Taxpayers Cover the Cost of Most Gunshot Wounds

While we’re on the subject of guns and mass shootings, here’s something to consider.

Taxpayers have largely picked up the hospital tabs for victims of gun violence in the United States – around 80 percent of their emergency department and inpatient care – and funded more than half a billion dollars in medical care for firearm assault victims in 2010, according to a new study.

The victims, mostly young males and residents of low-income areas, are disproportionately more likely to be publicly insured or not have any insurance at all, according to the study by the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, while they are hospitalized more than twice the national average.

The cost of a stay for a firearm assault injury was nearly $14,000 more than the average inpatient stay, so the medical bills of gun violence victims amount to about $630 million a year, according to Embry Howell, author of the study and a senior fellow with the Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center.

Americans are paying more than half a billion dollars per year to treat gunshot wounds.

Maybe we should have less guns. Maybe it shouldn’t be easier to obtain a gun than healthcare.

No, I’m sorry. That’s crazy talk. We need more guns! Obviously.

I snark, but my gut tells me if you were to share this study with any number of conservative pundits, they would suggest that this is why emergency rooms should be allowed to turn people away. Just die. Follow Eric Bolling’s advice and kill yourself, you’ll save us money.

  • IrishGrrrl

    Tell a conservative this and they will simply respond with “Why should I cover the cost of those ‘urban’ young men?” Urban being dog whistle for minority.

    They don’t realize that they’re going to cover them no matter what they do. The Free Market simply will not allow that cost to go unpaid AND our society should never and hopefully won’t ever go back to the days when someone could literally die outside an ER that refused them because of lack of coverage and/or skin color.

    So if that’s the case, lets looks at how we can reduce the costs. Healthcare for everyone or some kind of healthcare reforms to reduce costs and fewer guns, etc. But I always want to use logic when I talk to them and most of them are immune to it.

  • Schneibster

    I think the hospitals should sue the gun manufacturers.

    • dbtheonly


      You hit the key problem with current Health Care. Hospitals are required to provide emergency care for those in need. Those in need tend to be those uninsured. Hospitals don’t get paid for such care provided. It’s worse in City Hospitals with the gun trauma; but drug overdoses, knifings, car wrecks, & homeless hypothermia are all part of the problem. But I don’t have to go that far. It’s enough to say that the current system penalizes those who run hospitals in the inner city. So much easier, & more profitable, to do breast augmentation surgery in the suburbs.

      • Schneibster

        Medicine is a tough field right now. I think the doctors could take control of the AMA and make it better. But they’d have to accept not driving Jaguars.

        • dbtheonly

          Or figure a way to bring down the cost of Med School. Looking at six figures of Student Loan debt can really impact your priorities.

          • Schneibster

            Problems at both ends. I suggest the dishonest ones have gotten the honest ones bitten.

            You guys should do something about that. We’re doing something about the brogrammers.

  • Felonious Grammar

    I’m all for those people being given the legal right to refuse treatment that they can’t pay for up front. They could have something like a medic alert that lets paramedics and doctors know that they need to check the patient’s bank accounts and insurance for adequate funds before giving treatment. If they’ve received more money from their insurance company than they’ve paid in, then they’re moochers and need to learn not to have more health problems than they can afford to pay for themselves. Being turned away in their time of medical crisis would be a lesson for them.

    • Schneibster

      Jeez, FG, feeling a little feisty today?

      • Felonious Grammar

        I want to see these punks put their money where their mouth is.

    • Teddy’s Person

      If insurance companies have received more money on my behave (either through my own payments or my employer’s payments) than they’ve paid for my health care expenses can I call them moochers?

      • Felonious Grammar

        Call them whatever you want, I’m just glad some limits have been put on them.