September 14, 2013 by David K. Sutton
The Hidden Costs Of Gun Violence In America
If you do not live in a violent neighborhood, and you think you are immune to gun violence, a new study by the Urban Institute says otherwise. Even if the violence has no direct impact on your life, indirectly your wallet will feel the effects. That might seem a callous way to make people care about gun violence, but for some, money is the biggest motivator for change.
The Atlantic Cities — In 2010 alone, 36,000 victims of firearm assaults went to the emergency room, and 25,000 were admitted to the hospital. The total cost of that medical treatment for one year came to $630 million. As a comparison point, total Medicaid expenditure for the single state of Wyoming in 2010 was just $534 million.
What’s more, 52 percent of those costs are for people with publicly funded health insurance (primarily Medicaid), and another 28 percent of costs went to the uninsured. This makes it clear that taxpayers pay the largest share of these costs through Medicaid or uncompensated care, although some costs are borne by other payers or the uninsured themselves.
Because many of the people injured by gun violence are from low-income and poverty stricken areas, that means the American taxpayer (you and I) are footing the bill for over half of all gun violence-induced medical costs.