The emergency room is not health care
The patient pays to visit the emergency room, and it's expensive, so they often don't go. And it's treatment, not health care. With the ACA we get real health care.
by Dave Winer Friday, March 24, 2017

One of the favorite talking points of Repubs re health care is that people can still go to the emergency room, so no one will be allowed to die in the streets. That is so totally wrong. For more than one reason. 

  1. You still have to pay for it even if you don't have insurance. The hospital will bill you. And if you have a job, or assets, they will get paid. And it's a lot of money. So guess what, sick people don't go to the emergency room if they don't have insurance if it's at all avoidable. 
  2. Going to the emergency room is not health care, it's treatment. Health care is where the doctor does tests, and if there's a problem does more tests, and sends you to see a specialist. An emergency room handles emergencies. 
  3. There's also preventative care. Getting a colonoscopy (ugh) every so often. Or learning how to do self-examination. Or working with a doctor on losing weight, or stopping smoking, or getting off drugs, or getting birth control. 
  4. We should aspire to being a nation of healthy people. It's in the Declaration of Independence. We're here for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, it doesn't say anything about "not dying in the streets."
Bottom line, going to the emergency room isn't even treatment, and treatment isn't health care. That's the amazing thing about the ACA, it used the experience of the medical system to make the economics of health care work better. If the Dems hadn't tried to get some Repub votes it would have matched reality even more closely. It's a lot like climate change. The Repubs confuse weather for climate. And confuse treatment for health care.