What's with demonizing people who go to emergency rooms for "routine" care?
It's a popular meme: poor (or not-so-poor) people are ruining everything with their emergency-room visits.
They're not playing by the rules! These scofflaws foolishly and recklessly visit large medical facilities that are open 24-hours a day. Emergency rooms are intrinsically expensive (if it doesn't say so in the Bible, that's an oversight), and they're regrettably not allowed to turn people away. Thus, creeps and lowlifes are gaming the system and getting health care for themselves and their children that the system has otherwise done a superb job of denying them.
Obviously, it would be technically impossible to provide lower-cost services side-by-side with ERs, or to allow people whose primary-care doctors are busy, closed, or inconveniently located to go, on occasion, to community health centers without getting hassled or screwed by health-insurance companies.
Note: 2008 campaign video via Caro, from this discussion. To me, what's interesting about it isn't that Obama is caught unprepared without access to his prepared remarks. To err is human (especially when a machine we rely on goes on the fritz).
But to visit the ER is human, too. And what strikes me about this video is that it shows yet another conventional-wisdom talking point making no sense. Obama's not stumbling because he's stupid. He's stumbling because our "uniquely American" ideas about health care are.