Congress enacted the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act in 1986. The law requires hospitals and ambulance services to provide care to anyone needing emergency healthcare treatment regardless of citizenship, legal status or ability to pay. As a result of the law, patients needing emergency treatment can be discharged only under their own informed consent or when their condition requires transfer to a hospital better equipped to administer the treatment. EMTALA was passed to combat the practice of "patient dumping," or the refusal to treat people because of inability to pay or insufficient insurance, or transferring or discharging emergency patients on the basis of anticipated high costs associated with diagnosis and treatment.
- Round 1: Beat Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks
- Round 2: Lost To Passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act