Annual care costs associated with gun violence exceed $1 billion, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
According to a report published by the office, national data was analyzed to make the estimates, since “no complete information on the health care costs of firearm injuries” is recorded. GAO found initial hospital costs of firearm injuries to be over $1 billion annually, “however, physician costs not captured in the data could add around 20 percent to that total.”
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The report continues, “Each year there were about 30,000 inpatient stays and about 50,000 emergency department visits to initially treat firearm injuries.” Up to 16 percent of survivors were “readmitted at least once for their injury, with average costs of $8,000 to $11,000 per patient.” Over 60 percent of the cost was covered by taxpayer-funded healthcare, such as Medicaid.
GAO used hospital data from 2016 and 2017, allegedly the most recent information available. Last year, Democrat lawmakers called for the report after the ongoing surge in gun violence. The results have the potential to fuel gun control legislation.