In this country, whether you have insurance or not, you get healthcare. If you are hit by a truck, they whisk you away to a hostpital, and they fix you. They don't ask if you can pay, they just save your life. Spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, sometimes. My hospital alone does over $100 million in charity care EACH YEAR.
People say that it won't happen to them, or that they don't smoke/drink/eat crappy foods, so they shouldn't need health insurance. Well, these same people are just as likely to get hit by a car or fall off a ladder or step off a curb wrong and shatter their ankle. It happens. And when you don't pay into some sort of health insurance, that ENTIRE BILL gets passed along to some charity care payment system, which is likely funded by tax dollars. If you had some sort of insurance, most of that bill would be the responsibility of the insurance company, and we could focus those charity care payments for the smaller portion that the patient has to pay (if you are unable to pay it). More people could get help, and our tax dollar requirement for healthcare would go down.
I work in a hospital. I focus on discharge planning. I see the costs of healthcare. I can see the hospital charges for my patients, and they are OFTEN up above $100k......and these are trauma patients with fractures. Not heart transplants or dialysis patients--just broken bones. Often *very* broken bones requiring multiple surgeries or amputations...but these are people who were healthy, walking around, normal people....until their life suddenly changed in the blink of an eye.
When this country devolves to the point where we will let you die in the street if you have no insurance, then I will support your right to choose not to have health insurance. Until then, you've gotta pay. We are gonna scoop you up and run you to the nearest trauma center, and do our best to fix you, regardless of the cost. You should bear the responsibility of helping to pay for your care. No, I don't think this healthcare legislation is perfect....but it IS a step in the right direction.