In America, if you can’t make the mortgage payments on your house, we allow the lending institution to repossess it. If you can’t pay your rent, we allow the landlord to evict you. If you can’t pay your electric bill, we allow the utility company to cut off your lights. If you arrive at the checkout counter and can’t pay the bill, we don’t let you take the groceries home with you.

We really don’t care very much about where you live, how you live or what you eat.

But there is one thing we won’t tolerate. If you are getting medical care in a hospital that discovers you can’t pay your bill, we don’t allow the hospital to dump you outside on the side walk to fend for yourself.

Health care really is different. With respect to medical care, there is an unspoken social contract. If you need health care and can’t pay for it the rest of us will. lf you need health insurance, employers cannot deny you entry into their health plans, no matter how sick you are. Insurance companies can’t charge you a higher premium than what they charge completely healthy enrollees.