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) 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.