Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Health Care for Poor People in Miami-Dade

The health care debate seems to be waged on the assumption that poor people are going without health care. This article from the Miami Herald, which highlights the present cash crunch at our public hospital, nationally ranked Jackson Memorial Hospital, shows that in Miami-Dade at least, there is a place for poor people to go for treatment. Financed by higher charges to paying customers and our local sales tax, JMH has been offering these services for many years.

We had a secretary at our office who was a single mom with a child. We have good medical coverage for our employees at no charge to them. Our plan offers coverage for the rest of the family, if the employee will pay for it. This lady chose not to pay for coverage for her daughter. Instead, she relied on a special Florida program that provides medical coverage for children who are from families who are uninsured. (I don't know what the eligibility requirements are of this program, Florida KidCare. We paid the secretary pretty well.)

The point is that people are getting medical care in a sort of patchwork pattern. I am sure it could be more efficient, and maybe some people are missed here and there. But medical services are being delivered to a lot more "uninsured" people than I think the debate gives the present system credit for.

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