Rep. Bill Huizenga is a Republican congressman from one district over from me. In an interview, he expressed the frightening view that parents should wait until the next day for a doctor’s visit rather than taking their kid to the ER if they have a broken arm.
“At some point or another we have to be responsible or have a part of the responsibility of what is going on,” Huizenga said. “Way too often, people pull out their insurance card and they say ‘I don’t know the difference or cost between an X-ray or an MRI or CT Scan.’ I might make a little different decision if I did know (what) some of those costs were and those costs came back to me.”The father of five offered a personal example of how this shift might play out. He says his youngest son fell and injured his arm. Not sure if it was sprained or broken, he and his wife decided to wait until the next morning to take the 10-year-old to the doctor’s office, instead of going to the emergency room that night. The arm was broken.
“We took every precaution but decided to go in the next morning (because of) the cost difference,” Huizenga said. “If he had been more seriously injured, we would have taken him in. … When it (comes to) those type of things, do you keep your child home from school and take him the next morning to the doctor because of a cold or a flu, versus take him into the emergency room? If you don’t have a cost difference, you’ll make different decisions.”
That sounds like an admission of serious child neglect to me. This man undoubtedly has excellent insurance with good coverage for emergency care of that sort. He didn’t “take every precaution” he put his son in danger.