Though emergency room crowding is often blamed on uninsured patients who are unable to access care elsewhere, a recent survey found that uninsured Americans were no more likely to visit an emergency room than those with health insurance. The results of the survey – one out of every five people visited an emergency room in 2007 – underscore the importance of insuring that emergency medical services are available, even though they are rarely profitable for hospitals.
As Georgia prepares for a November referendum on a $10 vehicle registration fee to fund trauma care, some have suggested that the money raised would only end up subsidizing care for the uninsured. This survey clearly refutes that argument. The types of illnesses and injuries that can send someone to an emergency room do not choose their victims based on whether or not they have health insurance.