Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell was NBC’s Meet The Press today, where he argued that their aren’t really 47 million Americans without healthcare. McConnell said that the uninsured can always go to the emergency room for healthcare. What he ignores is that people without health insurance don’t get the same quality of care as those who do.
Here is the video:
In response to host David Gregory’s question about whether or not healthcare is a moral issue, McConnell said, “Well, they don’t go without health care. It’s not the most efficient way to provide it. As we know, the doctors in the hospitals are sworn to provide health care. We all agree it is not the most efficient way to provide health care to find somebody only in the emergency room and then pass those costs on to those who are paying for insurance. So it is important, I think, to reduce the number of uninsured. The question is, what is the best way to do that? The proposals over in the House, according to CBO, not only aren’t paid for, they don’t really dramatically increase the–decrease the number of uninsured.”
Notice how McConnell ducks the question about whether or not healthcare is a moral issue. It is a losing argument for a Republican to say that healthcare is a moral, so instead he tried to portray the Obama reform as unnecessary because the uninsured can go to the emergency room. So McConnell would rather protect the health insurance industry, at the expense of the insured and taxpayers, than insure everyone?
His argument makes no sense, especially if he is going to justify his opposition to the Democratic plan based on cost. It is delusional for Republicans like McConnell to pretend that there is no healthcare crisis because everyone can go to the emergency room for care. I can tell you from firsthand experience that there is a difference in the amount of care that the insured get compared to the uninsured in the hospital.
People like me, who have health insurance, usually get tests, and admitted if necessary. My father, who recently had to go the emergency room, and doesn’t health insurance, was diagnosed and sent home within hours, for a recurrence of a problem that he spent days in the hospital for when he had insurance. The story that I have just shared is common one all across the United States.
Hospitals are a big business. They aren’t going to dedicate bed space to people who can’t afford to pay. People without health insurance get the bare minimum care when they go to the ER. There is a disparity in both the amount and quality of care between the insured and uninsured. Republicans, like McConnell, need to get their heads out the backsides of lobbyists, and realize that healthcare reform is going to happen with or without them.