Letter to the Editor
Dr. Brad Cotton's letter exposes some of the problems of the Affordable Care Act. (“ACA Cuts Uninsured, but Leaves Financial Barriers,” EMN 2014;36:18; http://bit.ly/1qld5CC.) I found his comment, “Health care is a human right,” troubling and offensive.
Where does it say that? Does that mean it should be provided free of cost? Who's responsible for providing free health care? It was this kind of mentality that led to the ACA, among other government oversight and regulations, and we all know how well that is working.
When goods and services are provided for free, they are taken for granted. It's similar to the situation in this country where half of the population receives government assistance or doesn't pay federal income tax. When you have no skin in the game, how can you make fair and wise decisions? When people realize free health care is not a right and they must take responsibility for themselves, they will stop buying cigarettes and use those funds for health care. I applaud Dr. Cotton for practicing emergency medicine because I know how demanding and difficult it can be after 28 years of practicing myself. I know he is treating many patients who don't pay, but the ones who do are overpaying, and I'm sure he is being well compensated.
Ken Cartaxo, MD