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 > I work at an American hospital in Charleston, West Virginia and all
> patients who seek care receive it reguardless of their insurance or
> financial qualifications.
I was debating someone awhile ago that claimed the US more-or-less has
"free" health care in the form of one or more designated "county
hospitals" that accept the uninsured in the ER.  This seems to be the
case where I live, one of the local hospitals is well known for
accepting the uninsured.
Now, this isn't deluxe care, you can expect to wait a minimum of 4
hours on a busy night, and they're not going to give away hip
replacements or dialysis.  But they seem to cover general practice
stuff and major emergencies.  I don't know how they pay for it,
probably it is factored into the rates they charge the insurance
companies for the patients that do have insurance.   So in 
effect we are "taxed" through our insurance companies. 
I've always been curious if this is the case in other larger US
cities.  Am I just lucky enough to live in an altrustic city or is
this a general trend?
And a question for the Europeans, does every 70 year old that needs
open heart surgery get it?  Are there some well known limits on what
is covered, after which you either die or have to go to private