Leftist proposes forcing unvaccinated Americans to foot full medical bill if they get sick

A professor who is a senior fellow at the liberal Brookings Institute and a columnist for The New York Times took to social media Tuesday to propose that any Americans who refuse to get a COVID-19 vaccine and then get sick and are hospitalized by the disease be made to pay for their own care out of pocket.

“When anti-vaxxers rack up tens of thousands of dollars in hospital bills, who pays? Think about it, and you’ll realize that their political positions are effectively being subsidized by members of insurance pools, taxpayers, and the vaccinated,” University of Michigan economics Prof. Justin Wolfers wrote on Twitter.

“The problem is not just that antivaxxers are risking the health of kids and the immunocompromised and all of us at risk of breakthrough infections. It’s also that when they hurt themselves, we pay,” he continued.

Wolfers then tweeted a link to a MarketWatch columnist Jonathan Meer, who wrote a piece last week under the headline, “Don’t want the COVID-19 vaccine? Then pay the full cost if you land in the hospital.”

“Those who choose to remain unvaccinated no longer pose a serious threat to the vaccinated – but they’re still imposing a cost. Hospitalizations for COVID are almost entirely confined to those who are not vaccinated, often at the cost of tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Meer wrote.

He adds:

Who should bear those costs? Under our system of risk-sharing, it’s all of us, whether through government programs like Medicare and Medicaid or through private insurers. When someone who refuses to get the vaccine gets seriously ill, their bills currently are paid by taxpayers or others in their insurance group.

But why should the vaccinated bear those financial costs? Insurers, led by government programs, should declare that medically-able, eligible people who choose not to be vaccinated are responsible for the full financial cost of COVID-related hospitalizations, effective in six weeks.

Both Meer and Wolfers were widely ostracized on social media for their statements, which many saw as incredibly hypocritical given the left’s previous arguments in support of “universal healthcare,” at taxpayers’ expense.

Here is a smattering of other comments:

Other users noted that minorities are among the demographics with the lowest vaccination levels.

“Members of some racial minority groups have much lower vaccination rates. You think they don’t deserve hospital care if they get sick? Or is it only unvaccinated people from the majority group that you would turn away?” said psychology professor and author Geoffrey Miller.

Jon Dougherty

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