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Why Younger Generations Ought To Pay More Attention To Health Insurance

4087 words - 17 pages

It is hard to imagine life without health insurance. If you have any type of medical problem that requires attention, and you have appropriate health care insurance, you can be cared for in the finest of private hospitals. You can get great treatment and your ailments, depending on the severity, can be treated as soon as possible. Doctors, physicians and surgeons are willing to put out a big effort if they know that they are dealing with patients who are insured and have the money to go under extensive medical treatment. But imagine life without such luxuries. For example, what happens if a relative requires much needed surgery, but does not have health insurance to cover the procedure? What ...view middle of the document...

As an expert on the issue of health care, he states in one of his articles, ?If you live in the District without health insurance or a regular doctor and you get sick, city officials and health administrations have an important message for you. Good luck? (?For the Uninsured?). This quote makes the admission that there is indeed a crisis situation health care in the District, and there is not a quick solution. The main problem is that it is not rare for D.C. residents to lack health insurance. As of 1999, ?approximately 80,000 people in the city lack[ed] health insurance? (?Help for D.C.?s Uninsured). There are few hospitals that would offer to attend to the need of such helpless individuals. For 195 years, D.C. General Hospital provided care to the indigent, serving almost 200,000 patients a year. D.C. General was an exception, as it became a public hospital whose primary purpose was to treat and cure patients who could not afford medical care:

One Washington resident in six lacks health insurance, and more than 600 patients were transferred to D.C. General by other hospitals last year for lack of ability to pay. The hospital, like all hospitals, is being squeezed by tighter Medicare and Medicaid payments. Then there are urban poverty, homelessness, pregnancy among ill prepared teen-agers and rampant drug use. The city?s infant mortality, cancer, homicide and death rates are distressingly high (Cohn).

The effort to help those who suffer from lack of health care insurance is a noble one. Yet, D.C. General did not fare well financially. In an interview with Avram Goldstein, he reported that there were many aspects of D.C. General that posed problems to the community. One main problem he noted was that the hospital used up too much of the taxpayer?s money. Mayor Anthony Williams battled the D.C. council for years because he felt the public would best be served if D.C. General closed its doors. This kind of thinking seems rather illogical, because D.C. General was a public hospital that cared for those who lacked medical coverage. Public hospitals take in the people that private hospitals refuse to see. D.C. General did the District a great service, and it should have remained open in order to care for D.C.?s impoverished.

D.C. General, first called the Washington Infirmary, was built in 1806 and was the first public hospital of its kind. The building was renamed a couple of times, and it was finally given the name District of Columbia General Hospital in 1953 (DC General Hospital). The area is considered to be one of the most historical medical sites in Washington, D.C. Since its inception, D.C. General?s primary purpose was to serve the less fortunate ? those members of the District who could not afford medical services. There are certain advantages to a public hospital as well. Physicians and doctors will not mislead their patients because there is no financial incentive. Also, the patients will not be ?vulnerable to quality cheating...

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