Mitt Romney doubled down on his suggestion that uninsured Americans can find the care they need in emergency rooms, telling The Dispatch that people will always receive the treatment they need, and do not die or suffer because they can not pay for care. He pointed to federal law that requires hospitals to admit emergency patients, repeating his advice that patients rely on the most expensive form of care reserved strictly for emergencies.
A little anecdote: A friend of mine is on total disability from an injury some years ago. Getting on Medicare was a nightmare (that’s a long, bizarre story of its own). She developed a problem with her throat. As it got worse over the years, she eventually tried to go the emergency room to get help, but was turned away because (this is key!) it wasn’t bad for her to get treatment enough even though she was having trouble swallowing. Finally, unable to swallow at all, she was given an operation that cost many thousands, paid for by public funds. The doctor told her if she had been able to be treated early on it would have been a simple, cheap, in the doctor’s office procedure.
I guess Romney is right, sort of, but the costs are higher his way. If you don’t die first.