Thursday, February 03, 2011

Ezra Klein's blog: Repeal EMTALA!

I know he's being facetious, but point made:

Okay, it's a bit of an awkward slogan. But reader RC is right. A universal health-care insurance program is the logical endpoint of the bill Ronald Reagan signed into law mandating (pretty much) universal emergency hospital care:

If the Republican Party is serious about decreasing government control of health care, they should start by introducing a bill that would repeal the law signed by President Ronald Reagan that mandates free health care for all who seek it. That law, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), was the largest expansion of government mandated health care since Medicare. Remember George Bush stating that all Americans had access to health care? That all they had to do was present to their local emergency department? That is EMTALA. If we are going to mandate that hospitals treat and stabilize patients with emergency medical conditions, we should mandate that individuals purchase insurance to pay for that care. If we don't, then we truly have a health care system where the few pay for the many. I bet that many hospitals in DC collect less than 50% of their emergency department billings right now. The government has been mandating health care coverage for more than 25 years -- only now President Obama wants those who utilize the system to pay for it.

By Ezra Klein | January 27, 2011; 11:30 AM ET

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