Romney: People Don’t Die For Lack Of Insurance

This is an interesting Romney quote from Kaiser Health News and NPR‘s Shots blog. I could guess at the narrative, health insurance equals health care. I was curious whether this article would discuss the “cash” customer and personal responsibility, too. Here is the part of the article I wanted to keep since it links to the law that requires hospitals to treat people show show up with bona fide emergencies.

What he said last month was that if people need emergency care, they can always go to a hospital and get it. And that’s true. The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act requires hospitals to treat people who show up with bona fide emergencies, or women in, as the name suggests, active labor. But it doesn’t require them to provide that care for free. They can, and usually do, try to collect from even uninsured patients, often at fees well above those negotiated by insurance companies.

Here is an article on BusinessInsider that discusses what to do when “What To Do When Your Doctor Goes The Cash-Only Route”.

It is hard for me to imagine people receiving adequate health care if they do not have an emergency fund at least the size of their deductible and yet here is a blurb posted by John Goodman on the Health Policy Blog saying a quarter of Americans are woefully prepared for even a minor medical crisis.

Almost a quarter of Americans have less than $100 in their emergency savings fund, according to a recent TNS survey for CashNetUSA. Of the 1,000 participants surveyed, a staggering 22.8 percent reported that if they needed to cover an emergency expense within one day, they would have less than $100 available.

Both males and females reported similar savings patterns, however, 55 percent of Americans with children under the age of 18 reported having less than $800 in emergency savings compared to 42 percent of those without.

One of the most cost effective ways to improve your health is through regular exercise and a better diet. Changing your eating habits is not easy and exercise is sometimes painful but it is a whole lot better than having to go to the doctor. I can fix some of the common sources of health problems. I try to remind myself that at my age most people go to hospitals to die. If I do my part on the health problems I can control and I get lucky on the health problems out of my control, I plan to put that last visit off for quite awhile.