The Unworthy Unhealthy

Today’s Wall Street Journal-Harris poll found that in just three years, the percentage of people who want to make the unhealthy pay more for insurance jumped from 37 percent to 53 percent. The same poll shows that 56 percent of Americans believe that the poor and unemployed should get the same quality of health care as people who have jobs and pay taxes.

But how can that be? We know that poverty is a major factor in poor health, and we know that if you are poor, the chances are pretty good you won’t be walking from the ‘hood to the suburbs to buy cheaper healthier food and you won’t be going to Gold’s gym every day to work out.

So the same Americans who feel that people with bad habits are entitled to health care equal to that afforded paragons of fitness also believe they should pay more for them! It makes a kind of perverse sense only if the penalties are imposed on the “unworthy” unhealthy, not good-character people like you and me who might have some genetic anomaly as an excuse or a less discernible condition that could have been prevented.

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