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Socialized medicine: good or bad for EMS?

By admin May31,2023

A popular topic often debated in political races and among health care providers is the need for nationalized health coverage (socialized medicine). Various other countries like Canada, England and Australia use such services. A popular argument in favor of nationalized healthcare is the availability of insurance to all citizens, regardless of their financial situation. On the surface, the idea sounds reasonable, but in a nation run by private business it may cause more trouble than it’s worth.

Insurance coverage provided by the state and federal government has proven to be inadequate and bad for business. As it stands, government funded health insurance pays pennies on the dollar for emergency and non-emergency medical care. Many hospitals, private doctor’s offices, and medical facilities are turning away these patients due to a significant lack of compensation.

EMS providers are in a bad position as they do not have the option to turn away non-payers or government-funded payers. This leaves ambulance services and emergency departments dependent on private insurance companies to offset the significant losses caused by government-funded insurance. Switching to a nationalized health care plan would surely put most private providers out of business.

The loss of private EMS services would require state and local governments to pick up the slack and provide the service at taxpayer expense. Of course, this would significantly increase income and property taxes to pay for insurance and services provided instead of private medical operations.

Sure, having more government jobs could result in retirement plans and good benefits, but the number of jobs available could quickly dwindle. Budget cuts and the increased cost of doing business would result in increased taxes or job cuts. Once the government bureaucracy comes into play, you can be sure that the number of ambulances on the streets will decrease. Local police agencies are a good example. It’s hard to find a police department that claims to be adequately staffed. Socialized medicine would leave EMS agencies in exactly the same situation.

Our health care system in the United States is far from perfect. Abuse in the system, lawsuits, and uninsured patients are constantly increasing the cost of providing health care. Work is needed to solve this problem, but not at taxpayer expense.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me.

By admin

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