Saturday, February 27, 2010

Pawlenty: Let ER's turn away patients to cut costs

Pawlenty: Let ER's turn away patients to cut costs
By Eric Zimmermann
© 2010 Capitol Hill Publishing Corp., subsisiary of News Communications, Inc.
02/23/10 10:57 AM ET

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"On the Record with Greta Van Sustren" last night, Pawlenty said the federal law that mandates ER treatment should be repealed.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."

Supporters of the federal law would content that many people go to ERs precisely because they do not have the insurance to pay for a primary care physician.

Van Susteren was also skeptical about Pawlenty's proposal, pointing out that it's difficult to tell what's a minor condition without treating it.

VAN SUSTEREN: OK. OK. But you come in with chest pains, and like, you get horrible chest pains. Now, it could be indigestion, which is minor, or it could be heart, which isn't minor. So then...

PAWLENTY: You have to do a little triage. That's for sure.

VAN SUSTEREN: Right. I mean, so the problem is, it's got -- I mean, there really is sort of -- it's not that easy.

Comments (23)

Grump Knock off your silly a$$ fear mongering tactics.. It didn't work BEFORE a black man named Barak Obama was elected president (and cleared with the fec).. why would it work NOW? Typical republican.. nothing new to add to ta conversation but lobbyist talking points and fear mongering. That's part of the problem with america. Not enough leading.. on both sides of the isle!

BY Lloyd C on 02/23/2010 at 12:53

It's actually not a terrible idea. It may sound heartless but the reality is that if the ER is owned or operated by a private company or organization then the Government should not have any right to force them to treat people.An no I don't have a gold plated health plan, so don't start with the "Oh sure you but what about your care"In fact I have no health insurance at all. By my own choice. There are time where I could seek treatment for a minor ailment and decide not to due to costs. But I could just as easily abuse the system and stroll into any ER and demand treatment for anything on your dime. Then when the bills start pouring in I could simply ignore them.The point is you do not have a right to care. You do not have a right to be healthy. And most importantly you have no right to make me pay for it.If we could get people back to taking care of themselves and paying their own damned bills then the costs of health care would drop a lot. I wonder how many poor people return home from the ER to watch their 52" TV's with cable?
BY Malagent on 02/23/2010 at 12:55

This is what happens when you ask Republicans for a healthcare idea. These right wing freaks are as stupid as they come…
BY Michmike on 02/23/2010 at 12:55

@Gloria Hanefeld: News flash Gloria, this is an irrelevant post. ER wait times and clinic times are more than 15 minutes in America. The people who went to the ER with a runny nose in 2010 would be turned away and told to go to a clinic. Who cares if they have a job or not? as long as they have the ca$h in America, the clinic will see them and you know that! Your shot at the unemployed was also irrelevant. Please come up with a new post and "DIE QUICKLY" thanks.
BY Lloyd C on 02/23/2010 at 12:57

MALAGENT, I'm sure you'll love it when the ER refuses to treat you after you just were injured in a horrific car accident because you failed a credit check.But yeah, sure, it's obviously your fault because you decided to get in a car and drive safely, only to be mowed down by that drunk driver. There never, EVER is a such thing as an innocent victim.
BY Compassionate on 02/24/2010 at 21:12

Wow, ignorance is bliss. The law requires that all ER's open to the public must accept all comers and treat those with emergent conditions. Let's suppose that Grump or Malagent get mugged and beaten up in the process. In their world, they have no ID or Insurance Card. They would be turned away from the ER because they cannot show ability to pay even though they can. That's why the law exists.
BY Texas Ken on 02/24/2010 at 21:19

There's a reason we now call him "Governor Gutshot". It's because he intends to leave the state of Minnesota just like he left the deer he shot in the woods, bleeding from a gut wound and in dire straits:
BY Phoenix Woman on 02/24/2010 at 22:15

Compassionate is right on the money. If the law was repealed, what's to stop emergency personnel from refusing to treat you because they don't like who you are or what you do for a living? I'm sure Malegent wouldn't like it if a "liberal" doctor had the right to refuse treatment to the overweight teabagger Limbaugh when he has another heart attack after the three Big Macs he eats for breakfast.
BY Amazed on 02/25/2010 at 00:38

@MALAGENT: Glad to hear a teabagger with the courage of your convictions. Statistically, if you are a male over 30, you are likely to have a life threatening episode in the next 10 years. I hope you are able to take this courageous stand when you get refused treatment.
BY Gopherit on 02/25/2010 at 14:54

Would Grump please share the results of his scientifically-accurate research regarding the political persuasion and voting habits of "the folks who go to th ER every time they have a runny nose"? Funny thing - I work for county government, in an extremely red county. We were having issues with our insurance providers because too many employees were overusing emergency rooms. Probably for a lot of runny noses. Republican noses.
BY Gertrude on 02/25/2010 at 19:57

"American citizens should at least be triaged (BTW go look up triage - you won't like it) by licensed physicians. if I'm going to be turned out in the cold to find alternative care, I don't want to be turned out by some high school drop-out, I want to be turned out by a licensed MD."Wouldn't that require the MD to examine you first?
BY Jeff on 02/26/2010 at 16:44

Yeah I can see it now. You have chest pain? Where's your insurance card? You forgot it? I think you have a cold, here's some aspirin go home and rest.
BY NONSENSE on 02/26/2010 at 21:17


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