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May 17, 1995

Private Sector Volunteerism as a Solution to Caring for the Uninsured

Author Affiliations

Loma Linda University Loma Linda, Calif

JAMA. 1995;273(19):1487. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520430023014

To the Editor.  —In his recent Editorial,1 Dr Lundberg points out that the biggest problem of our health care system is the 40 million or so people who have no medical insurance coverage.Emergency departments have become an inappropriate site of ambulatory care and physicians in partially full private hospitals spend hours contacting overburdened county and state hospitals to find beds for patients without insurance. This often causes delay in patient care as well as wasting valuable time for the physician.We can significantly improve this situation by making these indigent patients as desirable as patients with insurance. This can be achieved by requiring that every physician and hospital treat 20% of their patients (those that do not have any insurance coverage) free of charge; in exchange, these physicians do not have to face malpractice suits, although patients subject to gross negligence by physicians or health care personnel could

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