Originally Posted by JoBravo
If you show up to an emergency room and that hospital receives federal funding, they cannot deny you treatment, regardless of whether or not you have insurance. So if you have an accident or an acute disease that suddenly hits, you'll get treated and then sent a really large bill.
I'm honestly not sure what happens to people who have chronic diseases like cancer without insurance. I imagine they may be eligible for Medicaid, which is a very strict and bare-bones federal and state supported medical program, but as I understand it, it is very limited and not every hospital accepts it.
Show up with acute disease they only have to give you emergency life-saving or limb-saving treatment. For example show up with acute abdominal pain and say because of it you've ate almost nothing for 2 weeks, they'l put you on a saline drip to treat your dehydration, and do a few x-rays to look for life-threatening emergencies. If they don't find any (and they won't find anything on x-rays if you have a multiple stomach ulcers that aren't bleeding enough to be life threatening, but cause you to throw up everything you try to hold down) they'll say we didn't find anything, go to a gastro-enterologist. If you don't have money or insurance, no gasto-enterologist will see you, because they will have been told by the hospital that your life isn't in immediate danger. When you haven't eaten for 2 more
weeks, the hospital will look at you again, and send you off to a mental hospital to be treated for anorexia where they will force feed you, and give you tranquilizers when you complain this is causing you stomach pain. Eventually you will be kept in a state of nearly unconsciouness, with a stomach tube, until you die. If you are lucky
your ulcer will start to bleed severely, whereupon blood tests will show life-threatening anemia, and you will throw up blood, and when you are about ready to die, only then
will they call in a gastro-enterologist to save your life, by prescribing prilosec instead of tranquillizers, and they'll give you a blood transfusion. If you never have a life-threateing bleed, you will be maintained on tranquilizers so you can't complain too much about the stomach tube. I know it cost them more money over the long run to do it this way - but they have principles to live by. No treatment unless your disorder is life-threatening or limb-threatening.
If you have an hernia, that makes it impossible for you to walk and hold down your normal job of being a waiter - sorry, no treatment, the illness
threatens nothing. Should the hernia become strangulated and start cutting off the blood supply to your intestines, which become gangrene - only then will you get hernia surgery - along with having half you guts removed due to the gangrene. Yes, this is much more expensive than simple hernia surgery would have been several years ago - but a simple hernia does not threaten life or limb, only a strangulated hernia does - which usually takes years and years of living with a hernia to happen, though most of the time it never happens at all.
Same goes if you have migraine headaches. They won't give you much in the way of oxycodone, despite what the newspapers are saying about how freely it is given out. You won't die from the pain.