Whether you have a serious emergency or just an important health concern, the emergency room is where you must go if, like millions of Americans and Arizonans, you have no health insurance. They are required to treat you, even if you can’t afford to pay. So, the ER is packed 24 hours a day with people needing treatment that, while urgent, could otherwise be treated in a doctor’s office or clinic.
And that doesn’t mean it’s FREE. They will bill you for thousands of dollars, which of course you can’t afford to pay, and then when you don’t pay it, that goes on your credit report, making it harder or impossible to get a loan.
If you’re uninsured and not wealthy, don’t even think about preventative health care or regular checkups. Just wait till a problem becomes serious enough and take it to the ER.
Why is Arizona worse than most other states? Because we have more than our fair share of Republicans. (What’s a fair share of those? Well under 50%, though none at all would be ideal) Our political elephants provide only a minimal state health system for the poor, and you have to be very, very poor to qualify. They enacted anti-union laws, which not only keeps wages lower than average but results in fewer employers offering health insurance benefits.
Not just in Arizona, but throughout the US, we are less healthy, yet pay more to get that way, than people of many other nations. Write your Congressperson. Support Barack Obama as he works to establish national universal health care for all Americans.