Uncle Sam: YOU WILL go to the hospital, and YOU WILL pay for it

I’d like to think about two things.

First, this article, in which two parents were convicted of breaking the law by not taking their son to the hospital. He died of a burst appendix.

Then, this article, which points out that EVERYONE (except a lucky few Amish and poor people) who does not purchase health insurance will be breaking the law. The reason given for this mandate? Erin Shields Britt, of the Health and Humans Services Department explains: “We’re no longer going to subsidize the care of those who can afford to buy insurance but make a choice not to buy it.”

Let me sum up.

YOU WILL go to the hospital if your children are sick. Otherwise, we’ll convict you as a felon.

And when you do go to the hospital, because we’ve forced you to go, YOU WILL pay for it. You will always carry health insurance, or we will disparage you as a “free rider” and fine you over $1,000.

This is not optional.

This is not liberty.

Prepare to be penalized!
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4 Responses to Uncle Sam: YOU WILL go to the hospital, and YOU WILL pay for it

  1. Matt says:

    Medicine in the US is broken. Maybe forcing people to pay for it is not the right answer, but what is? I think that it’s really easy to poke holes in an argument. It is much harder to come up with a better one. So what would you have happen instead?

    • The free market.

      http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/09/20/878951/rand-paul-high-deductible/?mobile=nc

      And perhaps even a cap on how much the government can spend on an individual who goes to the hospital without insurance. Once they reach the government spending cap, they’re going to have to figure it with friends, family, the hospital, and their church.

      It’s the same problem as the student loan situation. When there’s such a constant huge flow of money from government to the industry (it just makes a brief stop through some paperwork and the individuals it’s supposedly “for”), that industry balloons out of control.

      Drawing out an exact model for everything that would happen if we let the market take care of medicine — that would be impossible. But we have to be convinced that it’s the right thing to do, and then do it.

      • Matt says:

        The only problem I have with this is that I don’t think it will work. I think it looks good on paper until doctors and nurses and emt’s and all healthcare professionals are forced to deny care because patients can’t pay. We go to school for a long time and are taught to help people. We have years upon years of training so that we can sit and watch as someone is turned away because they can’t pay? Is the person in a car accident that can’t show proof of insurance or sufficient cash stores on hand left on the side of the road by the ambulance?

      • I think the hospitals should be able to make those decisions.
        I mean, who is the author of good will? The federal government? Of course not — as you are displaying. YOU want to help people!
        On the other hand, you want to be paid (understandably). My family has no health insurance. And we have worked out arrangements with our medical providers where we can afford to pay on a cash basis. Now, we have not had an expensive emergency, so I understand that is different. And I intend to obtain a high-deductible plan with HSA as soon as we are able to do so. I do think that’s a responsible choice.
        But think about the penalty: it’s not REALLY a financial deterrent to skipping health insurance. Find me a person who pays only $1,200/yr for medical care, insurance and all. So in the end, if a person opts to pay the penalty, and then lands in the hospital with $100,000 of bills they can’t pay, taxpayers and the hospital still pick up the tab for that.
        ADDITIONALLY, hospitals are able to take FAR less than they actually charge. But the way the system is set up, those on government health programs get sweet deals because of taxpayers, and everyone else gets hosed.

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