Back when Ditherton Wiggleroom was campaigning for ♡bamaCare!!! (He ever stopped? -ed.) he oftentimes cited the statistic that uninsured hospital patients added $1,000 a year to the average American family’s premium. And my thought was, “What a deal!” I’m not being facetious here, either. What amounted to a charitable donation on untaxed income bought an awful lot of health care for an awful lot of people — it was charity you didn’t have to work at, you didn’t even have to know about it, but once you found out about it you could still feel pretty good about it.
So of course The Settled Law of the Land™ had to go and eff that all up. The NYT reports:
Hospital systems around the country have started scaling back financial assistance for lower- and middle-income people without health insurance, hoping to push them into signing up for coverage through the new online marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act.
The trend is troubling to advocates for the uninsured, who say raising fees will inevitably cause some to skip care rather than buy insurance that they consider unaffordable. Though the number of hospitals tightening access to free or discounted care appears limited so far, many say they are considering doing so, and experts predict that stricter policies will become increasingly common.
It gets worse. Read:
In St. Louis, Barnes-Jewish Hospital has started charging co-payments to uninsured patients, no matter how poor they are. The Southern New Hampshire Medical Center in Nashua no longer provides free care for most uninsured patients who are above the federal poverty line — $11,670 for an individual. And in Burlington, Vt., Fletcher Allen Health Care has reduced financial aid for uninsured patients who earn between twice and four times the poverty level.
As any current (or former, in my case) St. Louis resident can tell you, Barnes-Jewish is huge. It’s also influential, so you can bet if they’re doing something new, other hospitals will follow suit.
The fact is, there is no more jealous god than progressivism. Charity isn’t good enough — it must be government charity.
You know, the kind that comes with strings. And controls. And high-paying make-work jobs. And, yes, death panels. Plus all the other vile accoutrements which make modern governance so very fun for modern progressives.