Kao-Ping Chua, “Arguments and counterarguments about universal health care”. AMSA. Retrieved May 30th, 2008 – “Arguments that the uninsured are already taken care of in this country
The uninsured already get free healthcare.
• This is a common myth. In fact, among families with at least one uninsured member, less than a quarter report getting free or discounted care in any given year (Kasper J, Giovannini T, and Hoffman C. “Gaining and Losing Health Insurance: Strengthening the evidence for efforts on access to care and health outcomes.” MCRR. 57(3): 298-318, 2000).
• There is indeed a safety net for a minority of the uninsured, including government-sponsored clinics and hospitals, as well as care provided by private physicians. However, financial pressures due to managed care are reducing the ability of private physicians to provide charity care (Cunningham P et al. “Managed care and physicians’ provision of charity care. JAMA 1999; 281:1087-92).
• The uninsured are much less likely than the insured to have a usual source of care (Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. 2003. “Access to Care for the Uninsured: An Update. ($4142; September).”
“The Case for Universal Health Care”. American Medical Student Association (AMSA). 2005-2006 – “The problems of accessing health care for the uninsured have been detailed extensively.4,5
As a result of these difficulties accessing health care, the non-partisan Institute of Medicine estimates that the uninsured have an excess annual mortality rate of 25%. This increased mortality translates into 18,000 excess deaths for people between age 25-64 per year, which is of comparable magnitude to the number of people in this age group who die each year from diabetes, stroke, HIV, and homicide.”
“The Case for Universal Health Care”. American Medical Student Association (AMSA). 2005-2006 – “Lack of preventive care and adequate care of chronic diseases: Because the uninsured do not get the preventive and chronic disease care they need, they are more likely to develop complications and advanced stage disease, both of which are expensive to treat. The magnitude of this cost is difficult to estimate, but it is significant.”