v'ܩ 9 Patients, 6 Years, 2700 Emergency Room Visits
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9 Patients, 6 Years, 2700 Emergency Room Visits

April 2nd, 2009

Want to know why universal health insurance won’t work? It is because people will abuse it. They will abuse it all the time.

Yahoo had an article today with some mind boggling stats from emergency rooms around Austin Texas.

Just nine people accounted for nearly 2,700 of the emergency room visits in the Austin area during the past six years at a cost of $3 million to taxpayers and others, according to a report. The patients went to hospital emergency rooms 2,678 times from 2003 through 2008, said the report from the nonprofit Integrated Care Collaboration, a group of health care providers who care for low-income and uninsured patients.

The average emergency room visit costs $1,000. Hospitals and taxpayers paid the bill through government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, Kitchen said.

Eight of the nine patients have drug abuse problems, seven were diagnosed with mental health issues and three were homeless.

Ok, let’s do some math. 2678 visits / 9 people = 297.5 visits each. 6 years X 365 days = 2190 days. 2190 days / 297.5 visits = 7.36 days between visits. These people went to the ER an average of once a week for six straight years. You and I paid 3 million dollars in taxes so that 9 hypochondriac drug addicts could waste the time of hospital employees who could have been treating people who actually needed it.

Everybody think about this for a minute and then tell me how well you think universal health care is going to work.

  1. Jeffrey
    April 17th, 2009 at 15:56 | #1

    As a former ER employee I can say that this is not uncommon. You’ll have a handful to come in once a week, twice that amount will show up everyother week, and even more show up monthly. All with the red credit card, medicaid.

  2. June 19th, 2009 at 06:04 | #2

    So what’s the difference? We are paying for it now. If there was a more structured system in place, maybe the costs could be lowered for these types of patients.

  3. mokky
    June 19th, 2009 at 06:45 | #3

    This is hillarius stuff, wonder how it looks in sweden.
    Here it’s very common to wait 3 months for life threatening operations.

  4. June 19th, 2009 at 09:47 | #4


    The difference is in the scale. Right now only a small percentage of people get Medicare / Medicaid. If you expand this universal health care to a lot of people, you will have to pay for a lot more of stupid people like this. Then you will get people who currently have insurance dropping their coverage to get it for free from the government. That is the problem.

    That is what I really don’t want to happen. Everybody thinks not paying for health care is a great idea, until they realize it means you don’t get the care you need.

  5. Astrodust
    June 19th, 2009 at 14:50 | #5


    Wow, some common sense. What are you doing here?

  6. Scott
    September 26th, 2011 at 06:27 | #6


    I’m thinking Geekpolitics.com is probably not the right place for you. You need a news site that has zero intelligence and only feeds you lies to keep you from asking questions. I recommend for you: The Daily Show, CNN, MSNBC, The Colbert Report, Jay Leno, and Conan O’brien. Although those last 2 are more respectable and don’t necessarily propagate the lies…the show content is on your level of intellect and maturity.