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My point to this long story is that without forcing everyone to be covered, how do you make people pay a bill like the one my dad faced?

Rebecca,

You would have to have a system where if you opt-out then you are on your own. If you can't pay, you don't get treated. If such a system existed I'm sure your dad would have signed-up (I suspect almost everyone would). Had he not, he would not have been treated and not had to worry about any bills. That sounds harsh, but that would be the only way to make the system fair and still preserve people's right to choose. We all have to live with our choices.

Healthcare is not a right. It is a service, like any other. If you can't pay, you don't get. Insurance initially helped this situation (i.e. most of us could not get routine medical stuff without it), but I agree with everyone else that now it is part of the problem. I differ only in the presumption that government is the solution.

Why not just equate it with car insurance? If I don't have car insurance, I get in trouble. I believe this varies by state, and I think in PA's it may just be a fine if I get pulled over.

I could, but car insurance generally is mandated in such a way as to protect OTHERS, not you. AZ had the law for a while that you had to carry PL and PD. Those cover everyone except you. The helmet laws are all about you and only you. That's why I chose them.

But my dad doesn't believe in not paying his bills,...

I like him already! I'm the same way. I don't like being in debt, and do my best to clear debt as quickly as feasible. I hope he's doing better, by the way.

1poorguy (noting that if they can forgive 80% and remain in operation, then the billing system clearly is messed up)
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