Every day, children, other relatives, friends, and even untrained hospital staff are asked to step in to do a job only competent, professional medical interpreters should be performing. These dangerous practices persist despite federal law requiring hospitals and other health care providers to offer language services.
Rationing, the hated R-word, evokes widespread resentment and debate whenever mentioned in connection with health care in the U. S. There are many who hold that we don't ration care now, never want to, and that the free market will work its magic and be fair to all without rationing if we just keep the government out of health care.
There is a pervasive myth generated by conservatives that the private sector is more efficient and less bureaucratic than government. This is perpetuated by those seeking to continue the "free market" in U. S. health care, which simultaneously exploits public programs through privatization of Medicare and Medicaid.
With threats to health reform and its Medicaid expansion continuing to loom, it's worth looking at some of the successes that such an effort would endanger. Specifically, the 30 states and the District of Columbia that have expanded Medicaid under health reform have realized big drops in their uninsurance rates and substantial budget savings.
The Senate-passed budget reconciliation bill would boost the number of uninsured Americans by at least 22 million starting in 2018, relative to current law. Thus, virtually all (at least 92 percent) of the historic health coverage gains that CBO expects health reform to achieve by 2018 would be lost.