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In your decision relating to PPACA you make the case that the government cannot regulate economic inactivity.  As I understand it this means - in your view - the government cannot compel economic activity to take place, it can only regulate it when it occurs naturally between willing participants.

I thought about this for a while, and went back to the health care debates of the last year.  One of the comments that was made, suggested that people without insurance, could always get care at the emergency room.

Why is that?

Is there some law that compels ER's to provide care to people, even though they may have no way to pay ?

Why, yes there is.

The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA)[1] is a U.S. Act of Congress passed in 1986 as part of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). It requires hospitals and ambulance services to provide care to anyone needing emergency healthcare treatment regardless of citizenship, legal status or ability to pay. There are no reimbursement provisions. As a result of the act, patients needing emergency treatment can be discharged only under their own informed consent or when their condition requires transfer to a hospital better equipped to administer the treatment.

And if so, what impact does your decision (should it be supported) have on this policy?

I'm sure many of the accountants responsible for the operations and finances of ER's around the country will be relieved to learn that they might no longer be compelled to engage in economic activity such as providing services to patients who cannot pay.

Originally posted to BendixG15 on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 10:18 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Brilliant. Absolutely Brilliant Argument. (0+ / 0-)
  •  ER's are invovled in interstate commerce, (0+ / 0-)

    by virtue of accepting paying customers.  No comparison.

    "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

    by Loge on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 10:52:32 AM PST

  •  It is a common misconception (0+ / 0-)
    that anybody who cannot afford medical care can just walk into the ER and get treated for anything.

    I'm not sure where that fits in here, since it is anything but new, and not news to anyone but you.

    It would be nice if the fact that people who currently can afford neither health insurance nor health care are going to be forced to spend a big chunk of their income on insurance meant they were going to get access to affordable health care.

    Unfortunately, most of them will be unable to pay for the health care necessary to meet their deductible. But if it makes you feel better knowing they got what they deserved propping up the profit line of the insurance companies, more power to you.

  •  snark (0+ / 0-)

    I should have added a snark tag, as I am both in favor of PPACA as well as the EMTALA legislation.  I perceived a conflict in the Vinson ruling, the followup comments are helping me understand better, which I appreciate.

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