I was wondering how long it would be before our healthcare system settled into a realization that the Haitian earthquake victims have no health insurance. It’s finally happened. The Governor of the great State of Florida, has called for clarification from the feds on who will be paying for the earthquake victims being delivered into his state’s hospital system. Evacuations from Haiti to the U.S. have been stopped cold.
“A spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services said the decision to suspend the flights was made by the military, not the federal health department. A military spokesman said that the military had ended the flights because hospitals were becoming unwilling to take patients.
“The places they were being taken, without being specific, were not willing to continue to receive those patients without a different arrangement being worked out by the government to pay for the care,” said Maj. James Lowe, the deputy chief of public affairs for the United States Transportation Command.” -NY Times
While the feds try and sort out the question of who will finance Haitian health care, the New York Times quotes a doctor involved in the evacuation effort as saying, “People are dying in Haiti because they can’t get out.”
Wakeup call: People are dying here in the U. S. too.
According to a study conducted by the Harvard Medical School, 45,000 Americans die each year due to a lack of health insurance. Imagine that. Forty five thousand a year. In America. Because they can’t afford health insurance. Every two to three years as many Americans die from a lack of health insurance as the number of people who have died in the Haitian earthquake. And the Congress can’t agree on a plan for healthcare reform.
We need to resume the evacuations and do all we can for Haiti, because it’s the right thing to do. While we’re at it we might try and take care of ourselves as well.
Add – The White House announced on Sunday the 31st, that the military would resume the medical evacuation flights.