Before anybody starts making statements about Pawlenty being a heartless Conservative, let's set the ground rules for this discussion, and get it straight on what Pawlenty proposes. He is talking about minor medical conditions, which are not emergencies.Emergency rooms should be able to turn patients away to cut costs, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.) said last night
Appearing on Fox News's "On the Record with Greta Van Sustren" last night, Pawlenty said the federal law that mandates ER treatment should be repealed.
"Well, for one thing you could do is change the federal law so that not every ER is required to treat everybody who comes in the door, even if they have a minor condition," Pawlenty said. "They should be -- if you have a minor condition, instead of being at the really expensive ER, you should be at the primary care clinic."
1) In that context, I don't see Pawlenty's proposal as heartless, but as a realistic idea. Emergency room care for minor conditions is one of the things that his bankrupting our medical care system.
2) But is Pawlenty's "realistic" idea actually realistic? I don't think so. Minor medical conditions frequently lead to major hospitalizations. So what is the better way to cut costs in the medical system? Turn away minor conditions, to have people admitted to hospitals for long and very expensive stays? Or to keep things as they are, and treat those minor conditions before they flare up and cost orders of magnitude more money? I believe that the second one is best, and ultimately more cost effective.
In the end, I don't see Pawlenty's proposal to be heartless at all. But I do see it to be poorly thought out, from an economic standpoint. Is there a third solution somewhere out there that we haven't looked at? Some would say that a public option would be that third option, but I disagree. Whatever solution we come up with must not take money from peoples' pockets without their consent. Or should it? If it does, then do we slide down the slippery slope to Socialism? If we do, then is this still America, or do we begin to say goodbye to a system of government that has has worked for more than 2 centuries?
These are all very perplexing questions, and I would like to hear some thought out answers from everybody on this issue. So, in regard to what I have posted, the discussion in this thread should be as follows:
Our health care system - Where do we go from here?
PLEASE - NO TROLLING. If you only come here to bash Bush, Obama, or anybody else, while not offering constructive ideas and / or constructive criticism, then please leave this thread, and do not post. I will be asking moderators to thread ban those who do not stick to the topic at hand, and the discussion on it, along with those who display disruptive behavior.
Article is here.