Conservative politicians in the United Kingdom want the government to refrain treating those who refuse to change their "unhealthy" lifestyles. Incredibly this healthcare proposal appears in a document entitled Restoring Pride in Our Public Services.

The Tory panel that produced the document wants to shift the National Health Service from treating disease to preventing it. Promoting "prevention" as the center of the health care is justified as a cost-cutting measure that will save universal coverage from collapse. To drill this message into the electorate the Tories produced this incoherent talking point:

"It is inconsistent with the concept of the responsible citizen to imagine that it is realistic for citizens, having paid their taxes, to expect that the state will underwrite the health implications of any lifestyle decision they choose to make."

Let’s see. The British citizen, through taxation, pays for health care. The payments the citizens make are compulsory. After having paid for health care the state will now deny that care if the overtaxed citizens don’t discard their sinful ways. You smoke and enjoy food? No health care for you! Such a system is manna from heaven for pharmaceutical companies that push smoking cessation and diet products but is sheer hell for those who enjoy activities the government disapproves of.



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