Michael Granillo and his wife Sonia await treatment at an emergency room in Northridge, Calif. Anna Gorman, Kaiser Health News hide caption

itoggle caption Anna Gorman, Kaiser Health News

For someone with a serious injury, it's not just a matter of getting in the door at the closest hospital, but getting in the door at the right hospital, says Dr. Arthur Kellermann, an emergency medicine specialist. micheal kennedy/iStockphoto hide caption

itoggle caption micheal kennedy/iStockphoto

O'Connor Hospital in San Jose, Calif., is encouraging uninsured patients to sign up for coverage in the emergency room. Sarah Varney for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Sarah Varney for NPR

Jeremie Seals used to go to the hospital emergency room to avoid sleeping in his car. Kristian Foden-Vencil/OPB hide caption

itoggle caption Kristian Foden-Vencil/OPB

The Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games included a paean to the National Health Service, the U.K.'s socialized healthcare system. Gallo/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Gallo/Getty Images