The LA Times has editorialized in favor of the concept of taxing us on our body mass index (BMI), stating that “offering incentives for lifestyle choices likely to cut medical costs is an idea worth considering.” From the editorial:
If an individual’s body mass index isn’t a purely personal matter, what is? We have the right to choose between healthy food or junk food, even if the latter is more likely to result in obesity and related health problems. But once our choices affect others, there’s a natural conflict between individual freedom and social responsibility. In a nation where rising healthcare costs and diminished access to medical care are issues of grave concern, personal decisions are no longer strictly private. The treatment of obesity- and smoking-related disease is tremendously expensive, which in turns drives up health insurance premiums for everyone, as well as raising the costs for Medicaid, Medicare and health coverage for public employees.
Yea, well so does non monogomous sex. So, if we are going to go down that road, we can’t be selective. After all, a promiscuous lifestyle can definitely add to medical costs—and they tend to come more quickly than medical costs associated with being overweight or using tobacco.
So let’s tax sex, say by a diagnosis of VD, HIV, or the request for a non medically necessary abortion. Considering their perspective, I don’t see how the Times could object. But somehow, I don’t think we can expect consistency in this matter from the Times editorialists. That wouldn’t be politically correct—unless it was against promiscuous overweight smokers.
This is what happens when we have a collectivist mindset about health care costs. Just as we wouldn’t—and shouldn’t—tax sex, so too,we shouldn’t tax fat.
Don’t these people ever run out of things they want to control?