It turns out calling 911 isn’t free. Imagine that. 911 communications may actually cost you money. People who pay taxes aren’t the only ones who are fitting the bill anymore. In some places ambulances are charging fat surcharges for the extra equipment necessary for the ambulance ride? How much does an ambulance ride cost if you are morbidly obese? How does an extra $500 in addition to the base rate.
But even people who don’t require extra equipment will have to start paying extra for the right to make the call to 911 communications. How much extra? How much will calling 911 cost in Tracy, California? Well, if you want to pay a $48 per year fee, you can call 911 communications centers as many times as you want. But if you don’t want to pay the fee, how does $300 per call sound. If you’re having a stroke, calling 911 communications may just cost you your arm and your leg.
That’s right. $300 to call 911 communications for an emergency. Or perhaps the problem is too many people are calling for nonemergency reasons. If you can’t get the frequent abusers who show up at the hospital by ambulance for nonemergent problems to stop calling 911, maybe you can collect their $300 by garnishing their welfare and disability checks.
At some point, our country is going to have to stop excusing the actions of the economic tax abusers and start implementing personal responsibility with real consequences that hold folks accountable for their actions. I think charging a fee is an excellent deterant to unnecssary abuse of a system that is overwhelmed with nonurgent convenience care.
*This blog post was originally published at Happy Hospitalist*