Saturday, October 24, 2009

Well? Do You? Punk?

Last year, after Oregon lawmakers found a way to expand health care for the uninsured, state health officials grappled with an ethical issue: Who should be first in line for the coverage? The sickest? The youngest? The poorest?

But federal law does not allow the state to discriminate in such fashion. Thus, 18 months ago, a computer in Salem began randomly drawing names from a pool of more than 83,000 uninsured adults who had signed up for this creative but essentially heartless lottery.

In the initial drawing only 3,000 won the precious jackpot -- insurance under the Oregon Health Plan. It meant they had about a one-in-27 chance of winning coverage.
Next year looks better: the impoverished uninsured may have as much as a one-in-four chance of getting health care. The rest can go to the emergency room.


Charlie said...

So Oregon expanded coverage to 1 in 27, soon t be 1 in 4? Hum......and I wonder at what cost? Hopefully the great Pumpkin will help out :-)

In the mean time, we can watch Clint Eastwood, Smith and Wesson always make the right moves.

Lockwood said...

"Hopefully the great Pumpkin will help out :-)" ...and don't forget the B of A settlement. But seriously, do you think it would be cheaper to rely on emergency room medical care, especially given your recent stories about the fact that many idiots (who may or may not be overrepresented in the impoverished uninsured) have no idea what constitutes an "emergency?" Or idiots like me who put off a trip for nearly a week beyond what constitutes an emergency, and end up in emergency surgery for a gangrenous infection and intensive care for days? I'll fill in that story eventually... it was the beginning of a year of disaster.

Charlie said...

I am so sorry to hear that. Those infections to poorly circulated areas, especially in uncontrolled DM, are life threatening. When did this happen and what disasters befell you after that?
If you would rather not post your private medical information, email me. Steve has my email if you do not.
As far as the unnecessary ER visits go, Good Grief Charlie Brown, I just wish they would stop. They don't belong in the ER or a doctors office either one. Expensive and back-breaking to the system!