Covering the Uninsured Could Actually Save Us Money

The more that we look into the state of our health care system the more obvious it is that it’s badly broken. We’ve talked about where people get their insurance (see graph #1 below) and how other, more enlightened, countries handle health care for their citizens. We decided to take a closer look at who actually pays when an uninsured person receives healthcare. Laws on whether or not a provider must provide service to the uninsured vary across states, so we decided to use California, the most populous state, as an example. In California, uninsured people are five times more likely than the insured to go to emergency rooms (ER) for treatment, no matter how severe the problem is. The hospital will try to get reimbursement from the patient, but even after trying collection procedures, that method hardly ever results in full recovery of costs. The costs are passed on to individual taxpayers and employers in the form of a hidden tax – sometimes via the government, but often in the form of increases in the fees required for all health care services. We uncovered these facts:

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