A catheter for chemotherapy on a woman's arm. Photo courtesy National Cancer Institute via Wikimedia Commons
A catheter for chemotherapy on a woman’s arm. Photo courtesy National Cancer Institute via Wikimedia Commons

It looks increasingly like one of President Donald Trump’s first actions will be to end the individual mandate which requires all Americans to have health insurance.

Conservative media like Breitbart and the Drudge Report are cheering this as a return to freedom, and it is indeed as we will be free to make our own arrangements for healthcare and insurance.

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But with freedom comes responsibility. My modest proposal is that Americans accept this responsibility.

If you’re healthy and don’t need insurance, that’s great. But if you get sick, didn’t sign up for insurance, and can’t pay for medical care, it’s not my responsibility or that of the community to help.

Hopefully you have savings. Maybe your family will help. Consider a GoFundMe appeal.

But if you’re out of money because you didn’t plan ahead and buy insurance, tough luck. Doctors shouldn’t treat you and emergency rooms shouldn’t admit you.

I don’t want my costs going up because of people who didn’t take responsibility for themselves. Obamacare required this responsibility of all, but now we’ll be on our own, each for ourselves and our families. And if you want insurance, but can’t afford it, hopefully Trump will work something out as he guts Obamacare.

Nearly 300 years ago Jonathan Swift penned his “Modest Proposal” that the starving Irish should sell their children as food for the rich. His satirical essay attacked the heartless — and senseless –British policy of the time.

Today there is an equally senseless attack on the Affordable Care Act, as Obamacare is officially known. Many don’t want the government to tell them what to do about healthcare. But many are also not prepared for the worst.

In a simpler time, maybe during Trump’s childhood, you automatically died if you got cancer. Not now, but the cure is expensive.

Health insurance is like many things in our increasingly complicated world — computer literacy, cellphones, auto insurance, the FDA, zoning laws and many others — that our parents didn’t need. But it seems the principle is more important than the reality in Trump’s America.

Earlier generations of Americans were willing to die to defend the Union, the Constitution and democracy. We should be equally willing to die — or at least go bankrupt — to defend our right not to buy health insurance.

Chris Jennewein is editor and publisher of Times of San Diego.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.