Miami Herald | Opinion
ERNESTO A. PRETTO JR, PROFESSOR AND CHIEF, DIVISION OF TRANSPLANT ANESTHESIA, UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI MILLER SCHOOL OF MEDICINE/JACKSON MEMORIAL HOSPITAL, MIAMI
I believe you missed an opportunity in the Jan. 16 article, Woman needing transplant dies after Jackson declines transfer, to highlight the impact that the failure to expand Medicaid under Obamacare is having on thousands of sick and uninsured in Florida. This is but one of many tragic stories that could have been prevented had the governor and the Florida Legislature agreed to accept federal funds to expand its Medicaid program to include low wage earners, such as the Marquezes, who do not qualify for regular Medicaid because of income limits.
By the time Jackson Memorial Hospital was asked to accept and evaluate this patient for lung transplant she was already in the terminal stages of the disease process. It’s a chronic condition that takes years to reach that point.
JMH can only do so much to provide care for the indigent population of South Florida. It places our health system in a conundrum: how to provide care for the few extremely ill while simultaneously attending to the needs of other uninsured patients with less extreme conditions, but who have much better chances of long-term survival. Continue reading