Think we don't need universal health care?

Think again.

LOS ANGELES - A woman who lay bleeding on the emergency room floor of a troubled inner-city hospital died after 911 dispatchers refused to contact paramedics or an ambulance to take her to another facility, newly released tapes of the emergency calls reveal.

Edith Isabel Rodriguez, 43, died of a perforated bowel on May 9 at Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital. Her death was ruled accidental by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office.

Relatives said Rodriguez was bleeding from the mouth and writhing in pain for 45 minutes while she was at a hospital waiting area. Experts have said she could have survived had she been treated early enough.

The kicker is that instead of demanding she be treated, the cops arrested her on a parole violation. The hospital and the cops are going to catch hell for this, and rightly so, but it's the system that needs the most condemnation. We need to take the profit motive out of the health care system. There are some things that are too important to leave to the tender mercies of the "free-market" system: energy, water, and health care are three of them.

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