When you CHOOSE to not have insurance, it's not that you're "choosing to be sick". You are, however, choosing to assume the consequences. It's a fine line of course, for those that dearly want coverage and can't afford it (I have no problem with subsidizing that; if there are Congressmen that disagree, I can't speak for them), but if I'm 23 and healthy and opt out, that SHOULD be on me. If I go bankrupt, so be it. It's not "choice" in the sense of "do I have the Big Mac or the Quarter Pounder?" but it is "choice" in the sense that we all have a responsibility and an accountability for our actions. We can always put a safety net up, but if we're not using that as a base assumption, if we're willing to create victims right out of the gate, that's part of the communication breakdown right there.
This argument isn't totally without merit, but I'd just say that if you have no insurance, no money to pay, and you go bankrupt because you get sick, that's the very definition of everyone else having to pay for your costs.
Personal bankruptcies really only cause whoever actually performed your medical treatment to write off a loss. So therefore, they have to raise prices for everyone else.
Whether it's a personal choice or not, unpaid medical bills are an externality that the rest of society has to pay for. So therefore, I don't think that taxing people who don't pay for their own insurance is out of line at all. In fact, it's kind of a perfect solution.
By going without insurance, you are CHOOSING to make society (and not yourself) ultimately pay for your medical treatment. Society has the right to recoup that added financial risk via a tax.
There are a few leaps there that I'm not prepared to take. It's not as if a "bankruptcy" is a "no harm no foul" proposition. I've already said, I would accommodate that. There's a degree of "failure" - call it "waste", "warranty", "writeoffs", "whatever" - in almost every system. Over the past couple decades, the number of bankruptcies in any given year is somewhere around a million, give or take. It was lower, around 500,000 during the Bush years, and it escalated around the crash to about 1.4 million, but is back down around 1,000,000.
We're spraining our wrists patting ourselves on the back that we got the "uninsured number" down to 10 million. TEN TIMES the number of people that claim bankruptcy for ANY reason, let alone medical bills. Id' much rather put a fund together to cover the percentage of the one million that have to claim bankruptcy than the 10's of millions that don't want the coverage. Maybe put a tax on non-insurance medical services. Change the way the tax code treats medical expenses for people with carrying incomes. The point is, there is more than one way to skin this cat, and we don't have to live with the skyrocketing premiums, lack of transparency, lack of doctor choice, etc. etc. that we have now.