Victims of gunshot injuries require surgeries and long term therapy to tackle the aftermath effects. This extended array of services costs the United States a great deal of funds. A new study reveals that over a period of eight years, these costs amounted to $6.6 billion over the last eight years. The American Journal of Public Health identified the source of these funds as being mostly the poor and the government health insurance.
The Report Regarding Gunshot Injuries Revealed only the Tip of the Iceberg
The American Journal of Public Health published a new study that looked into the cases of gunshot injuries across the United States. In the last eight years, the care for these victims valued approximately $6.6 billion. Moreover, 41% of these expenses were covered by U.S. taxpayers.
However, this number does not cover the expenses for procedures that happen in the emergency rooms. The report also lacks insight into the bills for patients that seek hospital care to receive treatment for complications. Furthermore, the report couldn’t track down the expenses for ongoing disability or rehabilitation either.
Thus, the conclusion of the report touches only the tip of an iceberg. The financial impact of so many gunshot injuries is larger than that. Sarabeth A. Spitzer, a medical student at Stanford University, is one of the authors of the paper. According to her, these figures are enough to classify gun injury prevention as a priority for the public health.
The Republican Party Intends to Cut Down Funds for Hospitals
The new healthcare reform proposed by the Republican Party implies measures to cut down on federal support for Medicaid. These financial aids are currently covering around 35% of the bills for the victims of gun violence. Moreover, the Republican suggestions tackled a major cut payment to the hospitals. These funds would have ultimately helped uninsured patients cover their healthcare bills. This segment of patients accounted for 24% of the annual $825 million tab.
The new study brings other negative facts about gun violence to the surface. In the year of 2014, there were 33,700 people fatally wounded by gunshots. An additional number of 81,000 suffered non-lethal gunshot wounds. Moreover, two-thirds of these gun deaths were self-inflicted.
“Firearm-related injuries place a particular burden on governmental payers and the poor.”
The report discovered that while 29% of the victims had their hospital bills covered by Medicaid, the rest of them were mostly uninsured. Moreover, 4 out of 5 such patients had some of the lowest incomes in the United States. Thus, they do not have the financial potential to cover such expensive treatments. In the end, these bills are accounted as hospital losses which damage the entire institution. The authors of the study want to use their findings to spark new consideration regarding public policies.
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