Health Care the American Way?

Emergency EntranceThis article on Grady Hospital in Atlanta caught my attention.

It’s about the only public hospital in the Atlanta area, and caters mainly to the uninsured poor.  It will lose $55 million this year alone, and may close at the end of the year because of its debt burden.  It needs $300 million in equipment and renovations to bring it up to modern standards.

What caught my eye was this statement:  “Only 7 percent of Grady’s patients have private insurance, and 75 percent are on Medicaid. Because they lack of insurance and have no family doctor, many go to Grady’s emergency room even when they don’t have an emergency. The ER ends up treating sore throats and other ordinary aches and pains.”

This is not uncommon.  Sisters Hospital and ECMC in Buffalo both suffer from this, as does every other hospital in the Buffalo area.  The needy, those who can least afford health care, take what amounts to be the most expensive route to get health care.

Small wonder why health insurance costs are going through the roof.  At what point will this system for doling out health care collapse under its own weight?


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One Response to Health Care the American Way?

  1. Becky says:

    As far as I know, the poor choose the only way to get health care. It just happens to be the most expensive.

    I have health insurance, and upon deciding I wanted to switch doctors a few years back, I found out there weren’t too many openings for new patients. None where I was interested in going. So I got over my snit and stayed with my doctor. Truth be told, I’m glad I did, but even with good insurance I had little choice.

    Those with no insurance/Medicaid have even less choice.

    What is hard to comprehend is that NYS Medicaid is like the Bugatti Veyron of health plans, but doctors won’t take it…The reimbursements, I believe. But it leaves the patients at the emergency room.

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