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Old December 4 2012, 12:35 AM   #80
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Location: 2 mi S of Capt Braxton's shopping cart
Re: Do the Homeless Get Free Medical Treatment at American Hospitals?

CoveTom wrote: View Post
I realize what the value of anecdotal evidence is (read: virtually none), on both sides of the issue. However, we are all colored by our own experiences.

All I can tell you is this: I live in the United States. I have not had health insurance for many years. And health care, including routine preventative, what we call "urgent care," and emergency, has never been denied to me because of my ability to pay. Doctors, urgent care centers, hospitals... all have been willing to work with me as someone who did not have health insurance and could not simply fork over thousands of dollars out of pocket. In some cases, it was by setting up payment plans that I could manage. In other cases, it was by reducing the bill by a substantial amount. On a daily basis, I have to take an extremely expensive medication that the maker, AstraZeneca, provides to me at absolutely no cost because I can't afford it on my own.

In short, I have found the notion of being denied health care in the United States because you can't afford it to be as much of a myth as many of you claim to have found things about 'socialized' systems to be myths.
So, who pays for your care?

Setting aside the drugs (and most pharmaceutical companies have similar plans), who pays for the reduction in your bill?

The hospital eats it.

Now, that might not be an issue for you, but when a hospital eats non-payments over and over and over and over, they eventually run in the red. Then they close.

Or, they raise their rates & the discount you get is paid for by other patients.

But, in the spirit of anecdotal evidence...

My SIL was born with a dislocated hip. As a child, she had what was considered state-of-the-art surgery for the condition. She's now 42. The hardware in her hip is breaking down & one of the pins has worn a groove through the cartilage on the head of her femur. Every step she takes is shaving off a bit of bone, and that's a very vascular bone. It's excruciating.

Her orthopod says she needs a hip replacement. Because of her prior surgery, there are only 2 hospitals in the country where it can be done (there's a danger of shattering her pelvis if the old hardware isn't removed properly). Fortunately for her, one's in NYC, a short 40 miles from her home.

Her insurance company refused to authorize the surgery. Why?

Because she's 42 years old & the artificial hip will need to be replaced within her lifetime. They told her she'd be approved for a hip replacement once she turns 55.

By the time she's 55, she'll be permanently disabled, unable to walk or work.

She could pay for the surgery out of pocket--if she had $75K to spend. She doesn't. She lives in pain.
Akoochimoya, my indigenous ass.
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