Where Are All These Free Emergency Rooms?

Ann Coulter on Fox Business:

Since the healthcare reform debate, I’ve been hearing references to these free emergency rooms. Every time I’ve been to an ER, they charged the shit out of me. Can someone please explain where these ERs are located and how you manage to be treated without payment or collection agencies pestering around the clock?

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  • Corebela

    Really now? I’ve been hearing about your free emergency rooms since I started paying attention during the health care debate. And now you saying you have to pay? Maybe because your insured? (unless your not) Which is totally backwards… But hey the country is backwards so no surprise.

  • stacib23

    I went to an emergency room once for a horrible toothache. After going through triage and sitting in the waiting room for over three hours, they then told me there was nothing they would do to relieve the pain and sent me home. The following week I received a bill in the mail for almost $700 for services rendered.

  • muselet

    Well, that was incoherent, even for Ann Coulter.

    I would love to see the results of an fMRI on Coulter. Would any part of her brain not be dark?

    –alopecia

  • http://twitter.com/QuadCityPat Patrick

    I work for the State of Illinois and have reasonably good health insurance. My ER deductible is 250 bucks and they will not treat until the co-pay is made, unless its life threatening.
    `
    $250 is better than the full boat, but it is still a financial burden.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Norris/1597765442 Michael Norris

    A few years ago I was replacing windows in my home as part of a bigger remodeling project. As I was prying one of the windows out, the glass literally exploded under the strain. A big piece of the glass guillotined down on to my arm and cut a huge gash. I wrapped my arm in a towel and my wife drove me to the ER at the hospital where I was employed at the time. The ER staff cleaned the wound, stitched me up, and sent me home. Three weeks later I got a bill for $2700. My insurance company would not pay the bill as they said it was the responsibility of the window manufacturer. The company that made the window told me and my insurance company to pack sand. I told my hospital what they could do with their bill. After six months of wrangling, negotiations, and almost non-stop collection agency harrassment, I settled with the finance department for $1100–cash. No, Ann Coulter, you clearly don’t know what you are talking about (AGAIN!). There is not a free ER that I am aware of. Jeez, how stupid are these people?

  • http://twitter.com/JimmyAbra Jimmy Abraham

    I am just trying to grasp at straws….Maybe if you ‘walk” into an ER while being at “near death” they will try to keep you alive for a while??? I have heard that claim too. At some point I took it as “keep alive” methods and not “eal” healthcare treatment…Like, I doubt one goes into an ER asking for a physical and gets it for “free.” But if someone goes in with chest pains and loss of breath they may get some treatment for ‘free’ and then get sent on their way.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Norris/1597765442 Michael Norris

      They will save you from what’s killing you and that is all. You will get the bill soon enough. And someone will pay it: Medicaid, medicare, indigent programs–or the hospital will sue in court and get the money that way.

      • http://twitter.com/JimmyAbra Jimmy Abraham

        I was grasping at straws…I guess you can get treated and not pay, but it is still not free, and I agree.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Norris/1597765442 Michael Norris

          Yeah, I was actually just sayin’ “you’re right.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/jlaing3 James Laing

    HMM, about 25 years ago I didn’t have health insurance and I had the misfortune of being mugged. The ambulance took me to the hospital Emergency Room They treated me for my injuries but they were pretty clear that I had to pay my bill (which I did). I don’t think they’ve changes that much since then. One thing most people don’t know is ER treatment but the payment process is a lot cheaper if you have health insurance than if you don’t.

  • blackflon

    Poor people who go to the emergency room and are unable to pay get patched up so they don’t die and they leave. Someone else pays the bill. Happens every day because, by law, the ER must treat even the parasites, leeches and moochers in our socoety.

    • Robert Scalzi

      I hope your last sentence is satire … otherwise….

      • blackflon

        If you had 2 ounces of common sense you would know that I wasn’t referring to “Everyone” regarding ER service. But, hey, go on and remain ignorant.

        • Robert Scalzi

          Then I thought correctly … You are a heartless Jackass.

          • blackflon

            Thanks for proving my point about your ignorance.

        • Guest

          You have to understand Blackfungus is an idiot, dolt, and a racist pig, he has been known to say women have “funbags” he also admitted that there is nothing wrong with trolling the playgrounds of High schools. A heartless Jackass is too kind for this moral lacking bufoon.

    • Guest

      I guess since you are a leech and mooch on society you love the free ER visits. it is nice to know that you think poor people are mooches and leeches, but as you have admitted calling Obama “the n word” Right Hippo Houndie

  • mrbrink

    It’s free to anyone who gives false information at check in. Couple minor changes to your SS#, a different last name and perhaps a touching backstory as to why that rented tennis racket punctured your prostate. The cost is passed on and on. They charged my mom around $100,000 for her brief stay for emergency respiratory failure who then thanked God for Medicare. But what is never really talked about is that most Americans are insured through their employer… which are being subsidized by the federal government annually at about $142 billion last time I checked.

    We’re gonna spread that around a little bit better, now, and with better accounting and openness because Obamacare is a more efficient energy-saving light bulb to Romneycare’s Dim-bulb Plus! model by every measure of delivery and trajectory.

  • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

    Yes, please if you find out where the free ER’s are, let me know too. I have lost count of the number of times I have had to go to the ER. When I was kid, about 11 years old, I was stung by a bee and had an anaphylactic (sp) reaction (which is deadly for those who don’t know). My mom drove me to the closest hospital, a private one. My Mom, who is only 5′ 4″ tall (I was already taller than her), had to carry me in on her back because my foot was so swollen and because I was having trouble breathing. The check in people actually took their time and made sure my mother had insurance before even beginning triage on me. I don’t see that kind of thing happening now, but believe me, they come after you if you don’t pay during check in or before discharge.

  • Nefercat

    This has always irritated me in the health care debate. Yes, you can go to an ER and they have to treat you even if you don’t have money or insurance.

    What is usually unaddressed is that the ERs do not and never have had to treat you for free.

    Sure, go to the ER. They will treat you! You won’t die (right away)! Oh, and you will get a hell of a bill from them.

    What a brilliant plan to bring down the cost of medical care in this country.

  • Ned F

    I went to one of those free emergency rooms once, I mean, George Bush told me that’s all I had to do. If you don’t mind the dirty looks upon check in when you say “self pay” (that’s hospital code for no insurance deadbeat), the endless collection calls in the following weeks, a judgement from municipal court, and a trashed credit rating, They work out really well. Just make sure you don’t have to go back for a followup visit.

  • pgeorge

    My sister and brother in law took my nephew into an emergency room when he was running a fever. After a long night where nothing was done, his parents decided he was stable and would be better off at home in his own bed. First, the ER people said he couldn’t be “discharged” unless they promised to take him to his doctor (on a Saturday, when he was unavailable). So the parents just took him. For a night in the ER with no treatment, they were charged $460, which they refused to pay. And this is just a kid with a temperature…. Most adults have discovered that an ER will stabilize you and then kick you back onto the street as soon as it’s not “life threatening” and then send you a life-crushing bill for what little help you did get.

  • Brutlyhonest

    It will never cease to amaze me that in this ridiculously wealthy country people have to worry about how they will survive financially if they get sick.

    The faux nation can’t tell you where the free emergency rooms are, but they know the brown people go to them.

  • Robert Scalzi

    $$ 26,000 in ER bills , I have County health care (contra costa county basic adult care) all i can afford, problem is if I happen to get hurt outside of the county and need treatment but can’t get back to CC County (happened twice so far) I am not covered… this has resulted in the lead in figure. Total trash. am I going to pay it.. maybe if I win the Lottery, otherwise No, my choices are either pay it and starve and end up homeless or not pay. So I get calls daily from idiots in offices in TX and AL telling me I’m a deadbeat. I’m not , I am just another struggling American.