Republicans like to go on and on about how much healthcare is going to cost taxpayers. Well here’s an interesting study done by UCIrvine , in which they did a case study on low income people who were enrolled in a community based health care program.
Working with researchers from the Virginia Commonwealth University Health System, Neumark tracked the emergency room, inpatient, outpatient and primary-care service utilization of about 26,000 previously uninsured Richmond residents between 2000 and 2007 whose household incomes fell 200 percent below the federal poverty level. Qualified enrollees were granted health insurance and assigned a primary-care provider for one year. They were required to proactively re-enroll for subsequent annual coverage.
Normally what happens, is that low income people can’t afford primary care. Many of their issues could be taken care of if they had a primary care doctor . But, because they don’t have the option to visit a primary care doctor, their health issues balloon, and become emergency care visits. Hospitals are required to treat emergency visits, and those emergency visits are not only more costly, but the taxpayers on the ones who pay the bill.
The study found that primary-care visits for patients who enrolled continuously over three years rose from 1.06 in year one to 1.60 annually, while emergency-room visits fell from 1.02 in year one to 0.74 by year three. Costs per visit for both inpatients and outpatients also decreased, as did the length of inpatient stays. On average, total healthcare costs per enrollee per year for this subset were cut nearly in half – from $8,899 in year one to $4,569 in year three. Overall costs per enrollee per year for all participants with at least one year of enrollment declined from $7,604 to $4,726.
In a different study, it’s interesting to learn that half of all foreclosures have a medical cause, and that 1.5 million Americans per year are at risk of losing their homes due to foreclosures. And we all know the impact the housing market has had on our economy.
And finally, since there are so many discussion on birth control lately, it might be interesting to learn that taxpayers end up paying $12 billion dollars annually on unintended pregnancies ( taxpayer spending on Medicaid-subsidized medical care). And on a side not, those unintended pregnancies account for 90% of all abortions.
If the Republicans really cared about lowering the number of abortions and lowering the taxpayer’s obligations, and helping the economy, wouldn’t it just be easier to offer universal healthcare which includes birth control?