Hawaii state senator Josh Green (who is also a physician) has introduced a bill to reduce state medical costs by classifying homelessness as a medical condition and allowing doctors to prescribe houses for it.
Newly introduced bill would classify homelessness as a medical condition, as research suggests healthcare spending falls when people have been housed
by Liz Barney in Honolulu
One day last month, Stephen Williams asked a passerby for help and then collapsed on the sidewalk. When the ambulance arrived in downtown Honolulu, his temperature was well over 104F.
A life-threatening staph infection had entered his bloodstream. Williams, who lives on the dusty streets of Chinatown, spent seven days hooked to an IV, treatment that can cost $40,000, according to the hospital that admitted him. But Williams didn’t pay: the bill was covered by government dollars in the form of Medicaid. Over the past four years, he has been to the hospital for infections 21 times, he said, a consequence of psoriasis flare-ups in a humid climate and unsanitary conditions.
Cases such as these have prompted a groundbreaking new proposal in Hawaii…
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