11 Oct

Romney: ‘We Don’t Have People Who Die Because They Don’t Have Insurance’


Written by Rebecca Leber

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. Romney told the Columbus Dispatch:

“We don’t have a setting across this country  where if you don’t have  insurance, we just say to you, ‘Tough luck, you’re  going to die when you  have your heart attack,’??” he said as he offered more  hints as to what  he would put in place of “Obamacare,” which he has pledged to  repeal.

“No, you go to the hospital, you get  treated, you get care,  and it’s paid for, either by charity, the government or  by the hospital.  We don’t have people that become ill, who die in their  apartment  because they don’t have insurance.”

He pointed out that federal law requires  hospitals to treat those  without health insurance — although hospital officials  frequently say  that drives up health-care costs.

Emergency rooms serve as a place of last resort, but 45,000 Americans still die every year (1) because they lack  health insurance, or one every 12 minutes. Uninsured  adults under age 65 are  also at a 40 percent higher death risk.  Hospitals may treat patients for  emergency medical conditions regardless  of legal status or ability to pay, but  patients with chronic conditions  that don’t require emergency interference are  often unable to access  needed care.

Romney’s health care proposal would leave 72 million Americans without health insurance and  wouldn’t provide all uninsured Americans with a stable source of insurance.

This post was originally published by ThinkProgress.

(1) (Reuters) – Nearly 45,000 people die in the United States each year — one every 12 minutes — in large part because they lack health insurance and can not get good care, Harvard Medical School researchers found in an analysis released on Thursday.

“We’re losing more Americans every day because of inaction … than drunk driving and homicide combined,” Dr. David Himmelstein, a co-author of the study and an associate professor of medicine at Harvard, said in an interview with Reuters.

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How could anyone with any sense of decency vote for this man?

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