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Romney: Uninsured Have Emergency Rooms...

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Romney: Uninsured have emergency rooms

Posted by Rachel Weiner on September 24, 2012 at 9:03 am


In his interview with CBS News' "60 Minutes" that aired Sunday night, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney pointed to emergency rooms as a form of health care for people without insurance.

"Well, we do provide care for people who don't have insurance," Romney told interviewer Scott Pelley. "If someone has a heart attack, they don't sit in their apartment and - and die. We pick them up in an ambulance, and take them to the hospital, and give them care. And different states have different ways of providing for that care." 

Video via the Huffington Post:

When Pelley pointed out that the ER is the most expensive form of health-care, Romney argued that he was talking about a variety of options that vary by state.

"Some provide that care through clinics, some provide that care through emergency rooms," he said. In Massachusetts, Romney said, they had come up with a different solution - but he wouldn't push universal care on other states.

Then-President George W. Bush made a similar comment in 2007, when threatening to veto an expansion of the federal Children's Health Insurance Program. "People have access to health care in America," Bush told a Cleveland audience. "After all, you just go to an emergency room."

But Romney's position is a shift from 2010, when he told MSNBC that part of the impetus for the Massachusetts health-care law was to keep people out of the ER.

"It doesn't make a lot of sense for us to have millions and millions of people who have no health insurance and yet who can go to the emergency room and get entirely free care for which they have no responsibility," he said.

by on Sep. 24, 2012 at 10:21 PM
Replies (71-72):
by Gold Member on Sep. 27, 2012 at 8:58 AM

Actually, the federal government has been intervening in healthcare laws.

I could just as easily say "we've let the federal government have a go for decades, and so far it is creating more problems and increasing costs."


Quoting Celtic_Dragon:

I use to work for a company that would bill insurance companies for hospitals all over the US. They were almost always trauma (ER) billing. We're talking about bills that were into the thousands.

Sometimes, some people cannot afford ANOTHER monthly payment. Especially when they could purchase a home for the cost of their ER visit. And that's a really big IF the hospital does payment options or will reduce the cost.

We've been letting the 50 different states give it a go. And the majority of them have failed quiet miserably at it.

by Gold Member on Sep. 27, 2012 at 10:07 AM

I live in France, and I can say that there is a greater entitlement mentality.  Many educated people openly admit to going onto unemployment because they can get just as much or more money that way, or wanting to get a job temporarily so that they can claim later.  There is a tendency to overmedicate every little thing.  Jobs for young adults are scarce and have been for years.

I lived in Switzerland, right on the Germany border for 3 years.  Let me tell you, the mentality in those two countries is very different from America's.  The average work ethic, the productivity ethic, and quality standards are all both a joy to behold, and extremely intimidating.  Both are very different from America. 

The US cannot rely on a strong homogeneous culture--as other countries do--to provide headwind against the gravity of a dependency society, because it is not as culturally homogeneous. 

This is a good time to point out Romney's plans for reform, or what he will put in place instead of the ACA:



Mitt will begin by returning states to their proper place in charge of regulating local insurance markets and caring for the poor, uninsured, and chronically ill. States will have both the incentive and the flexibility to experiment, learn from one another, and craft the approaches best suited to their own citizens.

  • Block grant Medicaid and other payments to states
  • Limit federal standards and requirements on both private insurance and Medicaid coverage
  • Ensure flexibility to help the uninsured, including public-private partnerships, exchanges, and subsidies
  • Ensure flexibility to help the chronically ill, including high-risk pools, reinsurance, and risk adjustment
  • Offer innovation grants to explore non-litigation alternatives to dispute resolution

Promote Free Markets and Fair Competition

Competition drives improvements in efficiency and effectiveness, offering consumers higher quality goods and services at lower cost.  It can have the same effect in the health care system, if given the chance to work.


  • Cap non-economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits
  • Empower individuals and small businesses to form purchasing pools
  • Prevent discrimination against individuals with pre-existing conditions who maintain continuous coverage
  • Facilitate IT interoperability


Empower Consumer Choice

For markets to work, consumers must have the information and the power to make decisions about their own care.  Placing the patient at the center of the process will drive quality up and cost down while ensuring that services are designed to provide what Americans actually want.

  • End tax discrimination against the individual purchase of insurance
  • Allow consumers to purchase insurance across state lines
  • Unshackle HSAs by allowing funds to be used for insurance premiums
  • Promote "co-insurance" products
  • Promote alternatives to "fee for service"
  • Encourage "Consumer Reports"-type ratings of alternative insurance plans


 There are some things about Romneycare that Romney will implement, but with some major caveats:  states will have more flexibility, and plans will be able to be sold across state lines.  Notice that Romney will protect people with pre-existing conditions who are continuously covered, while increasing flexibility for the creation of high risk insurance pools, to help the chronically ill get insured.

Think of it this way:  Romney passed the state law that was the inspiration for Obamacare, the Dems tried to imitate it on a national scale.  Romney knows what states can do and how the Fed slows them down. In short, Romney is the ideal person to repeal Obamacare and replace it with smarter, leaner laws.

  Obamacare is a big mess: 


Romney knows how to apply principles from Romneycare to national law, while still giving the individual states the necessary autonomy.





Quoting Celtic_Dragon:

I have a good friend who is a journalist. He's from England and we talked in depth about our political system. He told me that he found it completely insane that the US doesn't have universal healthcare. Almost every nation in Europe does and is seen as a sign of being 1st world status. If you don't supply healthcare to your people, how can you possible be a western world power?

He kind of hates America, actually. He thinks that between Europe and US, we are two completely different worlds. People are happier and healthier in Europe than in the US. He has his own opnions why. I tend to agree with the man. As a journalist, he has seen a lot.

Quoting Meadowchik:

The point is, that even if we can get costs down, there is no "right" to affordable health care.  Take money out of the equation and it's more obvious: there are people who depend on 24 hour medical care.  Do they have a right to force a nurse or doctor to attend to them?  No. There are always going to be costs. 

In reality, there are no easy solutions, either moral or financial.  This is why I think it is best to keep the bulk of the laws at the state level instead of implementing nationwide controls, in order to keep bureacracy out of human innovation, whether it is from the care side, the people doing the best to help--or the patient side--the people doing all they can to stay healthy.

Quoting Pema_Jampa:

What you say is very true. So Obama isn't pushing "free" healthcare like some are claiming. We all know nothing is for free.

Quoting Meadowchik:

And most hospitals will work with people to organize a manageable payment plan, even write-off portions if they are paying regularly.

It's not as if universal healthcare makes it free.  You pay in some way, somebody pays, society pays.  The question is, what is the best way balancing quality of care including innovation, with manageable costs? I'd rather see 50 different states giving it a go, then one nationalised system lumbering along hit and miss with peoples lives and finances in the balance.

Quoting Celtic_Dragon:

If you have state funded insurance, which some states do not have very good programs. You can be lower middle-class and have no work provided insurance and cannot afford private insurance. Yet, you also make too much money for state funded, so you are left with nothing. Your son gets his hand caught in the sprocket of his bike and loses a few fingers, that ER visit is FAR from free.

Quoting BradleysMom119:

It is free to those who can't pay... The tax payers foot the bill

Quoting Pema_Jampa:

The Emergency room is NOT free by any means. 

Earth to Romney...






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