1. Deliberate on whether it's better to call an ambulance or have a friend drive you to the hospital, since an ambulance ride will cost you an arm and a leg - hopefully not in a literal sense.
2. Decide if you want to walk through the doors of emergency care or wait until morning for regular/urgent care, since going to the emergency room will cost you a stupendous amount.
3. Try to remember which hospital is best for the type of insurance you have and how the coverage plan impacts it. Is the clinic/hospital in-network? Will the insurance even cover this emergency condition I have? Should I call the insurance before going to the hospital to make sure? How much am I going to pay if I have to stay at the hospital over night?
If this is the modus operandi of modern healthcare, then I think it's no understatement to say that the medical emergency service of today falls far short from the ideal. It simply cannot be called an emergency service if the citizen needs to make a decision between receiving life saving care and that of emptying her bank account. After paying a third of her taxation into healthcare, one would expect that receiving a decent care from her public contribution is only fair and decent. Alas you're a fool to expect such a treatment. Your life is only as good as your bank account. The roulette of death chose your unlucky behind on this fateful evening, and you must pay either "Mr. Black robe" or "Mr. White robe" if you want to live another day.
So the question is, why is this tolerated and why can't it be fixed? The obvious broad stroke answer to the question is that it's broken for some, but it works conveniently well for others. Otherwise it wouldn't continue to be so. Who does it work well for? The doctors, nurses, medical staff? The insurances, pharmaceuticals, medical companies and labs? Or maybe the lawyers, governments and NGOs? Or is it that this is what the system naturally devolved into as a continuing trend brought about by other non-obvious forces? The answers are likely many. The yarn complicated to untangle. But surely healthcare was not always so, and this modern incarnation is not an acceptable service by any measure. Let us then follow the serpent intertwined around the rod of Asclepius and get to the root of this inhumane situation. Let us see if the snake is rotting from the head down or the rot is stemming from the bottom of the stick.
Judge the tree by its fruits. But remember to...
Wash the beam out of your eye with soap.