Swine Flu And The Uninsured

The swine flu outbreak, coupled with millions of uninsured Americans, has doctors worrying that some people won't get the protection they need from the virus because of the cost.

It's a fear two Democrats in Congress are trying to address. Sen. Dick Durbin and Rep. Lois Capps are introducing legislation that would pay for temporary medical treatment for uninsured people during a public health emergency.

In a flu epidemic, the uninsured have few options. They can flood emergency rooms or self-medicate and hope for the best. Many might not be aware they can also go to a federally-funded community health center and see a doctor or nurse for little or no cost.

Capps says there shouldn't be financial barriers "that keep people from getting care when an epidemic is sweeping the community."


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