I was struck by an opinion piece in the 7/22/12, Sunday Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Want free heath care? Show up at 5:00a.m." It was authored by James E. Causey, a Journal Sentinel editorial writer, columnist and blogger. Mr. Causey’s purpose was apparently to criticize all Republicans who advocate the repeal of ObamaCare with its replacement by the implementation of sensible solutions to control costs, improve quality and increase coverage. He does this by citing a few cases of individuals who had to appear at one of Milwaukee’s 38 health clinics that treat patients free of charge. Normally, this particular clinic, staffed by medical students, will see the first thirty patients, but because some of the medical students were on summer vacation, only fifteen could be accommodated that particular day.
The first thing that occurred to me is that there is no such thing as "free health care." While the patients might not be charged, there are extensive costs to operate the medical clinic. Who might be picking up the tab? Well, the hospital sponsoring the clinic for one as well as the medical college sponsoring the medical students. Where do their funds originate? Certainly add ons to paying patient charges, picked up directly by a patient or insurance. Then there are local, state and federal grants that can be traced back to the taxpayers. So the taxpayer is really the sponsor of the so-called "free health care" through additional insurance charges, higher direct payments and an increase in taxes.