The ER problem

It’s an odd thing to sit and watch the country you grew up in being dismantled piece by piece. Some of this, like the end of the U.S. empire that grew up after the World Wars, is likely a good thing for America. However, the reason that the empire will end– massive debt– is not. Nor is the ongoing push for more regulation and more capital creation roadblocks in the name of environmentalism, fairness, etc.

The push toward national health care is probably not stoppable. Young people, who support Obama’s policies far more than older folks, want it. Twenty-somethings don’t understand economics or what makes an economy grow. They just know they’re unemployed and prospects don’t look good. Maybe more slavery will help.

I was recently in an emergency room for the first time. I naively expected periods of calm punctuated by the seriously-ill being wheeled in noisily and hurriedly. It wasn’t like that. It was a leisurely affair, with people sauntering in with their kids. Some were apparently being tested for the flu. Adults were coming in to have casts checked. No one was crying or distraught. In short, it was a lot like my doctor’s office.

I bring this up because emergency rooms are one of the first things brought up by liberal “reformers.” They tell us that further government mandates are necessary to deal with free riders who abuse the system.

Now, of course those who use an ER as a doctor’s office are consuming resources without paying for them. But what else is new? These freeloaders are already living on all sorts of public assistance– housing, food, child care, etc. Free emergency room care is just another brick in the wall of dependency. Liberals aren’t interested in phasing out the massive welfare/entitlement system that makes it all possible, they just want to use a valid point to grow the government further. It’s no different than when they tell us that reform is needed because expenses are climbing out of control… and yet their “solutions” greatly increase costs.

The ER situation is yet another example of the government creating a large mess — in this case, by forcing hospitals to provide free ER care for those who cannot pay — and then telling us that we need more more mandates and cost-shifting to clean it up. Yet again, only the government and its vast “resources” can deal with this one, so everyone scoot out of the way, please!

There’s a better way to handle ER care.

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