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Emergency doctors dispute McCain advisor's take on healthcare

August 28, 2008 |  4:42 pm

Gurney The organization representing the nation's 26,000 emergency medicine doctors fired back today at a John McCain campaign advisor who said, in effect, that as long as there are emergency rooms, no one in American is really uninsured.

The advisor, John Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis in Dallas, told the Dallas Morning News on Wednesday that emergency rooms are a last resort for healthcare for anyone because, by law, emergency rooms can't turn away a patient in need of immediate care. "The next president of the United States should sign an executive order requiring the Census Bureau to cease and desist from describing any American -- even illegal aliens -- as uninsured," Goodman said.

If you've been to a hospital emergency room in recent years you probably know those folks don't have a lot of time on their hands. Here's what Dr. Linda Lawrence, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians, had to say about Goodman's remarks:

"Emergency physicians can and do perform miracles every day, but taking on the full-time medical care for 46 million uninsured Americans is one miracle even we cannot perform. Access to care in the emergency department is no substitute for the comprehensive healthcare reform policy that should be at the heart of the platform of any presidential campaign."

-- Shari Roan

Photo credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times

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