Thursday, August 28, 2008

This Can't Be Real

The Dallas Morning News has a story on how Texas has the highest percentage of people without health insurance. For some reason they asked a John McCain health care policy advisor, John Goodman, what he thought about this...

You don't need a master's degree in Healthcare Administration to be shocked by what he said:

But the numbers are misleading, said John Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, a right-leaning Dallas-based think tank. Mr. Goodman, who helped craft Sen. John McCain's health care policy, said anyone with access to an emergency room effectively has insurance, albeit the government acts as the payer of last resort. (Hospital emergency rooms by law cannot turn away a patient in need of immediate care.)

"So I have a solution. And it will cost not one thin dime," Mr. Goodman said. "The next president of the United States should sign an executive order requiring the Census Bureau to cease and desist from describing any American – even illegal aliens – as uninsured. Instead, the bureau should categorize people according to the likely source of payment should they need care.

"So, there you have it. Voila! Problem solved."

Mr. Goodman's analysis drew a sharp response from the Center for Public Policy Priorities, an Austin-based think tank focusing on poverty issues. "That is not the same thing as having health insurance," said Eva Deluna, a budget analyst for the center. People without insurance are less likely to seek care, and when they do, the cost to the health system is greater, she said.

The idea that he doesn't know the basic tenants of the EMTALA laws is a little frightening. The laws only provide ER care to patients with an emergency medical condition...what that exactly means is left to the hospital to decide. A badly sprained ankle probably wouldn't be covered. A severe flu may not be treated. Furthermore, the level of care that must be provided is to "stabilize" the person or transfer them. If a person has a heart attack, the ER would only be required to treat the blockage and rehabilitation care would be required by law. This is not an insurance plan.

Gomez -- Emergency Surgery

From the Abandoned Shopping Trolley Hotline album.

Stereolab -- The Emergency Kisses

From the Cobra and Phases Group Play Voltage in the Milkey Night.

Beck -- Emergency Exit

From the Guero album.

Mogwai -- Emergency Trap
From the Mr. Beast album.

999 -- Emergency
From The Best Punk Album in the World collection.