” and “Is it worth the cost?” when faced with decisions about their own or their children’s health and well-being is worse than heartless, it’s inhuman because it forces people to be inhuman. But that’s what Huizenga says he wants done. And clearly he expects them to not get treatment if they can’t afford it.
Makes me mad. So I’m writing him an email.
Dear Congressman, I hope your son didn’t suffer too much pain while you were making him wait overnight to see the doctor about his broken arm. I also hope he appreciated how much money he was helping you save with his enforced stoicism. It’s good, though, you could afford to take him to the doctor the next day. I’m guessing your insurance covered that. Actually, if his accident happened while you were in Congress, I’m sure it did, because we taxpayers pay for it and we’re pretty generous when politicians decide to spend our money on themselves. But I suppose you may have a point, people should consider the cost of an emergency room visit and avoid one if they can.
What I’d like to know is what if they can’t avoid it and can’t afford it? And what do the people who can avoid it but can't afford the visit to the doctor the next day do?
Or the people who put off an expensive test because of your stingy advice only to find out later the cancer's advanced too far?
I had two MRIs before my back surgery. I didn't pay a dime for either, on the spot. Our insurance picked up the whole tab. If the costs had been going to come back to me, I wouldn't have had the MRIs and I wouldn't have had the surgery. My back would have gotten worse and worse and eventually I’d have become completely disabled. That would have meant I couldn’t work.
Since you obviously think only in terms of cost, what's the cost to the country to have millions of people doing without medical care?
Millions of people who can't work, can't go to school, can't contribute to the cost of running the country, a part of that cost, as I mentioned, being medical insurance for members of Congress.
The logical conclusion to your thinking is either the government picks up the more expensive cost LATER or people suck it up and die.
But what of that? If they'd rather die they had best do it and decrease the surplus population, right?
To read all of Tierney Sneed’s post at TPM, follow the link to “GOP Rep's Vision Of Post-ACA World: You Wait To Treat Your Kid's Broken Arm.”
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