Be careful where you seek Emergency Room Care: the wait may average 15 hours.
The LA Times reported last week that "severe and dangerous overcrowding" at the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center has been even worse this summer. The ER is considered "overcrowded" more than 80% of the time, "seriously overcrowded" 47% of the time, and "dangerously overcrowded" 15% of the time. It took an average of 15 hours to place an admitted ER patient in a bed. The lack of health insurance and ordinary care--and the resultant use of the ER as a source of primary care or to address neglected chronic health problems---is a problem not only for the poor. The rest of us find ourselves in need of ER care on occasion, too.
Next thing we'll hear about is hospitals creating two systems of ER care--one for "premium" patients and another for the rest of us (like the private fire companies in the Rocky Mountains, hired by insurers of luxury homes). As the cost of health care continues to rise, pushing health insurance premiums out of the reach of ordinary people and ordinary employers, we already have that condition in most health care circumstances.