Quote from spacenurse
What does a health crisis look like? See Houston
...'This system is broken'
The growth of the nation's uninsured population has stretched hospital emergency departments to the breaking point.
Nationally, ER visits rose from 93 million to 110 million from 1994 to 2004, an 18% jump, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Texas experienced a 33% increase; in the Houston area, it was more than 50%, according to the Texas Hospital Association. The number of hospital emergency departments dropped by more than 12% in the USA in the same period.
Emergency rooms here are routinely overcrowded. "When I came in this morning, there were people waiting from yesterday," says Kellie Manger, a triage nurse at Ben Taub, on a recent weekday....
It's not the growth of uninsured people, it's the extension of an unlimited demand on emergency depts. EMTALA is the model for how gov't restricted healthcare will work.
With unlimited demand, you either have to create unlimited supply (not rationale, reasonable, nor possible), or, you must restrict demand or allow it to be overutilized, resulting in waits, or, both.
Your example exemplifies the problem with gov't restricted healthcare. The emergency room crisis is the direct result of gov't intervention to suspend the free markets that create supply and demand balance. The results were all too predictable.
Just like the result of gov't restricted healthcare is all too predictable: a "fair" share is a dismal outcome. Take those long ER waits and apply them to admissions, dr. visits, labs, home health, LTC, DME, etc etc, and you have some idea of how gov't restricted healthcare will work.