It's time to start denying anti-vaxxers access to major medical treatments: MSNBC doctor
Anti-vaccine protest (Photo: Screen capture)

Speaking to MSNBC on Monday, Dr. Vin Gupta argued why anti-vaccine activists should be denied major medical treatments.

As he explained it, if someone is waiting on the liver transplant list and has a drink of wine in six months, they don't get a liver -- and he wants to apply that same sentiment to other major treatments.

"You should be fully vaccinated if you get ECMO, dialysis, we can go into greater detail, but we need to have that paradigm," he told Joy Reid. "Elective procedures across the country, here in the pacific northwest are being delayed again, and people are tired of that. Also what we're noticing is the rise of other health threats are real and emerging in a big way. Respiratory virus, a big virus that can affect kids, usually December to February is causing children's hospitals to fill up with RSV patients. This is a critical time for us to rethink, how do we think about care rationing."

It's a similar sentiment some have argued in the past several months in opinion columns and letters to the editor. The thought is that if anti-vaxxers refuse to get the vaccine and they end up dying with astronomical medical bills, that money doesn't disappear, it's passed onto other insured people with high premiums and higher hospital costs.

"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," wrote Jonathan Meer. "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."

Edward-Isaac Dovere similarly wrote in The Atlantic that the refusal of vaccines will ultimately be paid by all of us -- not merely in the way it could impact the virus among the vaccinated, but for those of us paying financially for the mistakes of the unvaccinated.

"Imagine it's 2026. A man shows up in an emergency room, wheezing," wrote Dovere. "He's got pneumonia, and it's hitting him hard. He tells one of the doctors that he had COVID-19 a few years earlier, in late 2021. He had refused to get vaccinated, and ended up contracting the coronavirus months after most people got their shots. Why did he refuse? Something about politics, or pushing back on government control, or a post he saw on Facebook. He doesn't really remember. His lungs do, though: By the end of the day, he's on a ventilator. You'll pay for that man's decisions. So will I. We all will—in insurance premiums, if he has a plan with your provider, or in tax dollars, if the emergency room he goes to is in a public hospital."

Another idea is to increase the health insurance premiums on unvaccinated people to offset their behavior, like those who participate in activities that they deem risky like such as scuba diving and rock climbing.

"The Affordable Care Act allows insurers to charge smokers up to 50 percent more than what nonsmokers pay for some health plans," wrote the Kaiser Health News. "Four-fifths of states follow that protocol, though most employer-based plans do not do so. In 49 states, people caught driving without auto insurance face fines, confiscation of their car, loss of their license and even jail. And reckless drivers pay more for insurance."

See the video below:

punishing the unvaccinated so the vaccinated don't shoulder their burden