Eventually all of us will need the services of the healthcare system — how this gets paid for is the issue of the day. If this Supreme Court strikes down the Affordable Care Act, the next logical step is to repeal the existing law that mandates that hospitals must provide care to anyone presenting themselves at the emergency room and in need of health services. And this mandate gets paid for by ALL of us in the form of higher insurance rates and hospital/medical costs.

The system simply cannot continue to mandate that the rest of us have to provide emergency healthcare to people who refuse to purchase health insurance, because these free-riders (currently almost 50% of us are uninsured) are driving up the cost of healthcare in our nation to the point that only the top income Americans will be able to afford health insurance. This current system is not sustainable.

Justice Scalia even touched briefly on the idea that perhaps we should roll back the mandate that hospitals treat the uninsured when they show up at the emergency room after a car accident or when experiencing a heart attack.

If enough middleclass Americans are denied healthcare because of their inability to pay, it may spark the begining of the long overdue moral discussion about the role of healthcare for all of us as a country … and how we should pay for it.

What would be the nation’s conclusion to such a debate? Would America side with those Republicans who cheered when CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked in a debate if an uninsured person should be left to die? I can’t believe that’s who we are as a people.

That’s not my America.

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