If mandatory health insurance goes through, it will turn me into a criminal. I don’t have health insurance. I don’t want it. And I will refuse to buy it even though I can afford it. Before they lead me to the cells, perhaps the prisoner may be allowed to say a few words in his defense. — James Payne, The Freeman
My wife and I were covered by employer-provided health insurance when our first two children were born. The cost to the insurer of our prenatal care and delivery was about $10,000 both times. For our third and fourth kids, we had no insurance and had to pay the bill ourselves. We wound up at a clinic for the indigent and got better care than we had before, for under $2,000. Our fifth and sixth kids were delivered at home here in St. Louis by Dr. Fred Duhart, also for less than $2,000.
What was the extra $8,000 for on the first two kids? You’ve got me.
Since child delivery is the biggest medical expense we’ve ever incurred and experience taught us long ago that we can manage the cost by ourselves, we don’t worry about our lack of insurance. As it is, we never have enough money to make ends meet anyway, so forking over money for “peace of mind” (i.e., nothing) is not an option.
Ah, but what about a catastrophic illness? What would I do about that?
That’s what people ask me, with perverse delight. They’ve got me now, they think. I can’t answer that one, can I?
Actually, the answer’s quite simple. I’ve thought it through and have the perfect solution. What would I do if I contracted a catastrophic illness and couldn’t afford the treatment for it? I would do what people throughout history have done under similar circumstances: die.
How hard can it be? Everybody does it, right? Well, I’ll do it, too — with as much dignity as I can muster, and without impoverishing my family (or freeloading on the taxpayers).
Is someone going to overrule me on this? What business is it of anybody else’s, anyway?