Nearly two years have passed since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law by President Obama. Since then, you may have noticed a lapse in my updates. This is simply because I had no reason to comment further. Now that the individual mandate is on the verge of being overturned, the time has come for me to comment again.
In a bold use of the persuasive reductio ad absurdum logical tactic, the US Supreme Court seems poised to declare that healthcare is the same as broccoli. Since the Supreme Court does not believe government should have the constitutional right to mandate that people eat broccoli, it follows that the government should not mandate that people buy healthcare insurance.
In Citizens United, the Supreme Court declared that corporations have the same constitutional rights as people. Ozarks Community Hospital is a corporation. Therefore, OCH has the same constitutional rights as a person.
Since OCH is a person, OCH is entitled to the same right as a person to be free from governmental mandates regarding broccoli and healthcare. Therefore, if the Supreme Court rules that the healthcare mandate is unconstitutional, OCH will post signs in its emergency rooms that the Supreme Court has declared that patients have no more right to healthcare than broccoli.
We believe that these signs will be in violation of the governmental law known has EMTALA that requires all hospitals to provide healthcare to all persons regardless of their ability to pay. This law has resulted in the enactment of a number of regulations--one of which would prohibit hospitals from displaying a sign such as the one just described. When OCH is fined by the government for displaying its "no right to broccoli; no right to healthcare" sign (below), OCH will appeal all the way to the Supreme Court where it will assert its constitutional right to be free from mandates regarding broccoli and healthcare. If the government does not have the power to create a system that requires people to be responsible for the cost of healthcare, then the government does not have the power to create a system that requires hospitals to provide healthcare to people who do not pay.
Hospitals are people too.
Quod erat demonstradum.
Paul Taylor, J.D.
Ozarks Community Hospital