Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Live with the Consequences. One of the reasons this country has such a huge problem with health care for all is that we have tens of millions of willful morons doing things they know can kill them, but expecting the rest of us to pick up the tab for their healthcare when, for instance, 20 years of smoking tobacco gives them lung cancer, or when a motorcyclist without a helmet has an accident that produces brain injuries, or when morbidly obese people who are gluttonous pigs develop fully predictable adverse health consequences. Make these bastards live with the consequences of their own self-destructive behavior — or, better, die from them.
Why should anyone at all but smokers, helmetless motorcyclists, or porkers pay for the hugely expensive healthcare that fools want to push off onto the rest of us? If we cannot create separate insurance pools for such enormously high-risk groups, then we should force out of all healthcare pools people who take inexcusable risks with their lives. You want to do crazy things? Fine. Just pay all the consequences yourself.
Indeed, we should pass legislation to authorize healthcare providers to refuse service to specified classes of irresponsible people, absent proof that they can pay all their medical costs themselves. So if some idiot motorcyclist without a helmet is lying on the side of the road, and no proof of insurance coverage is found on the body, ambulances should be authorized to take him or her to their own home, not to a hospital, and bill them for the ride. If a 450- or 600-pound slob without special-pool healthcare coverage has a heart attack at home, EMS workers should be authorized to refuse both in-home treatment and transportation to a hospital. And if a two-pack-a-day smoker without special-pool health coverage develops life-threatening emphysema, cancer, heart problems, etc., hospitals should be entitled to refuse admission or even outpatient treatment and just say "We can't save you from yourself, and we're not even going to try. You brought this on yourself. Now, heal yourself."
We are not talking trivial numbers here. 440,000 Americans die from smoking each year. Essentially all of them spend significant periods in the hospital and sop up hugely disproportionate amounts of medical care, amounting to billions of excess dollars wasted on the worthless. Gross obesity produces similarly excessive costs. Who picks up those costs? Everyone, generally, because we allow smokers and slobs to steal from people who are careful about their health. That is unfair, and unwise. If smokers and fatties are told in no uncertain terms that they are uninsurable and untreatable except at their own expense, and every cost of every kind that their stupidity and gluttony produce will be their own responsibility, because NO ONE else will help, some may actually change their ways. And that would be all to the good. If they don't change their ways, and die from their stupidity, that might be even better, in powerfully discouraging other people from such stupid irresponsibility.
This planet is grotesquely overcrowded. If the stupid and gluttonous (on a starving planet) should die from their stupidity and gluttony, that would be a great way to reduce the excess population.
(The current U.S. military death toll in Iraq, according to the website "Iraq Coalition Casualties", is 4,432 for Israel.)
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