Despite the shrill shouting in town hall meetings and the political punditry within the beltway, the fact remains that 18% of our population of adults under the age of 65 are without medical insurance, and the long term costs of uninsured individual’s declining health presents a greater fiscal risk to our economy than providing uninsured individuals with some basic medical insurance coverage. This pressure on our t, or cannot seek preventative care and receive the education and early detection that can prevent serious condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. These spiral into complicated medical conditions that drive up incredible debts which the uninsured is left with no recourse other than bankruptcy, assuming that they are able to receive enough medical treatment to survive their illness.
The fact of the matter is that uninsured individuals do not seek out routine medical care. While a $30 to $50 copay buts a visit to the doctor for a routine checkup easily within reach for any gainfully employed person with medical insurance, the $150 full fee for such a check up places a routine physical far outside the budget of the working class citizens who simply cannot afford to spend money on routine care. Unfortunately, it is this routine care that allows doctors to diagnose the early stages of potentially life altering conditions during the early stages. A patient that has medical insurance is likely to hear the reminders from their family physician about the importance of the basic numbers that indicate optimum health, such as Body Weight Index (BWI) , cholesterol level, etc. When one of these variables begin to spike, such as hypertension or high cholesterol, a physicians ability to intervene and advise the patient that there is a problem is usually enough to nip the problem in the bud.
Such is not the case with uninsured individuals who only seek medical attention when they are very ill. Rather than stopping the problem before it becomes serious, they enter the emergency room of a hospital when their condition has become far too serious for them to ignore. By this time, they have frequently developed serious medical conditions that are both chronic and dangerous. Even worse, they lack the health insurance needed in order to treat them now that have unwillingly made it in for medical care. With routine medical care, the expense to care for the condition in its early stages would have been negligible. Left to fester, such a condition can turn into an emergency that can very easily cost tens of thousands of dollars. All the while, the uninsured individual is suffering needlessly and unable to contribute to society.
Beyond the numbers, it is important to remember that these are real people that we are talking about. The large majority of the uninsured are native or naturalized citizens, as only around10% of the uninsured are undocumented individuals. A recent Gallup poll revealed that one in six adults is without medical insurance. How many of those individuals have conditions that could easily be addressed by a doctor’s care if they had basic medical insurance but will one day roll into a hospital