For a good part of last week, I was heads-down into this whole public “safety net” that’s around the country. There are hospitals around the country that receive some funding to provide care, no matter the ability to pay. As of 2001 there are 81 of these facilities around the country providing over $5.4 billion in uncompensated care around the country, with an average of $66 million per year, per hospital.
That’s billion with a “b”.
Now these aren’t all scrapes and bumps, we’re talking everything from cancer to well…everything else. Medicare/Medicaid doesn’t pay for this….the consumers usually do, you and I. So when I hear talk about socialized medicine, most of the folks involved don’t realize that we kinda have it now.
We’re still underserved, 21% in Tennessee are currently. But imagine if the funds for these safety nets dried up.