To the editor:
Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook’s proposed amendment to the state constitution, prohibiting the federal government from forcing Kansans to have health insurance, requires close analysis.
Paul Degener says he has Medicare and doesn’t like it, and wants rid of it. Let’s suppose Mr. Degener has the misfortune to be involved in a serious automobile accident and is rushed to the emergency room. Upon his arrival it is discovered he has no insurance. What does the staff do, give the ambulance driver the address of the nearest mortuary? Probably not. A team of several doctors, nurses and aides will reset his many broken bones and stitch up his ruptured internal organs. They will save his life.
Now, who pays for all of this? Not Mr. Degener, unless he has (unlike most of us) two or three hundred thousand to a million dollars set aside for such an eventuality. No, it will be the public, either through higher fees the hospital must charge to recoup their expenses (after all, where would a hospital keep six or seven thousand Rhode Island Reds), or through some government agency who would bail Mr. Degener out.
It appears this amendment (as an unintended consequence, perhaps) promotes a public option. If so, why not settle for the best: a single-payer system.
I wonder if Sen. Pilcher-Cook is considering language in her amendment that would prevent government from forcing Kansans to purchase car insurance.