Wednesday, May 25, 2005

A case for the black market - Part II

More unbiased reporting from no other than the CBC:

A majority of Canadian employees surveyed believe people who engage in unhealthy habits should pay more for their healthcare coverage.

In an Ipsos-Reid poll of 1,500 employees with supplementary health programs, 54 per cent said the cost of employee health benefit plans should be higher for employees who smoke, don't exercise or are seriously overweight. The survey was commissioned by Sanofi-Aventis, the world's third-largest pharmaceutical company.
I agree that an individual's insurance premiums should reflect relevant risk factors but dare I ask the stupid question of how we determine whether someone is lazy or not? Clearly it is not just obese people who fail to exercise. Shall we follow the example of the Chinese and force employees to engage in morning calisthenics if they want to keep their jobs? As for smokers, if they don't smoke at work, the only way to determine if they indulge in the evil weed is to subject them to mandatory testing. I suppose most Canadian's don't have a problem with that, just like they don't seem to mind that the government here blatantly rips them off for at least $355 Million, not including the billions stolen through taxation.

Around 70 per cent of the respondents said that employees who do not smoke should pay less for coverage.

About 63 per cent agreed the government should promote healthy living by providing tax credits or deductions for personal gym memberships or recreational fees.
Stop right there! This amounts to non-smokers and smokers alike paying for other's choices. There's enough trough money being funnelled into recreation and entertainment as it is.
Almost 70 per cent said they'd be willing to pay a small fee - such as $5 - for some publicly funded services, if the money were invested in services such as home or community care, palliative care or costly drugs.

[..] The survey suggests services people would be willing to pay for include a visit to the emergency room, to the doctor's office, or for a day in the hospital.
Does 'willing' mean that this is desired or were the respondent's possible responses limited by the terms of the question? Why the hell shouldn't people pay for what they require? Because something is necessary for survival, it does not thereby entail entitlement at another's expense. Food is necessary for survival too, but we've no 'right' to food if that entails theft of another's property. Looting the grocer to feed the bums is theft, plain and simple, despite attempts by language illiterate bandits like John Clarke to justify their actions:
Clarke rejected the use of the word shoplifting.

But, he said, "We unquestionably took the food without asking permission from Loblaws (and) we today delivered a bill to McGuinty.

"And we would say that the Liberals should, through either government enactment or out of their own personal pockets, that they should pay for that amount."
If 'private' health care is ever allowed in Liberal Canada, it won't come without strings attached - you'll end up paying an inflated user fee to finance the ever failing public system.