Thursday, April 2, 2009
The high cost of NOT having universal health care
The Associated Press has a story about how nine people in Texas without health insurance ran up 2678 hospital emergency visits from 2003 to 2800, costing $2.7 million.
Critics of universal health care who claim that it is too expensive may not realize just how much it costs to have so many uninsured. Preventative care or early care is almost always cheaper than emergency care, where visits average about $1000 a pop. Not to mention the cost to productivity when sick people miss work but can't get better, or when they make others sick because of a communicable problem they can't afford to deal with.
I'll write more on this later, but South Korea's version of universal health care with its relatively high out-of-pocket expenses is being looked at as a model by those who understand the need for health care across the board but don't want to hand over the medical system to a nanny state.