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Invited Critique
November 16, 2009

Trauma of the Uninsured: Comment on “Downwardly Mobile: The Accidental Cost of Being Uninsured”

Arch Surg. 2009;144(11):1011-1012. doi:10.1001/archsurg.2009.194

This article is especially relevant given the priority assigned to health care reform by the current administration. Clearly, one of the more significant problems in our current health care system is that of the uninsured and their relative lack of access to care.

However, one might assume that lack of access would be less of a problem with emergency and trauma care, since all patients entering an emergency department or a trauma center are guaranteed to receive care regardless of their ability to pay. It is the providers, hospitals and physicians, who assume the major financial risk for these uninsured patients. Our emergency departments and trauma centers are the safety net for many communities.