Health care conversation

To the Valley News:

A few months ago, waiting to be treated in an ER, I overheard a conversation:

Man #1: What are you here for?

Man #2: Stomach pain. You?

Man #1: Some stitches came loose, gotta get it sewed up again.

Man #2: Ain't it great they have to take care of you, even if you don't have insurance? It's the law!

Man #1: I guess that's what kind of country we are, taking care of those who can't afford insurance.

Man #2 (Laughing loudly): Well, I can AFFORD it, but I'd be a fool to pay for it when I know they gotta treat you here even if you're not covered. The last time I was in here they did a raft of blood work, an EKG, and a chest X-ray. Thought it was my heart. How many of these people--must be 75 here--you think got insurance?

Man #1: The last time, did you get a bill?

Man #2: You bet I did. About $2,500.

Man #1: So did you pay it?

Man# 2: What, you crazy? Why would I do THAT? Like I said, they GOTTA treat you, right?

So here's my question to all those who oppose a mandate but are very strong on "personal responsibility:" How is it "responsible" to deliberately pass the cost of your treatment on to those of us who pay? AND LAUGH ABOUT IT!?

Jeff Kleiman


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