Nation can do a better job of getting citizens insured

The United States is the richest nation in the world, yet it is poor when it comes to ensuring that all citizens have affordable health insurance. Have you gone to an emergency room lately?

According to a Leon County health care information sheet disseminated by the Tallahassee Equality Action Ministry, currently 23,000 uninsured people reside in Leon County.

When uninsured people get sick they use hospital emergency rooms as their doctor because they cannot be denied there. This causes major delays, and some people have to wait hours in an emergency room to be treated – whether the condition is minor or major.

More recently, a coroner’s jury declared Sept. 14 that the death of a heart attack victim, who spent almost two hours in a hospital emergency room, to be a homicide, according to an Associated Press article on the FindLaw Web site, which provides legal news and commentary.

The Illinois woman had been complaining of common heart attack symptoms – nausea, shortness of breath and chest pains – but when her name was finally called, a nurse found the woman slumped unconscious in a waiting room chair without a pulse. She was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.

When will the United States be united under healthcare for all citizens? Leon County citizens can go to the polls Nov. 7 and vote for or against the healthcare referendum which will provide basic health care coverage for eligible, low income, uninsured residents.

Mia Small for the editorial board.