Americans paid more than $6.6 billion over eight years to care for victims of gun violence, according to a new tally of hospital bills. And U.S. taxpayers picked up at least 41% of that tab.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg, say the authors of a study published this week in the American Journal of Public Health. Their sum does not include the initial — and very costly — bill for gunshot victims’ care in emergency rooms. Nor does it include hospital readmissions to treat complications or provide follow-up care. The cost of rehabilitation, or of ongoing disability, is not included either.
“These are big numbers, and this is the lowest bound of these costs,” said Sarabeth A. Spitzer, a Stanford University medical student who co-wrote the study. “We were surprised” at the scale, she added.
That, arguably, makes gun-injury prevention a public health priority, Spitzer said. The GOP’s healthcare reform measure would reduce federal contributions toward Medicaid, which foots roughly 35% of the hospital bills for gunshot victims. The GOP plan would also cut payments to the hospitals that absorb much of the cost of caring for self-paying (in other words, uninsured) patients, whose hospital bills accounted for about 24% of the $730 million-per-year tab.
“These are expensive injuries,” Spitzer said.
But can we REALLY put a price on a citizen's constitutional right to bear arms?
Hell yes we can! And it is a lot less than 730 million dollars a year.
I think that every gun owner should not only be forced to register their weapon, AFTER going through a strenuous background check, but that they also be forced to purchase insurance that specifically pays for any injuries that they or others may suffer as a result of that purchase.
I can tell you that I personally do not want to pay for the hospital bills of some fool who accidentally shot himself with his own gun. In my opinion he is too dumb to live anyhow.