“Now, a few more items for your last day of nursing orientation. Your safety is our first priority. Therefore, we do not use trauma patients’ names, ya hear? It’s “Trauma Purple” or “Trauma Red” from now on. We don’t need some friend of the family packing a piece to know where to find their cousin. Oh, and one more thing…. before I let you go I need you to find a hiding place – any place. Except the linen cart – that’s where I’ll be.”It’s not Kansas anymore, Toto. It’s just another orientation day at your local county trauma center in southern Florida, where approximately 50 percent of patients are uninsured or illegal non-US citizens.
But it is here that we’ll see what the health care of the future looks like: where private health insurance will cease to exist. That’s because it’s assumed patients in this locale don’t have insurance in the first place, and if they do, the coverage is so minimal relative to the health care needs of the afflicted, that the cost of care will quickly exceed their coverage limits. Here, the delivery of health care has become too expensive, even for insurers. And so the government and taxpayer are left to pay the tab. And like never before, local governments are feeling the pinch of health care costs with billions and billions of dollars of budgetary shortfalls, much created by health care costs for the uninsured or non-US citizens.
But please, don’t talk about this – our economy depends on this model of employer-offered health insurance! How else will we retain our workforce? Please Mr. Stimulus Package, can you spare a dime?
Never mind that it’s a finger in the dyke.