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Trisha Torrey

Where the Tucson Shootings Meet Healthcare Reform

By January 19, 2011

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Pardon me for a moment while I type out loud....

On a regular-old-Saturday morning, you go off to the supermarket. Before you leave, you are gunned down and rushed to the hospital where you are immediately treated professionally and carefully, then moved to a patient room where you get great care.

But I wonder who pays for that? Among the people who were shot, I wonder if any of them are uninsured... or just as bad, underinsured?

I'm not asking about their treatment, because by law -- by a GOVERNMENT LAW - they cannot be turned away in an emergency. (That's the EMTALA law, if you are interested.)

But what happens after that? Many have spent days in the hospital. Some will deal with their injuries for a long time, or for the rest of their lives...

What happens if one or more don't have health insurance? What happens if one or more gets laid off and loses his or her insurance?

The answer is - we taxpayers will pay for it, either through subsidizing their care, or through subsidizing their bankruptcy.

We know Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has insurance. She has great insurance. She works in Congress, afterall.

But what about the rest of them?

I hope those in the US House of Representatives who are getting ready to vote on healthcare reform give that question some thought.... because by implementing reform by ensuring we all have healthcare coverage, this question would never have to be asked.

As I said... just typing out loud.

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Photo John Moore / Getty Images

January 20, 2011 at 2:14 am
(1) Paul says:

Your right we might not have asked who is going to pay for their treatment, we would be asking who would be treating them, because government price controls lead to shortages. So it won’t be a question of who wil pay, but whom will we treat.

January 30, 2011 at 10:56 am
(2) Shelley Cummings says:

As a Canadian, I am always shocked, dumbfounded in fact that this is even a concern. If one was so unfortunate to have been a victim to such an event, getting better would be your only concern. EVERYONE would have access to the same state of the art emergency care and no debt to hang over you head after the fact.

Are lines a little longer for some un-life threatening issues? Yes. That is because EVERY ONE is in the same line, entitled to the same services and excellent care. Everyone is covered whether rich or poor, our inheritance as Canadians. We will fight for our system , refusing to see health services as a thing only for those that can pay. How uncivilized an idea. How unchristian.Indefensible in a country with wealth with the ability to heal so many.

The Canadians who go to the US for treatment go because they are the wealthy and can afford to pay huge amounts for their treatment in your country. They don’t want to wait for there non life threatening surgery, so good for them, let them pay.

I want our system to improve as well; to shorten wait times, to cover non esential health services more often, to work toward to improve efficiency etc. Medical care for profit is repugnant , cruel, crude and unworthy of such wonderful, generous country

I`m just saying….

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