QUALITY/POLICY: Need an Organ? It Helps to Be Rich

Were you looking for this?ABC News reporter Joy Victory found a really juicy angle on the problems of being uninsured. Her article is called  Need an Organ? It Helps to Be Rich. As you might suspect getting on the waiting list for an organ if you’re uninsured is pretty tricky. Entry to the list is controlled by the big medical centers that do transplants. Although everyone is supposed to be viewed independently of means, its totally obvious that if the patient is uninsured the hospital concerned will lose a packet on the procedure. So like every other aspect of care access for the uninsured, their chances of getting access to that list are much lower than those with insurance. And of course it goes without saying that unless they are lucky enough to be in a job offering great insurance — a number which is getting lower every day — they are not going to be able to buy insurance at any affordable price.

But the fun contrast that the article brings up concerns the other end of the transplant pipeline. Nearly 23% of those who’s organs are donated for transplantation were uninsured, who in other circumstances wouldn’t be eligible to accept their own organs! So this is a case where the haves are literally living off the have-nots.

You’d think that the advocates of universal insurance could run with this one a little?

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