Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Why is it constitutional to force doctors to treat someone, but unconstitutional to ask people to pay?

Not a long one from me today, but a serious question. Everyone has the right to emergent health care. No ER can turn anyone around based on their ability to pay. Which means that the law is forcing physicians to provide a service to people regardless of their ability to pay. And this is true if you go to a private ER or Public so you cant say people's taxes help prop this.

So it is ok, nay constitutional, to force private citizens to perform a public service, yet one cornerstone of the argument against the health care reform is that it is unconstitutional to require individuals to buy insurance that would cover their utilization of this service? What about the people: nurses, doctors, and administrators, responsible for providing that service? Why do they bare all the responsibility for the cost of providing these services, but not the people utilizing them? I don't understand.

Right now there is much debate about protecting the individuals right to their financial sovereignty. Some argue "The government has no right to make someone buy a product", right. (I don't get since I have to buy car insurance). But if it is the case and the government shouldn't be saying how we spend money, shouldn't they also not be allowed to say what service private citizens and businesses provide?

I don't think most people would argue that we should turn away people in emergent situations. Most feel as a society we owe it to people to provide them life saving measures when needed. But let's keep the equation fair. If we feel this is something we as a society should be providing our citizens, let's be equitable about how we spread the burden of providing these services. Or we could decide as a society we don't want to provide that service at all. After all if you are starving, there is no law saying a restaurant should feed you, our medical system could work the same way. If some had their way it would.....