Should I Care If You Choose To Not Pay Your Bills?

Someone I know admitted recently they have over $100,000 in hospital bills and does not intend to pay them.  This is an actual situation but I’m curious about it in a wider spectrum in the political and  healthcare arenas.  How does it effect us as a nation, as a financial structure as I’m sure this is not the only person making this decision.

With Obamacare in the pipeline she will wait until 2014, pay the penalty for not being in it and continue to simply not pay her bills.  To quote her “Obama will take my fine at tax time and well call it a day”.

When I asked her why she’s not paying it, her response was basically that she would never be able to pay it off and she would rather use the money to enjoy life while she can.   She has spent money on trips to visit family and friends and smokes cigarettes – which we all know costs a fortune now.    I also heard recently that she has used what money she does have to help a couple of friends out.  She works two jobs and is furthering her education, pays for medications and doctor visits out of pocket,  pays all of her bills (except the hospital) and has a daughter in college.  She is not on welfare nor getting any government aid like Medicaid.  I also heard that she has taken out a large life insurance plan that will pay the bills upon her death.

I had a pretty serious reaction to hearing this and am curious what other people’s thoughts might be.  Actually, I had two reactions, one was sympathetic and the other was aggravated.  Perhaps I’m not seeing it from every perspective.  I don’t know but I’d love to get some feedback and discussion going.  It’s a political question, a spiritual question, an ethical question, a financial question.

If you had some very serious health issues (cancer cells removed and a heart attack already in the recent past) which likely put in your brain that you may not have a long lifespan, a very large bill and Obamacare in the near future, would you work out payments?  Why or why not?

On a personal note, if you don’t agree with the above situation would continuing to be in their acquaintance be supporting their decision?  As a friend, as a citizen of the same country, should we care how they are handling their bills or consider it a “mind your own business” kind of thing?

Don’t be shy, bring me your thoughts please!

P.S.  If the friend this refers to is reading this, I hope you don’t mind.  I find it an interesting topic in general with regard to what is happening in America with Obamacare, and the entire healthcare system.

7 thoughts on “Should I Care If You Choose To Not Pay Your Bills?

  1. My first thought is that it’s always the best policy to make paying your bills a priority. If there is a question of fairness about a charge, then question it, but once it is resolved then work out a way to pay. I don’t make a lot of money, have close to zero disposable income, so it’s tough for me to pay my bills — but somehow I do.

    Of course, I have very good health insurance that is not affected by OCare. I have had surgery twice this year, as recent as three weeks. My insurance is good enough that my out of pocket expenses are nil for the last surgery.

    • Yeh, it’s rather a different story for those who can’t afford health insurance or aren’t provided it through their work. I think it would eat away at me to not pay a bill I have incurred, even if it was an enormous amount.

  2. I’m pondering your second question, that of remaining a friend even if you disagree. I suppose that your friendship doesn’t enable them to not pay the bills. You could express your difference of opinion but not let it mean the end of your friendship.
    I do think you have the right to care. I might be naive, but isn’t this like shoplifting or fraud? Theft is added to the costs for everyone else.

    • I rather think of it as adding to the costs of insurance premiums and such for everyone else when someone doesn’t pay their bills. However, with Obamacare starting up does that eliminate the problem of increased premiums ? If so, should everyone who doesn’t have good credit to worry about not pay their medical bills at this point?

      I have no idea if it is a legal issue, I wonder if the hospital would have law on their side. Can a person be arrested for non-payment of bills like they are for tax evasion? I don’t think so, maybe they could sue for garnishing wages?

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