Okay, it was just the crowd. I remembered wrong. Still, that's sick. And you're saying everything is all good because they can't turn you away in the ER? All they do is figure out what's wrong with you. They will admit and treat you if you're condition is life threatening, but only then.
However, when I had a gallstone I suffered for 4 months. Why? Because I had no insurance and the surgeon wouldn't operate until he got his fee. Nothing vital was blocked so my life wasn't in any immediate danger. I only threw up everything I ate with the exception of raw vegetables.
When I had a kidney stone they gave me pain pills and wished me luck. I had to go see a Urologist. Thankfully, I had temporary Medicaid that paid for the office visit. It ran out a few days before the stone got broken up though. He didn't know that, or I probably would've been given more pain pills and told to come back when I won the lottery.
While I admit the bill did get pushed through pretty quick, there are a lot of good things about it. It's the mandate part I don't like. There's still room for improvement, but being sick and not being able to get insurance because of a pre-existing condition is no picnic either.
I know our system, as it is now, is broken...or at the very least seriously
sprained...I just don't think throwing another broken system on top of it is really going to help much in the long term. Zakharra is right too, being told that a bill needs to be passed before we can know what's in it doesn't settle well with me at all, it smacks of them trying to get something through that they know they shouldn't be.
I do actually get why some docs won't take patients who don't have insurance. It sucks but a lot of them won't even try
to pay PART of their bill, they just take the doctors services and walk away. If it's not life threatening I get the reason they don't want those patients. On the flip side, being the person suffering SUCKS as well. Still a doctor is providing a service and s/he deserves to be compensated for their time just like any other service. People wouldn't dream of going in to have the brakes changed on their car and not paying the mechanic, but there are plenty who seem to think that a doctor should work on them for free just because they are there.
Running a private practice isn't cheap. I talked to one of my docs about it who was in practice on his own, no partners. Before he got to actually take home dime one he had to pay his bills, including the payments on his offices, the utilities there, the machines he had in the office, staffing etc. To keep all the bills paid (before he took money home himself) he had to clear a million dollars a year. You don't make that kind of money if your patients don't pay you which means you look for patients with insurance because you know you'll get paid.
Part of the real problem though is the sheer COST of healthcare in this country. The amount hospitals charge for even the most basic tests is ridiculous and some serious research should have been put in to determine ways of making healthcare more affordable, even for people without insurance, so that even if they don't have a carrier, their bills aren't so daunting that they just walk away from them. Also, the insurance industry itself needs an overhaul. They shouldn't be able to drop people on a whim, and certainly not for a pre-existing condition, especially a condition that is genetic and in no way self inflicted.
Like I said before, my biggest issue is that there are plenty of things that could have been fixed instead of throwing a new (and faulty imo) program on top of an already faulty one.