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Old November 27 2012, 09:51 AM   #20
Shaw's Avatar
Location: Twin Cities
Re: Do the Homeless Get Free Medical Treatment at American Hospitals?

Ro_Laren wrote: View Post
I’ve been under the impression (perhaps just from TV), that homeless people in America can go to the hospital and receive medical treatment for free. They sometimes don’t give their name or use something like “John Doe” or “Jane Doe.” Is that paid by Medicare or Medicaid (I can’t remember the difference between the two)?

If homeless people can get treatment for free, what is to stop someone that isn’t homeless from getting free treatment at the hospital? What if you show up with an emergency, but refuse to give your name or a fake name? I know from experience, that when you show up to the hospital you have to give your name and insurance info (I had my appendix taken out in college). But, if you had a real emergency that had to be treated right away like a heart attack, etc., could you get away with free treatment? If you didn’t have any ID on me, does that mean you can get away with saying you are homeless and not have to pay?
Nothing is free... even if you don't pay right away, the bill will follow you. You can't be refused because you can't pay at the time, but there is always a bill.

You can not get treatment (unless your unconscious) until you give consent... which requires identification.

Like voter fraud, these types of scenarios (of hiding IDs) are so rare as to be laughable... they are put forward as talking points. People who can't pay have outstanding bills in limbo while the actual costs are past onto the rest of us. But as soon as someone with one of those bills attempts to make their lives a little better (with, say, a job) their wages will end up garnished pushing them back down... all because of an emergency room visit.

Nothing is free.
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