The proposed changes to the health care law remove one of the disliked provisions of the Affordable Care Act, namely the “individual mandate.” People who believed that they did not require health insurance felt that they should not have to purchase it or to pay a tax penalty. I would concur with them if they truly wished to go without any insurance.

To truly be self-insured and without any health insurance would mean that when they were hit by the proverbial bus, that person would be willing to pay out of pocket for the emergency medical technician and ambulance. Before they would be let into the emergency room, they would be willing to pay whatever that charge was, perhaps $100,000 or more.

True self-insurance does not mean that doctors, hospitals, EMT services and those of us who do have insurance are forced to pick up the uninsured cost of those who have willingly chosen not to obtain it. Nor should it mean that when they get sick, they can then sign up for health insurance. For example, home insurance needs to purchased in advance, not when the woods next door catch on fire.

The government mandates (but does not financially support) that people are not left bleeding beside the road and are provided with emergency care. This, however, is not good preventive or long-term medicine. It is not fair for the citizens and medical providers to be required to provide care for all the uninsured, including upward of 23 million who may lose insurance if ACA is repealed. That should be a function of a government that cares for its people.

Malcolm White

Rockport