As far as the actual debatable point goes, it is easy ideologically to take your position. It is more difficult practically, because there are some situations that I just don't think our populace is going to accept. You are correct that some people are responsible for their own health care crises. But some are not. I don't think that we, as a nation, are prepared to say "tough sh#@" to a child brought into the ER by a parent without the resources to pay for health care. We may be, but I don't think so. So, at present, those who show up to a publicly funded ER get care, whether they can pay or not. If this is our standard, I'd much prefer that we provide efficient care to those persons, rather than crisis care. It is cheaper and more responsible to do so. For me, the only way around this conclusion is to decide that we are going to turn those folks away at the ER.
Should we segregate such care between those who are simply unable to provide for their own health care needs (children, disabled, elderly) and those who can? Probably. But I'll be amazed if we ever get to the point, as a nation, where we decide that those who can't pay for health care can just go ahead and die.
Anyone who goes to an ER in any hospital in the USA today is treated regardless of the ability to pay now. The costs are just passed on to those of us who pay our bills. Although what do you think about a homeless junkie who runs up a couple of hundred thousand bill. I know doctors who'd like to pull the plug on these guys.
My biggest problem is not about emergent care, but ongoing problems. I thnk that free clinics should be done away with EXCEPT as supported by charity. If someone wants to donate money for the care of others, then more power to 'em. I just don't think that it should be a function of government.
Health care is on that evil list of "human rights" that the UN promulgates (and btw was authored by Elanor Roosveldt). IF I have a "right" to health care, then someone has an obligation to provide it. Either you make the doctors work for free (kind of like they do in Canada) for your fellow taxpayers cough up the cash. For example an electro-cautery machine costs about $30k If surgery is my right, then is the manufacturer obligtated to provide the mache for free? You're welcome to form whatever opinions you want of course, but I just don't think so.