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For McCain Camp, Emergency Room is Ample Health Insurance « The Washington Independent

You’d think that John McCain’s campaign would have taken a lesson from the outcry that followed President George W. Bush’s suggestion last year that emergency room care is a sound form of health coverage.

But you’d be wrong.

In a recent interview with the Dallas Morning News, McCain health policy adviser John Goodman not only echoed Bush’s emergency room promotion, but he also pushed for the elimination of the Census Bureau’s “uninsured” designation. From the Morning News:

Mr. Goodman, who helped craft Sen. John McCain’s health care policy, said anyone with access to an emergency room effectively has insurance, albeit the government acts as the payer of last resort. (Hospital emergency rooms by law cannot turn away a patient in need of immediate care.)

“So I have a solution. And it will cost not one thin dime,” Mr. Goodman said. “The next president of the United States should sign an executive order requiring the Census Bureau to cease and desist from describing any American — even illegal aliens — as uninsured. Instead, the bureau should categorize people according to the likely source of payment should they need care.

“So, there you have it. Voila! Problem solved.”

That’s true, but only if you define the “problem” as being that those 45 million Americans without coverage are hampering conservatives’ efforts to reduce the government’s role in providing health care. If they’re inconvenient to your message, just quit counting them. Voila, indeed.

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