I often read blogs of other hospital leaders to get an idea about what I should place in this blog and I came across a blog by Paul Taylor from Ozarks Community Hospital in Springfield, MO that made a great point about the recent Supreme Court Hearing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Broccoli was mentioned nine times the day the individual mandate was debated in front of the court. The individual mandate is the requirement of the PPACA that all American’s acquire health insurance. The example provided to the Supreme Court is that the federal government has no right to require any of us to purchase health care insurance just like they have no right to require us to eat broccoli.
Mr. Taylor had this to say on his blog about the individual mandate should it be struck down, his hospital will “post signs in its emergency rooms that the Supreme Court has declared that patients have no more right to healthcare than broccoli” and more importantly “If the government does not have the power to create a system that requires people to be responsible for the cost of healthcare, then the government does not have the power to create a system that requires hospitals to provide healthcare to people who do not pay”.
Obviously hospitals do have a requirement to treat anyone regardless of ability to pay when they present to the emergency room with an injury or illness requiring care but the point Mr. Taylor makes is hard to argue with…even if you were arguing it in front of the Supreme Court!