Conservatives really do want to let people die

Bryan Fischer may not be the best barometer of general-consensus conservative thought (although I personally believe he's no more, or not much more, radical than the rest of them; he just doesn't filter his bigotry because he's not running for office himself), but when he's echoing a theme we've seen from right-wingers before, only in more blatant form, it's hard not to take it seriously.

This time, he was offering a proposal on how to fix the healthcare system in this country.  His solution?  Remove the legal requirement that emergency rooms treat people who can't pay, and watch costs fall as all the sickest and poorest people exit the system - by way of death!  Quoting from the transcript on Right Wing Watch:
Hospitals should be allowed to set their own policies for services just like all other businesses, none of whom are forced to sell cars, food, or clothes to people who can't pay for them.
Because buying a car you can't afford is totally the same thing, and is absolutely morally equivalent to needing lifesaving medical care you can't afford!  o.O  One of these things is not like the other ones...

He then went on to whine that the whole trouble with the ER system is that people are using it "like corner medical clinics, for routine, non-emergency care, because they know they can get care that somebody else will be obligated to pay for."

Okay, first of all, no, they're not.  Nobody is making the trip to the ER, to sit there for anywhere from one to eight or even twelve hours, just for routine, non-emergency care.  That is a flat out fucking lie.

Second of all, you have to wonder if Fischer has ever gone to an emergency room when he hasn't had insurance.  (The answer I'm sure is "no", mostly because I'm sure he's never not had insurance - if he had, he wouldn't be so much of an ass about it.)  Like, does he realize they will usually bill you anyway?  I have known someone who had to go to the ER in a true emergency, her insurance didn't cover it, and she was getting bills for $10,000 for months that she couldn't pay.  It's not like they just patch you up and send you on your way with a friendly wave and a smile.  They do actually bill you later.

So knowing that, nobody goes to the ER for "routine" care.  What you do is you walk a knife's edge, when you start feeling sick or noticing some kind of something wrong with your body.  You google it.  You use WebMD's symptom checker.  You talk to your friends, see if anyone knows anyone who has had whatever symptoms you have, and how that turned out.  You gather information, self-diagnose as best you can, hoping and praying it's nothing major; you track the minutiae of your physical changes, and you are always asking and re-asking yourself the Big Question: "Is it serious enough to need treatment?"  The hope is that whatever is wrong with you will go away on its own - and often, it does.  The body is an amazing self-healing machine, sometimes.  If it doesn't, that's when you walk the knife's edge, pushing on without treatment for as long as you can, while hoping that whatever it is doesn't turn out to be fatal, hoping you aren't doing permanent damage to yourself by waiting.

And then, if it reaches a point where you can't function anymore, you know where you go first (unless it's a real emergency, like broken bones or something)?  To an urgent care clinic.  Not the ER.  The urgent care is usually only a couple hundred bucks, and they'll usually see uninsured patients (which many doctors refuse to do, so if you don't have insurance, you literally cannot see a doctor even if you're able to pay for it out-of-pocket).  Even if it's something really bad and they can't help you, they can usually at least tell you what it is, which you can use to decide if it's bad enough to go to the ER.

So no, nobody is treating the ER "like a corner clinic".  Fischer, please, shut up.  You are entitled to your own opinions, but you are not entitled to your own facts, and you are not entitled to make up scenarios in order to demonize people coping with a struggle you've never experienced.

Not that that's ever stopped you.


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