Simi Valley Sophist

The Simi Valley Sophist ruminates on all manner of topics from the micro to the macro. SVS travels whatever path strikes his fancy. Encyclopedia Britannica: Sophist "Any of certain Greek lecturers, writers, and teachers in the 5th and 4th centuries BC, most of whom travelled about the Greek-speaking world giving instruction in a wide range of subjects in return ..."

Location: California, United States

Retired: 30years law enforcement-last 20 years Criminal Intelligence Detective.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Emergency Room-Socialized Medicine

I spent a bit of time visiting at an emergency room recently. Anyone who does not think that we have socialized medicine, think again.

You can’t tell much about patients in an emergency room except for general impressions and bits and pieces gleaned from overheard conversations. And granted, when people end up there they are probably not in their Sunday finest nor best state of mind. In my middle to upper income community, it seemed as if most of the people receiving treatment were from a lower than average socio-economic level.

The hospital was stuffed to the gunnels with no beds available for admittance. Hence, those waiting for a bed remained housed in the emergency room. Needless to say, all of the emergency room’s rooms were occupied and patients were on gurneys lining the walls. That is apparently a common practice because on the wall adjacent to each gurney is a permanently mounted letter designating an official station. It didn’t used to be that way 16 years ago when I prowled those halls as a uniformed police officer.

There was a little Hispanic girl, about 1 ½ years old, with a rash all over her body there with a Spanish speaking female adult, maybe her mother. There was the Hispanic boy, probably about 4 years old, being cradled by possibly his father. Then there was the young Caucasian woman with a tattoo for a bracelet lying on her gurney groaning and crying out between bouts of trying to vomit. She was all alone and without comfort save an occasional nurse tending to her needs. The place was full of discomfited people.

Qualifying for a bed in a two person room was a 71 year old man with what was thought to be Bell’s palsy. His speech was slurred and difficult to discern. He spent about 20 hours in the emergency room before he got a bed in the regular portion of the hospital.

Immediately replacing the gentleman was a pregnant Caucasian woman, about 25, diabetic and in for pregnancy related bleeding. This was her eighth pregnancy: one child; five miscarriages; and an abortion. Seems that she got pregnant two weeks after the abortion and that pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. The woman was distraught that the father would not come to the hospital to be with her. In a telephone conversation with the father she stated, “You wanted me to get pregnant and have this baby and now you don’t want anything to do with it.” In a telephone conversation with someone else, she described the father’s character with a few colorful expletives. By the tenor of her telephone conversations, I gathered that she and the father were not married. The capper to the woman’s saga was a statement to hospital personnel that she had no medical insurance and that she had applied for Medi-Cal last week. Did I mention that she had been in the emergency room two weeks prior?

This country is said to not have socialized medicine, and that is certainly true when compared to the medical systems in Canada and Europe. Is it a coincidence that the American medical system is superior in terms of access and quality when compared to the fully socialized systems?

To return to the opening sentence of this blog and in spite of the above statements about the American emergency system not being socialized medicine, the American emergency room system is socialized medicine. The defining difference between the fully socialized medical systems and the American emergency room system is that the direct paying patients pays directly for the non-paying patients rather than the general public paying through taxation. How so? The hospital emergency rooms are required by law to provide services to non-paying patients, and naturally those costs are directly passed on to the paying patients.

Most Americans are generous and don’t begrudge helping out the less fortunate. However, there is something innately wrong with the government in a capitalistic system requiring medical services be provided to non-payers at the expense of the responsible and insured public.

Two classes of non-paying patients are clogging the emergency rooms and driving up the cost of services for the paying patients: the unemployed/underemployed without medical insurance; and the irresponsible. Sometimes they are one in the same. Hospitals are closing emergency rooms to curb expenses that are driving the hospitals into insolvency.

The unemployed/underemployed without medical insurance has no choice but to turn to the emergency rooms for non-emergency ailments that the insured and those with assets take to their personal physicians. Fueling the overload of the emergency rooms in So. CA is the illegal alien populous, who are without medical insurance and substantive income to pay for the services out-of-pocket. If for no other reason than to unburden the emergency rooms, it is imperative that the illegal immigration problem be resolved. As cruel as it may seem, it is time to refuse non-emergency treatment in the emergency rooms.

Solving the illegal alien problem will not solve the problem of the values lacking legal citizens, who act irresponsibly and suck unashamedly at the public medical tit. There is no doubt that the bleeding pregnant patient needed emergency medical services. But, why should the public pay for this example of total personal and social irresponsibility? The pregnant woman is a social parasite with her unabashed, irresponsible fornicating and deliberate impregnating. If there ever was a candidate for sterility, she’s one.

I propose that those who choose to act irresponsibly, like this pregnant woman, are forced to pay a price for medical services. And, that price should be sterilization. The public paying for that medical procedure will save lots of money in the long run.

Before it starts, I know that the liberal/left are going to start yelling racism and eugenics. But, it is neither. It is simply recognizing the principle of individual responsibility and affirming that everyone should pull his own weight in society. There is nothing wrong with the concept that there is no free lunch and that you have to pay to play. Curbing non-emergency use of emergency rooms and eliminating repetitive uses of the emergency rooms by the irresponsible will unclog the system and allow for the delivery of superior emergency room services.