Saturday, December 26, 2009

Got Sick? No Worries!

Americans already have universal access to health care, say's Missouri State Senator Jane Cunningham (R-Chesterfield), even if they didn't realize it. Thus President Obama can keep his meddling health care legislation out of Missouri and away from the greatest health care system in the world. Cunningham broke this news to listeners of KMOX this past Wednesday on the Hancock and Kelly show.

How can one access this hospital on a hill? Simple! Just drive on down to your local E.R. and sign up for a slot. As Cunningham explained, all hospitals are required by law to provide treatment to anyone who crosses their threshold.

How is it that this golden opportunity has been overlooked by legislators and advocates who have struggled to legislation that would protect the sick and give those who have little means access health care?

Well they haven't. In fact, the wave of uninsured patients who utilize Emergency Rooms as primary care facilities have been a major factor in the skyrocketing cost of health care. Every dime the hospitals spend on helping someone without insurance is tacked onto the bills of all of the other patients. Where do you think the $15 dollar Aspirin come from?

Not only does the use of hospital E.R.'s drive up costs for everyone, it results in worse health outcomes for those who do use it as a primary means of getting care. Monitoring personal health through preventative health care and regular doctors visits mean catching some health problems early or preventing the arise of others. Sicker people are more expensive to treat and when the untended-to uninsured finally do seek out care at the hospital, they are in even worse health and those additional costs are all passed on to the insured.

That a sitting State Senator would offer this up as a reason to reject efforts to make the health care system more equitable with better protection for patients and access for all Americans demonstrates how out-of-touch the opponents of health care reform truly are.

And yes, under the just-passed U.S. Senate version, all Americans would have access to the health care plans members of Congress currently have.

- Murphy