i don't think any of these people chose to be uninsured.
from http://www.thenation.com/doc/20040621/pollitt .
an italian-american man in his early 50s who moved from florida to new haven to let his wife die up near her family in maine. he went 250,000 dollars in debt trying to self-pay for care for his wife, who was diagnosed with cervical cancer over a year ago.
a 38-year-old auto mechanic who was admitted in narcotic withdrawal. a year ago, he was the victim of a freak accident when a clutch released and a car rolled back into him. he developed back pain which subsequently caused him to seek several neurosurgical opinions, but nothing was done because he couldn't afford follow-up appointments....unemployed, disabled and out of money due to medical costs of imaging and doctors, he lost his home and was forced to move to a motel and file for bankruptcy.
a 40-year-old black woman from north carolina who came into my service with hypertensive emergency (escalating blood pressure) and heart failure. she had stopped taking any blood pressure medicines in order to save for her husband's kidney transplant. due to her prolonged non-treatment, she developed irreversible heart damage.
as these tragic stories show, health insurance is about more than treating an immediate illness. lack of insurance can precipitate an avalanche of trouble: job loss, debt, bankruptcy, more illness, inappropriate charity treatment that worsens the original problem, prescription drug addiction, homelessness.