Romney: ‘We Don’t Have People Who Die Because They Don’t Have Insurance’

Written by Rebecca Leber

Mitt Romney doubled down on his suggestion that uninsured Americans can find the care they need in emergency rooms, telling The Dispatch that people will always receive the treatment they need, and do not die or suffer because they can not pay for care. He pointed to federal law that requires hospitals to admit emergency patients, repeating his advice that patients rely on the most expensive form of care reserved strictly for emergencies. Romney told the Columbus Dispatch:

“We don’t have a setting across this country where if you don’t have insurance, we just say to you, ‘Tough luck, you’re going to die when you have your heart attack,’  ” he said as he offered more hints as to what he would put in place of “Obamacare,” which he has pledged to repeal.

“No, you go to the hospital, you get treated, you get care, and it’s paid for, either by charity, the government or by the hospital. We don’t have people that become ill, who die in their apartment because they don’t have insurance.”

He pointed out that federal law requires hospitals to treat those without health insurance — although hospital officials frequently say that drives up health-care costs.

Emergency rooms serve as a place of last resort, but 45,000 Americans still die every year because they lack health insurance, or one every 12 minutes. Uninsured adults under age 65 are also at a 40 percent higher death risk. Hospitals may treat patients for emergency medical conditions regardless of legal status or ability to pay, but patients with chronic conditions that don’t require emergency interference are often unable to access needed care.

Romney’s health care proposal would leave 72 million Americans without health insurance and wouldn’t provide all uninsured Americans with a stable source of insurance.

This post was originally published by ThinkProgress.


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Photo from via flickr creative commons


Veronica C.
Veronica C.4 years ago

The doctors office didn't take my insurance which is why I paid in cash.

Veronica C.
Veronica C.4 years ago

I have insurance but I recently went to a skin doctor for I have 5 blotches on my legs. I called the doctor's office to find out what I would pay. They said around such and such. I said Ok. Got to the office had the doctor look over my legs and he quoted me for the consultation and the precedure would be $375. I said ok. Went to pay the bill and the clerk said it would be $435. I asked why and was told there was another spot they missed. I said alright and paid the bill. Three weeks later got another bill for $369.00. I called and told them I paid $435.00. The clerk said There was more to what you had. I was fuming. I said if you had quoted me the $804. in the first place I would have said ok but to have these mystery bills keep popping up isn't right. I know if I paid with insurance I wouldn' know what the original price was. The gal did say we gave you 20% for you paid in cash. I don't understand How they can't tell you the bill in first place. I am not the type to say forget it and NOT pay but you wonder how pricing in done in America.Do the clerks know what to charge or it we will find out later. I shake my head. Years ago if you pay in cash you would treated like a queen, after all the money I gave them can be deposited in their bank account the next day. Now you feel like poor pitiful type.

Ernest Roth
Ernest R4 years ago

@ Michael G “Rhodesia: A Failed Attempt to Maintain Racism into the 21st Century” Sorry, despite the name change, racism is alive and well there now. Even blacks in Zimbabwe, similarly to people in ex-Communist countries, find that things were better for them under the old system of white racism than under the present black racist dictatorship. It isn’t better for white farmers born there.

Robin H.
Robin H4 years ago

One of my very best friends died three years ago at the age of 42. He had an immune-system deficiency and could not afford the expensive drugs that could keep it at bay. He responded very well to the medications, but he was uninsured and they cost hundreds of dollars every month. Without the medicine he needed, a respiratory infection settled in, his organs started shutting down, and I was able to kiss him on the forehead one last time in his hospital bed in the ICU. He died a few hours later, having suffered greatly.

Don't tell me that people don't die from being uninsured. It is a goddamned lie.

Sheri D.
Sheri D4 years ago

Mitt, you are really out of touch with the reality of the American people!

Leah h.
Leah H4 years ago

In the 1970s, 61% of Americans were middle class. Today, only 51% are. We are dropping in to a two class system. We are becoming like the third world where a few live in luxury and the rest live in poverty.

Leslie G. - you are absolutely correct about accepting the meme of health insurance in place of access to health care.

Elect the R/R ticket and watch the Supreme Court have a 7 to 2 majority trampling on the Constitution. Once unions are destroyed, minimum wage will be abolished and workplace safety will be a distant memory. The tax "loopholes" they close will be your mortgage interest deduction. Study up on the conditions in Haiti, it will come to your town soon.

Leah h.
Leah H4 years ago

Ah, Romney, when the facts are against you, just make something up out of thin air. Actually, hot air in your case.

It would be bad if he was uninformed, but this is information he could not have missed while passing RomneyCare in Massachusetts. The man lies repeatedly and constantly. Sometimes, it is about trivialities; sometimes, it is downright dangerous.

Oana Vasiloiu
yonette VO4 years ago

Is he sure?!

Donna B.
Donna B4 years ago

Romney lives in his own world, The rich one. He has NO concept of reality. I'm starting to wonder if he really is an idiot or if he just beleives HIS own bull-crap? Whatever the case is, we do NOT need him to be the next president, that's for sure. OBAMA/BIDEN 2012!!

Susan Allen
SusanAWAY Allen4 years ago

Mary, thank you for your post. It's good for people to hear from someone from another country, especially a country with universal healthcare. All we hear here from conservatives is how horrible your system is, as well as the healthcare systems in Europe. And yes, unfortunately, the word socialism strikes fear into the hearts of many Americans, particularly the conservative ones. They simply don't get it, that our police, firemen, public education, etc. are all a form of socialism; but then maybe they do and that's why they're trying to destroy our government and privatize everything that people used to take for granted. It's all about free enterprise here. Make as much money as you can, step on as many people as you have to in order to get more and more and more. Then, if that isn't bad enough, the conservatives have started a class war here. The number of people living in poverty is growing by leaps and bounds and people getting any type of assistance are denigrated and shamed, while many feel the poor, drawing any type of assistance just don't want to work and are all but taking the food off of their table. And then we have a POS millionaire running for president just egging it all on. Our only hope, at present, is to keep Romney out of the white house, but even that won't fix the problem by a longshot, but it will at least give us some time to work on some of these issues. We Americans need to start standing together for our rights rather than fighting each oth