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A house burned down in Tennessee while firefighters watched and did nothing.


Because there was a $75 annual firefighting fee which had not been paid.  

According to MSNBC, the residents of the house did not expect their house to burn down, so did not pay the fee.

This sounds like a good argument for the ObamaCare health insurance mandate.

What were the firefighters to do?  They want to make sure people pay the fee, which is reasonable. Firefighting costs money.  How can they make everyone pay if they give away firefighting for free?  It seems heartless when they actually go through with withholding the firefighting and watch someone's house with everything they own burn to the ground.  

What were the residents to do?  $75 sounds like an unnecessary expenditure until your house is on fire.  Then it is too late.

If only the government could force people to pay for firefighting services.

Oh wait, they do in most places.  This area seemed to be outside of the city limits where the payment was not mandated.  These people were free to make a choice to forgo the firefighting fee, and the firefighters were free to watch their house and possessions be destroyed needlessly.

This is the same issue people face when deciding whether to purchase health insurance, and the problem faced by health care professionals when encountering an uninsured patient.

Please, give me government mandates over this type of freedom.  

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Comment Preferences

  •  Ok (0+ / 0-)

    I'm not at all convinced that what the firefighters did was a good thing. A better solution save the house and then hit the owners with a large penalty for failing to pay the assessment because the house was outside the town tax rolls.

    Republicans 2012 . . . Keeping millions out of work to put one man out of a job.

    by jsfox on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 01:20:12 PM PST

  •  Or, you could just fund heathcare the same way (5+ / 0-)

    most communities fund firefighting: through the tax system.

    Yeah, I know: too crazy for our country to even consider.

    I support OWS. But that doesn't mean I support every dumb idea someone has about it.

    by kenlac on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 01:29:42 PM PST

  •  smithny - I am not sure what your point is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, enhydra lutris

    but there is nothing comparable in the burning house and the ACA mandate.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 01:46:02 PM PST

    •  I understand the analogy (0+ / 0-)

      some people think that they should be allowed to go without health insurance if they so choose.

      But what happens when these people have life threatening conditions. Currently hospitals are required to at least stabilize them.

      The money that hospitals receive to give emergency treatment to those that are uninsured and can't pay is not going to be there after 2014. Those funds are going toward supplementing health insurance for those that can't afford it.

      If there is no ACA mandate, hospitals would not have the funding to be able to treat those without insurance after 2014.  

      Shop Liberally this holiday season at Kos Katalog

      by JamieG from Md on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 08:39:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Diary is epic fail. (0+ / 0-)

    Government does not have the power to compel transactions between private parties, period.  No such power is found in the Constitution, nor in case law.

    The Commerce Clause cannot be used to compel those who do not buy a product to become buyers, any more than the 1st Amendment freedom of religion can be used to compel those who do not go to church to become churchgoers.  

    Constitutional scholars who try to assert otherwise are "not even wrong," engaging in pretzel logic to justify their preferred conclusion.

    And the use of "cry porn" about some family's house burning, to try to assert otherwise, is the kind of bullshit we would expect from health insurance industry shills seeking to distract us from the public option.

    Sorry yo, but that don't go.  

    "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 01:59:47 PM PST

  •  yes there is (0+ / 0-)

    The mandate is the $75 prepayment so that every health care entity or provider will receive fair payment for services of anyone needing their help.  Now many health care providers are mostly not so uncaring as to turn folks down for needed care (and there are laws prohibiting ERs from turning people away) but those costs are absorbed by the rest of society.  

  •  Experience Keeps a Dear School.... (0+ / 0-)

    Same thing happened a few months ago, so there should be no surprise.  Other places have a similar system too.

    It looked like a house trailer in one photo; one wonders how much would have been left by the time firetrucks arrived.  Not paying the fee may have been a practical decision--not worth $75 by the time they arrive.  

    For people in that situation, there are fireproofing materials that can do a lot to slow/contain/prevent the spread of an accidental fire.  

    I've watched a blowtorch melt a penny held on a piece of fireproofing-treated newspaper without igniting the newspaper.  Made a believer out of me!

    Taking preventive measures seems difficult for most people to do in advance of need.  

  •  Blisteringly false analogy. To make it accurate (0+ / 0-)

    you need to deal with deductibles, co-pays and covered services.

    The family pays the $75 and the firemen rush to the scene and demand the $3,000 deductible be paid firsts. The family cuts the firechief a check for $3K and the firemen remind them that there is a $120 cash-up-front co-pay , which they also pay.

    The firemen then fight the fire in the rsidencce, but let the garage burn to the ground because that is not a covered service.

    Of course, if they don't have the 3K or the 120, they get zip shit for their $75 fee.

    Now you have a workable analogy.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 08:10:38 PM PST

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