I thought this was a pretty thoughtful post from you. The original big healthcare giveaway happened during the Reagan years. At that time, hospital emergency rooms would turn away folks that could not pay. Reagan signed the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act in 1986, which said that emergency rooms had to accept everyone, regardless of their ability to pay (or their immigration status.) This was done following multiple stories of folks dying after being turned away from emergency treatment. It seemed like a humanitarian response at the time, but it was actually the start of an incredibly inefficient healthcare system. You would only be covered for emergency treatment, not preventive care.(Which meant that poor folks waited until their chronic, treatable conditions were emergencies.) And the service could only take place in emergency rooms, which is our most expensive healthcare option.<quoted text>
Obamacare has many problems, and so does health insurance.
Neither one being FREE another problem for some.
This system costs every family more than $1000/year. Obamacare will get these folks into the healthcare system at an early stage of disease, when treatment is much more affordable. And they will be treated in settings that are far less expensive than emergency rooms. And it puts the burden back onto the individual, instead of forcing the rest of us to pay for it.
"According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 55% of U.S. emergency care now goes uncompensated. When medical bills go unpaid, health care providers must either shift the costs onto those who can pay or go uncompensated. In the first decade of EMTALA, such cost-shifting amounted to a hidden tax levied by providers. For example, it has been estimated that this cost shifting amounted to $455 per individual or $1,186 per family in California each year."