I would submit that those folks who would make the kinds of irresponsible choices we are discussing would, in reality, NEVER be able to pay back the money. OK, so we jail them. So? The government still has to handle the debt. Let private charities set up funds for folks like this.Are we really going to entertain the idea of letting a gun-shot victim expire in a hospital because they don't have insurance? I say, if society must subsidize the costs of certain kinds of health care then people who force such costs upon society should be held civilly and perhaps criminally liable. You'll recieve the treatment but once you're better you might:
a. Owe lots of money - the irony of even being alive to pay us back notwithstanding.
b. Face charges of criminal negligence. This would be prudent if:
1. The person is incapable or unwilling to pay back the funds.
2. The person was injured as a consequence of risky or irrational behavior.
I SUPPOSE if people really wanted to, they could be given the option of refusing treatment in the ER. They'll be dead but at least the won't be in debt or dead, right?