The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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September 19, 2013

Health care is product, not a right

A recent letter by John Hurd stated that because someone cannot be turned away from an emergency room means health care is a right. Health care is not a right, it is a service and commodity.

The Declaration of Independence states that we have an unalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That doesn’t mean that other people should be forced to sustain our life or make us happy.

Health care is a valuable service/commodity provided by hard working professionals with years of painstaking education and training, people who, like other Americans, deserve equal protection under the law, people who, like other Americans, have a right to their own life, liberty, property and the pursuit of their own happiness.

Health care professionals, hospitals, drug-makers, and health insurers are no more providers of the masses, or even of those in need of health care, than are businessmen, bankers, teachers, journalists, or truck drivers — providers of those who need their services.

The emergency room service Mr. Hurd refers to is required under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) passed by Congress in 1986 as part of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). It requires hospitals to provide care to anyone needing “emergency health care” treatment regardless of ability to pay. Simply

showing up at an emergency room does not mean it is an emergency or deserves emergency treatment.

You are not entitled to a house, a car, a job, food or health care. You are not owed anything — you are entitled to earn it and pay for it like we have for the last 225 years.

David Anderson


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