A tip-of-the-hat to Progressive In A Red State

We talked last week about one of the right’s favorite arguments: the United States doesn’t need a system in which Americans have health insurance because if the uninsured get sick, they can just go to the emergency room. Of all the awful arguments against reform, I consider this the worst of the worst.

What I didn’t know until today is that Virginia gubernatorial hopeful Ken Cuccinelli (R) has an especially interesting take on the issue..

“Human beings will adjust” appears to be a stunning euphemism for “we’re just going to let poor, sick Americans die on the streets.”

A Democratic source flagged this amazing clip in which Virginia’s right-wing attorney general was asked about the health care system and he called for limiting something called the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (or EMTALA). If this sounds unfamiliar, it’s the ’80s-era law, signed by President Reagan, that requires emergency rooms to provide care regardless of citizenship, legal status, or a patient’s ability to pay.

Under the system before the Affordable Care Act, the use of emergency rooms for care caused systemic problems. Called socialized medicine at its most inefficient extreme, the uninsured wait until an ailment is life-threatening, at which point they seek very expensive care, which bankrupts the patient while spreading the costs to everyone else.

By Steve Benen – read the rest