Here’s a question I’d be interested in responses about. Liberals/Democrats often complain that we don’t have “Universal Healthcare” in the US. I think the accepted definition of this is “free healthcare for everyone provided by the government” and of course the government is funded by taxpayers (us). Smoking accounts for a significant percentage of this country’s health care costs each year (8% of an individual’s health care costs – tens of billions of dollars according to cancer.org).
So, my question is this. If we the taxpayers were to start paying for one another’s health care, do we have the right to demand that the people we’re paying for not smoke? I don’t smoke, is it fair that I pay for the health care of someone who does? Or, assuming we do have the right to demand people not smoke (presumably by making it illegal, since healthcare becomes a federal government program) what else can we make illegal? Eating at McDonald’s? Football? Skydiving?
Obviously when we start making things illegal, we start to trample on civil liberties, which is something liberals typically stand up for (as do I). So, I guess the answer is, under universal health care it is expected that people who go to the gym and eat right must pay the health care costs of people who don’t take care of themselves. Is that right?