Invisible Hand Of Free Market Fails To Get Charlie Kirk A Bed At Cedars-Sinai At Pace He Desires
Yesterday, diaper fetishist Conservabro Charlie Kirk of Turning Point USA went to an emergency room for what must have been the first time ever in his life. It did not go well. Well, actually, it went pretty normally, but he was very upset nonetheless.
He was escorted to the hospital by his "buddy" Kyle Kashuv -- the pro-gun Parkland shooting survivor -- for what they say was a "potential blood clot" AND a "thrown out back" at the exact same time, whereupon he was told there were not enough beds. Which, again, is normal. The part about having to wait for a bed, anyway.
Now, as you can see from the bracelet on his hand there, he was admitted by the hospital. He was not just tossed out for good and told that he had to then live on that bench forever, with his potential blood clot. This is how things work in an emergency room. They admit you, and then they do a little thing called "triage" to determine who goes in first. The worse your situation is, the faster you get treated. If they genuinely thought he had a blood clot (your WebMD self-diagnoses of a thing like that really doesn't count, they would have checked that out for themselves), he would be higher on the list. Still, he'd probably have to wait a bit because it's not as if an emergency room is going to have a lot of beds all ready and made up just in case a VIP like Charlie Kirk swings by.
Conveniently, my very own mother worked in an emergency room in Boston as a patient advocate back in the '70s (and yes, the stories are exactly as weird as you imagine), so I asked her about this.
"What does he think all the other people in the emergency room waiting room are doing? The people on gurneys with IVs stuck in their arm? Does he think they don't want beds? Like it's a restaurant and they asked for patio seating? 'Oh no, I'd like my treatment al fresco, if you don't mind'."
Perhaps ironically, Kirk has spent a lot of time tweeting about how health care is not a human right.
So, clearly, god did not think Charlie deserved to be that high on the triage list.
The comments to Kashuv's tweet revealed a whole lot of ignorance as far as how hospitalization works. Theories about how no one can get a bed because the hospitals are just too full of MILLIONS of "illegals." One fella, calling himself "Fake Clint Eastwood" was especially big on a theory that if you take an ambulance to the hospital you get treated immediately and triage goes out the window.
Again, my mom (and anyone who has ever worked in an emergency room or been to one) can tell you that no, this is not a thing. There is no special fast lane for patients who arrive via ambulance.
It's difficult to know what Kirk and Kashuv's angle was even supposed to be here. Knowing Kirk, it's gotta be something stupid. Is it that he was discriminated against because he's a conservative? Is it that he would have been seen immediately if poor people were not allowed to go to the emergency room also? Is it that there would be no triage, somehow, if hospitals were run purely on the free market?
Now, I checked, and there are at least 10 other emergency rooms in the Los Angeles area. Surely, if competition and choice were the things holding Charlie back from getting the health care he needs, he could have taken his business elsewhere to find the best services at the lowest cost available, as this is a very easy thing to do in a medical emergency. And not just in Los Angeles! In rural areas where hospitals are few and far between and closing all the time (for-profit hospitals in particular), and where there is currently a major shortage of emergency physicians. Surely, it is only the invisible hand of the free market that can correct this. That way, people in ambulances, even if they are unconscious, can just ask to be taken to the hospital with the best deal. Even if that hospital is 40 minutes away. And then, once you are there, emergency rooms can do triage based not on how serious your condition is, but how much money or how many Twitter followers you have or what your residency status is. Capitalism!
Editrix's note: Commenting rules remain in effect. No wishing death on anyone, even Charlie Kirk.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse