Quoting ❥ Meℓi:" Yes, yes I do. Supposedly they take the most urgent first then the others go last....There is still a ... [snip!] ... to take the doctor a bit before they see you because all of the people....even the ones who use the ER as a doctors office."
It's not like the uninsured get a free ride or have it good or anything like that. The ER isn't mandated nor equipped to fully treat people, they release people when they are considered stable, so unless it was a simple injury or illness, that person is sort caught over a brine barrel because they will need additional treatment in the future. Unpaid bills go on their credit when they get turned over to collections, which in turn affects how they can get housing, cars, phones, loans, etc ... even job opportunities.
Many are caught in the middle, they fall between cracks; they can't afford insurance where they live, yet make barely just enough money to be disqualified from Medicaid, or low-cost state insurance programs, perhaps even the odd low-income clinic. These people are more smurfed that anyone when they need treatment, including those on welfare.
Another part of the problem is that many people simply don't know where else to go other than the ER, they don't know about any local free or low cost clinics that will see uninsured people. Some will just assume they will get turned away from everywhere but the ER. Know what I mean?