The comedian and TV shopping channel personality Joan Rivers was reportedly rushed to Mount Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan, after she stopped breathing and went into cardiac arrest during a procedure on her vocal cords at a clinic. Ms. Rivers' daughter, Melissa, is en route to New York, the gossip Web site TMZ reported.
Ms. Rivers' out-patient procedure at a clinic shows the risks involved in the anti-hospital movement by health insurance companies. The "reforms" to healthcare really amount to healthcare cuts, where money is saved by blocking patients from receiving complicated procedures in out-patient settings. Once Ms. Rivers, 81, went into cardiac arrest, she had to be rushed to a full-service hospital, where trained medical experts in complicated medical practices could attend to her emergency healthcare needs. Some healthcare activists said today that Ms. Rivers was fortunate that the out-patient clinic, where she stopped breathing, was near the many hospitals of New York's Upper East Side, where there is a concentration of full-service hospitals. If Ms. Rivers had been having her out-patient procedure in lower Manhattan, for example, then the ambulance ride to a full-service hospital would have taken longer. It remains to be seen whether the mainstream media or Hollywood gossip Web sites will take notice of the healthcare implications for other senior patients using out-patient clinics for surgeries.
Meanwhile, news watchers expect President Barack Obama to issue a statement, calling for prayers for Ms. Rivers' full recovery. Ms. Rivers' health emergency follows the tragic suicide of comedian Robin Williams, who passed away on Aug. 11. The White House issued a statement in Mr. Williams' memory on the same day as his passing.