Why Everyone Needs Health Care
According to a survey conducted by the United States Census Bureau, there were 46.3 million (15.4% of the population) Americans without insurance in 2008. While the Affordable Care Act is expected to significantly reduce that number, there will still be 23 million citizens who lack insurance in 2019 after all the bill's provisions have taken effect. Without help from the government or private insurance, the high costs of medicine leave large numbers of people without access to important medical services.
Without access to regular doctor's appointments, the consequences for people with chronic conditions like diabetes can be dire. Failure to properly manage their condition can lead to blindness, amputation of limbs from blood vessel destruction, heart disease, and diabetic comas. In addition to these health disasters, unmanaged care can also lead to financial ruin in many cases. While a doctor's visit for routine preventative care may cost upwards of $150, the cost of a foot amputation can exceed $30,000.1 In a less serious scenario, patients who forgo regular doctor's visits nearly always tend to utilize high priced emergency room services. Inadequate access to medicine is one of the key factors in exploding health care costs around the country, and without a proper safety net for those who cannot afford prevention, it is almost certain to continue aggravating the problem.
Where Can I Find Free/Affordable Health Care
Many doctors and hospitals offer discounted rates for people who have difficulty paying. If you have a doctor or hospital that you really like you should talk to their billing department about options that may be available for you. If you do not have a specific place in mind, however, consider checking out the these resources:
1 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Quality and Equality in US Healthcare: A Message Handbook July 2010