GOP Lawmaker: Emergency Rooms Should Turn People Away To Save Money

Rep. Diane Black proposed that hospital emergency rooms should be able to turn patients away to help keep costs down.

President Ronald Reagan signed a law in 1986 that prohibits emergency rooms from sending patients away, a practice that disproportionately affected the unemployed and people of color. But Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), who is also running for governor, believes the law should be repealed in an effort to keep health care costs down.

“I’m an emergency room nurse,” Black told MSNBC host Chuck Todd on Friday. “There are people that came into my emergency room that I, the nurse, was the first one to see them. I could have sent them to a walk-in clinic or their doctor the next day, but because of a law that Congress put into place to say, no, I have to treat everybody that walks into that emergency room.”

Read more here.

Comments (41)
No. 1-38
mamasnothappy
mamasnothappy

Not only should this woman be removed from any position of power over others but she shouldn't be allowed children or animals. This is beyond belief.

Gwen
Gwen

I do not believe her fake excuse for the inexcusable. If those people had medical insurance they wouldn't need the emergency room. As a Disabled Veteran that would be the only way that I could get any care out side of my service connected injury. The VA will only give me care for my spine injury, Only!
Because of my Service Connected Injury, I was not allowed medical insurance!

Jman
Jman

Gwen, Obamacare was supposed to accept pre existing conditions are you saying that Obama care does not accept pre existing conditions?

Jman
Jman

Insurance or no insurance, the "Emergency" room is for emergencies whether your insured or not. I'm tired of a person coming to the ER for a cold. We have an epidemic in this country and I guess the first thing that needs to be done to correct it is to teach adults the definition of an emergency and then hold special classes in schools to teach the kids what the definition of an emergency is. Obviously, the sick elderly or people that have an Auto Immune Disease with a minor illness would obviously be accepted. We've just had too much abuse of the system. My illegal workers love the ER, it's like free cake to them.

DerekWilliams
DerekWilliams

Well, she is talking about redirecting non-urgent cases to their physician or local clinic, if you read the article. Why should someone be treated at the emergency room for the common cold?

Kriquette
Kriquette

This is the basic feeling of the republican party! Their big trouble is should wealthy have to pay the bills for poor people! Considering the Wealthy are part of the reason so many are poor I think it is only fair! I also think people need to wake up and realize we have got to stand up to the government and tell them since you no longer serve the people you have got to go!

Kriquette
Kriquette

Derel Williams because the economy has seen to it

Kriquette
Kriquette

DerekWilliams because our political has seen to it that people in the service industry can't live on a single job! 2 8.00 and hour jobs doesn't feed a family!

walter77777
walter77777

I can see it now! A man comes in toth eER with his sick or injured child.

walter77777
walter77777

t

walter77777
walter77777

I can see it now. A man comes in to the ER with his sick or injured child, and the nurse asks for insurance. The man says no insurance, and the nurse tells him no treatment. The child dies, and the man murders the poor nurse who only did what they told her to do.

Hbush
Hbush

There is daily abuse of the emergency room, many see it as their Dr office and many with government assistance also feel that it doesn’t matter they do not have to pay the bill anyway. In TN any TN care patient who has a ER visit denied or TnCare does not cover the bill we are not allowed to bill them, however all others are required to pay what insurance denies or doesn’t cover so u tell me how that is right. Majority of what is seen in ED’s now days are non emergency and the reason pvt insurance is rarely seen is because we can’t afford the bill that we get because of the hospital trying to cover their losses on Medicaid patients. Trust me unless you are in healthcare and know anything about the billing then u have no idea just how little the government and even pvt insurances pay on medical bills

hischoolteachermike
hischoolteachermike

"Another one from outer space. Duh! You might as well get the job of pulling plugs in the hospital. I'm glad she isn't in my state.

hischoolteachermike
hischoolteachermike

I can't believe the gall of this woman, running for Governor no less in Tennessee. Money? Is that all she thinks about? I'll bet shes an evangelical.

Dahandyman
Dahandyman

This is so much more than having insurance or not. It dates back to the Nixon administration when a favor was done for friends of the president by allowing the medical industry to start operating for profit. Just another cruel example of how social inequality is created.

flexdoc
flexdoc

Given the absurd medical coverage and benefits Congress is given, no lawmaker should be allowed to voice an opinion on other people's healthcare or how its paid for or provided.

KeithF
KeithF

Your “illegal” workers? You mean you are breaking the law? Oh, this is not 1960, we don’t call them illegals any more and anyone who uses undocumented workers does not call them illegals.
Unless you live in California, I know of no other State that mandates emergency rooms have to treat undocumented individuals for more than a
Life threatening injury. So, all in all, I call bullshit on your whole post.

SusanByShore
SusanByShore

The majority of Emergency Departments use a triage system and are staffed with Physician Assistants. As a long time nurse, there's often more behind a medical condition than what's mentioned on arrival. Yes, those without insurance do tend to use this as a last resort and because of this, are often extremely ill when they show up. Removing the high powered insurance companies and big pharma and moving to Universal healthcare is the only answer.

Jane1213
Jane1213

Just because a person is smart enough to be a nurse doesn't mean they should be a nurse. A critical component of being a nurse is having compassion. This lady is missing that.

Oh-brother
Oh-brother

I arrived at the E.R. by ambulance, sent home with a pain pull. I returned by ambulance few hours later, they didn't seem interested in what was causing my pain without any insurance. Ended up in ICU for 11 days due to seious infection. I'm sure glad this lovely woman wasn't around I'd be a memory.

Geoshav
Geoshav

EvelEve.?…exactly what shes sayin ....read much ?…go back to watchin Fox and remember..there , but for the grace of god , goes YOU

SJ Otto
SJ Otto

We need to start killing people like her. If you have a end-your-life disease, kill a politician like her. That is the answer to this problem.

TStewart
TStewart

If you work in an 'Emergency room", or know someone that does, you find people there for splinters, sniffles. blisters, runny noses, etc. These are the people she is talking about. Get a grip people and use your heads. smh

psychnurse
psychnurse

Yeah, that's true....however, I would be willing to bet that you are one of those people that calls him/herself a Christian. Guess what? Your Jesus didn't discriminate when he healed. Besides, a lot of people that show up at the ER for minor things may not have anywhere else to get treatment. We have an urgent care clinic in our town that doesn't take any kind of government insurance. Which means, when I have to go on Medicare, I will have to find another place to go. So, some do have insurance and can't get help. Man, you got me started now....I work in a psych facility, and if we send someone to the ER, and they know that they're from my place of work, they treat them as if whatever they are complaining of is just because they are a psych patient, give them a shot of Valium and send them on their way. The medical system is so messed up now, that you probably have NO idea how bad it is. You likely have some private insurance and some cash so that you can afford your medications. I know people that can't afford $4 generics. I know people who have cancer that haven't been able to follow up because they have no way to pay for treatment, and if they have insurance, it doesn't cover what they have. Everybody wants to knock Canada's system, saying that you might not get a doctor to see you in a timely manner. Well, in America, you may have NO hope of EVER being able to get a doctor to see you. And if you do, you probably either won't be able to pay for it at all, or it will take you the rest of your life to pay it off. Remember Sarah Palin crying about death panels? Guess what....we have them. Think insurance companies or Congress trying to prevent people from getting the medical care that they already have. Try stepping outside your privileged lifestyle and open your eyes. Not everyone who is poor is lazy or trying to play the system.

psychnurse
psychnurse

P.S. The urgent care clinic that won't take government insurance is a Christian facility that has Bible verses all over the walls and on TV monitors. There's a lesson there, I think.

ugogerl825
ugogerl825

If we should repeal a law it should be the Health Maintenance Organization Act of 1973. Since we have let Health Care become for profit instead of for service, the American people have been robbed.

Outtherebear
Outtherebear

I am a dialysis patient. It was the middle of the night ER visit for a leg wound where they discovered that I had kidney failure . Later being a dialysis patient meant that I couldn't fool around with some things I had what I thought was a gallbladder attack pain so I went to the ER and that's where they discovered a shadow on my kidney which later after removal was found to be cancerous

Outtherebear
Outtherebear

Both of those incidents could've been handled by a doctor . One resulted in a 12 day hospital stay . And the other resulted in removing a kidney . I think Diann Black just need to change her oil more...lol so she can get back in touch with poor people . She lives in a mansion and her and her husband are multimillionaires

Honest Felon
Honest Felon

They wouldn't be there if they could get seen for relatively minor ailments, in a timely manner, at Public Health facilities.

WillieBill
WillieBill
psychnurse
psychnurse said: Yeah, that's true....however, I would be willing to bet that you are one of those people that calls him/herself a Christian. Guess what? Your Jesus didn't discriminate when he healed. Besides, a lot of people that show up at the ER for minor things may not have anywhere else to get treatment. We have an urgent care clinic in our town that doesn't take any kind of government insurance. Which means, when I have to go on Medicare, I will have to find another place to go. So, some do have insurance and can't get help. Man, you got me started now....I work in a psych facility, and if we send someone to the ER, and they know that they're from my place of work, they treat them as if whatever they are complaining of is just because they are a psych patient, give them a shot of Valium and send them on their way. The medical system is so messed up now, that you probably have NO idea how bad it is. You likely have some private insurance and some cash so that you can afford your medications. I know people that can't afford $4 generics. I know people who have cancer that haven't been able to follow up because they have no way to pay for treatment, and if they have insurance, it doesn't cover what they have. Everybody wants to knock Canada's system, saying that you might not get a doctor to see you in a timely manner. Well, in America, you may have NO hope of EVER being able to get a doctor to see you. And if you do, you probably either won't be able to pay for it at all, or it will take you the rest of your life to pay it off. Remember Sarah Palin crying about death panels? Guess what....we have them. Think insurance companies or Congress trying to prevent people from getting the medical care that they already have. Try stepping outside your privileged lifestyle and open your eyes. Not everyone who is poor is lazy or trying to play the system.

Well said! Agreed 100%.

walter77777
walter77777

Imagine you are an ER triage nurse who throws out an obviously poor family with a sick child telling them that they should see their own physician (which they do not have), and the child dies. How do you respond to the father confronts you the next night?

Jaded Angel
Jaded Angel

In the same respect, the working people should NOT have to be paying taxes to make the politicians wallets fatter, and support their luxorious lifestyles living beyond necessary means. if we have to bust our asses for peanuts and be told what we Can't have. then you corrupt politicians should live the exact same way.

Beach Shamus
Beach Shamus
psychnurse
psychnurse said: Yeah, that's true....however, I would be willing to bet that you are one of those people that calls him/herself a Christian. Guess what? Your Jesus didn't discriminate when he healed. Besides, a lot of people that show up at the ER for minor things may not have anywhere else to get treatment. We have an urgent care clinic in our town that doesn't take any kind of government insurance. Which means, when I have to go on Medicare, I will have to find another place to go. So, some do have insurance and can't get help. Man, you got me started now....I work in a psych facility, and if we send someone to the ER, and they know that they're from my place of work, they treat them as if whatever they are complaining of is just because they are a psych patient, give them a shot of Valium and send them on their way. The medical system is so messed up now, that you probably have NO idea how bad it is. You likely have some private insurance and some cash so that you can afford your medications. I know people that can't afford $4 generics. I know people who have cancer that haven't been able to follow up because they have no way to pay for treatment, and if they have insurance, it doesn't cover what they have. Everybody wants to knock Canada's system, saying that you might not get a doctor to see you in a timely manner. Well, in America, you may have NO hope of EVER being able to get a doctor to see you. And if you do, you probably either won't be able to pay for it at all, or it will take you the rest of your life to pay it off. Remember Sarah Palin crying about death panels? Guess what....we have them. Think insurance companies or Congress trying to prevent people from getting the medical care that they already have. Try stepping outside your privileged lifestyle and open your eyes. Not everyone who is poor is lazy or trying to play the system.

LOVE LOVE LOVE your reply!!! Thanks!

n70
n70

I think you have a good solution there. Kill a few of them, and the rest will pretend to find human compassion. Or kill all of them and replace them with humans.

speakeasy29
speakeasy29

This is what happens when you let hospitals decide who to treat. I've been in health care for thirty years. I took my first blood pressure in 1986, when EMTALA went into effect. This stupid tool is just an old half-wit staff nurse who worked her way up the nursing food chain and has no clue that it is the current health care system that causes ER overcrowding, not the poor.

EMTALA only has authority over emergency rooms, not anywhere else. Urgent Care clinics are totally allowed to refuse you without insurance, as well as any hospital or doctor. So that's why the ER is overcrowded, because people without insurance can't be seen anywhere else.

If ERs get to decide who to treat, you know, 'triage the sick', and send those that can wait until the morning home, "those people" get turned away anywhere else, or have to pay up-front, and then have to pay for the medicine, because looking in your ears and taking a sputum sample doesn't cure you by any means, it's the prescription that you really need, not some stiff shirt in a tie telling you to drink liquids, stay in bed, and get some rest, and because "those people" don't get the script, they get sicker, and come back to the ER in the back of a bus, convulsing from fever, with a cooked brain. Guess how much a cooked brain costs.

She has no business opening her mouth about health care, let alone any laws. She's a tool propped up by racists, to ignorantly do their bidding, and they sell her to idiot republicans as having years of health care experience. I've met a million of these old biddies, who get all huffy because they have to deal with the drunk homeless guy that got his foot ran over because he stepped off the curb. Go home and churn some butter, grandma, and all you nurses who get picky about who they choose to touch. You should have never gone into nursing if you didn't want to care for the sick. Florence Nightingale is rolling in the grave.

You see, the REAL problem is that her and her kind have to wait for all "those other people", when they go to the ER because they cut their hand carving the roast, ruining dinner and now it'll be too late to play bridge, by the time they get stitched up, because of all "those people".

EMTALA, the law she wants to change, ensures that anyone who presents to an emergency room wishing to be treated, must be accepted, if that emergency room ever wants to bill and receive medicare or medicaid dollars from the government, for those folks that have medicare or medicaid.

The most moral law to ever effect the health care industry (and don't you ever forget that as long as we don't have universal health care, health care will always be an 'industry') and probably the best thing Reagan ever did for this country, other than tearing down that wall.

Don't mess with EMTALA. If you do, the blood of the poor will be on your hands. Haven't the poor any hope in America, or is it all just about the money. Vote as far left as possible, this November.
An atheist wrote this, btw.

Let's Go
Let's Go

Historians will have no problem labeling these past two years as the most nauseous, debilitating, and disgusting years in the country's history.

Chrystal1$
Chrystal1$

we have a crisis in our Healthcare System because it is for profit.

Dr Phillip
Dr Phillip

I'm a retired MD. I wouldn't hire this alleged nurse to work in my office. I always accepted Medicare and Medicaid patients and some that had no insurance and couldn't pay. Medical care is now a business run by corporations. Every day I read on Doximity (a medical social platform) complaints and stuff about "doctor burnout" and all the unnecessary tests and documentation. Turning away poor patients won't reduce costs because the hospitals charge whatever they want and will continue to do so. I'd like to see Ms Black's reaction when a clinic turns her down because she's not on their list of her insurance company's providers. This happened to me when my insurance Aetna, stopped their contract with Swedish Hospital in Seattle. I had to go all over looking for a doctor who was accepting new patients.