ACCESS TO EMERGENCY SERVICES ACT
Physicians that work at free clinics or urgent care centers, where patients can come in for emergent free care, are at no risk of being sued. They are protected under the law from litigation. Emergency physicians anywhere else are under legal force to see any patient that walks through the door, insured or not. Hence, uninsured patients who come into the ER, 1) end up receiving free care (usually the hospital eats the cost) and 2) can still sue the doctors forced to take care of them. Basically, we are forced to treat patients for free and then have no protection from litigation. If you think about it, some patients get free care and then get a large settlement because insurance companies would rather settle out of court than defend the doctor, even when that doctor didn't screw up in the first place.
And you wonder why your medical bills suck. Read this article below about new legislation in place to help fix this problem.
For you social slugs and drains out there, be glad you live in this country.