We need alternatives to costly ER visits

The United States does indeed have “socialized” medicine. Unfortunately, it is in the emergency room.

EMTALA guarantees this. The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) is a federal law that requires anyone coming to an emergency department or arriving to a hospital in active labor to be stabilized and treated, regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay. EMTALA applies to any person arriving in an emergency room, not just Americans.

This current health care “plan” increases overall medical costs by shifting care from prevention and health maintenance to emergency care only, when patients are sicker than could (often) be prevented and their treatment more expensive.

Emergency room care is fragmented health care. Wellness is rarely maintained or achieved as patients have no continued health-care relationship with providers and rarely any ongoing follow-up care.

This emergency room health plan is paid for by people with insurance. Hospitals charge insured patients more so as to cover the emergency care costs of those who are uninsured. Hospitals have no other choice in order to survive.

So, the question to our candidates and ourselves should be, “Do you support the establishment of a medically and financially appropriate and comprehensive universal health care plan or do you support continuing to let people get sick enough such that they have no other choice but to seek incredibly expensive and inadequate (in the sense of long term health benefit) care in the emergency room?”


Grand Junction

Two Sunday columnists came up short in making their points

With great self-appointed authority, a guest columnist who spent 30 years in the petroleum industry barraged readers with a cascading flow of faults and foibles related to operating gas/diesel vehicles versus electric-powered alternatives. Included in that catalog of sins were international conspiratorial alliances, desperate political desires for maintaining the nation’s so-called addiction to fossil fuels, and alleged domestic efforts to suppress every alternative energy source.

All of that was a set-up to slam Mesa County Commissioners for recently rejecting a Colorado “zero emission vehicle” resolution and branding them as “fossils” for their decision.

Perhaps a delicately generous response to that characterization might be, “Who cares? Everybody knows that the resolution would be non-binding. Thus, even if passed it would be nothing more than useless political wind-bagging and a general waste of time.”

Regular columnist Jim Spehar’s selection of a patriotic theme for the July 4th weekend’s Sunday paper was right on the money. But — but — surely he could have, just this one time, stayed on point and focused his comments exclusively on the elegant main topics, namely, the Declaration of Independence and the nation’s founders.

Instead, in typical Spehar-esque fashion, he wandered off and dedicated approximately half the article to criticizing President Trump. Inserting current matters arguably not even tangentially germane to the column’s title, “They [the founders] got it right,” Mr. Spehar’s comments represented nothing more than getting in his regular anti-Trump digs, and feebly covering his tracks by presenting them as pertinent insights.


Grand Junction

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