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Generic Confusion

When you leave, my blog just fades to grey
Nu ma nu ma iei, nu ma nu ma nu ma iei


News? Check. Politics? Check. Music? Check. Random thoughts about life? Check. Readership? Ummm.... let me get back to you on that. Updated when I feel like I have something to say, and remember to post it.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Charity care on the decline

Facing greater financial and time pressures, physicians across the country are less likely to provide charity care than in past years, according to a national study released today that looks at the percentage of doctors caring for those without health insurance.


Not wholly unexpected. But the interesting part of this article came later:

He estimates that charity care results in about $300,000 a year in uncollected fees for the practice. He added that caring for the uninsured has its challenges -- one is dealing with patients who in some cases could afford insurance.

Gabrielsen said he recently treated an insurance agent who didn't have health insurance. "He just wanted to save that money."

Those sorts of cases have prompted the small practice to start screening nonemergency patients to see if they have the ability to pay or are eligible for government programs.


In a perfect world, every person would recognize it is his duty to take care of his own medical care. Those who could afford it would buy insurance, those who are covered by government programs will use them, and charity can help the people who fall through the cracks.

But consider that the world, and the humans in it, is far from perfect. People like this insurance agent add to the health coverage crisis through their selfish behavior.

Having people pay, or enroll in government healthcare programs, is a good thing. A similar situation was observed in Massachusetts, which recently mandated insurance. Of the large number of people who did not have insurance, quite a few either chose not to buy coverage, or could already be covered by government health care programs.

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