Remember, when the state takes over healthcare, it becomes every taxpayer’s right to control your risky behaviour.

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  1. I don’t know how one individual would enact control over another absolutely speaking.

    But it certainly does give us the right to tell people to stop doing dumbass things. Whether they listen or not, well. . .dumbasses rarely listen.

    On the other hand, it certainly does give the proletariat a compelling reason socially exiling those who in one way or another increase the cost of their own care.

    1. The trouble is, our proletariat doesn’t believe in social exile any longer. It’s tolerance or regulation. No middle ground.

      1. Be careful Avdi, you are starting to sound like an objectivist.

        Would you like me to put you out of your misery before or after you start quoting The Fountainhead?

  2. I’ll keep that in mind for when government control of healthcare is actually proposed in a bill out of committee.

  3. well.. doesn’t always work that way in practice in other countries. While Sweden has restrictive drinking laws–Germany and Britain certainly don’t–and neither does Canada for that matter.

    In practice as it stands now–with the private health care system that we have–40 million people’s risky behaviors that get them into the emergency room just show up on our bills–even though we have no control over it. So we have the obligations, but no rights. I guess we could just refuse to see uninsured people in hospitals–which would be the logical consequence of making the system more fair and keeping it as it is–but it wouldn’t be all that nice.

    Personally, I find the current system ridiculous. We pay significantly more than other countries with national health care–and the outcomes we get from a good chunk of this extra money (which is often mostly spent in administrative costs at hospitals and insurance companies fighting to not pay each other) are not as good as in countries with national health care.

    To back all these claims I can go look up stats if you want–but not today–I have grading to do–but I remain unconvinced that the theoretical issue you raise above (and I agree with you that it is problematic on a theoretical level) actually trumps the practical realities that our system works horribly in terms of outcomes/money and many national health care systems work far better for less. In addition, they don’t usually manifest the problem that you note above…

    1. Re: well..

      I agree that the system we have now is inefficient from a input-vs-output perspective.

      I don’t really think that the government is going to outlaw parkour just because the hospital bills are too expensive. What I think is more likely is interest groups starting to use the public health argument as an additional and potentially powerful rhetorical weapon. E.g. we can’t lower the drinking age, it’ll raise healthcare costs. Red meat isn’t just unhealthy, it’s costing us tax dollars. Gay sex isn’t just against god’s law, it’s also a drain on the public purse because it has a higher risk factor. Etc.

      1. Re: well..

        That day is already here. It’s an actuality, not an eventuality. Can you think of any travesties to human civil liberties that are justified with fiscal logic? Pop quiz class! If you don’t come up with at least one example, you get an A for being completely oblivious to the world around you and thereby being one of a very select group of citizens who has the chance to be truly happy!

        That exact argument against gay sex was all the rage in the 80s when AIDS hit the media, and was used for many many years to justify everything from physical violence to social exile of gay men. I hear people say all the time “Well, okay, you can have sex with whoever you want, but is it really necessary to disturb our peace with ridiculous pride festivals and men traipsing around in women’s clothing?” History gives you the answer to that question. How many people these days, when they think of “gay man” think “OMG AIDS!” before they think of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” or rainbows or drag shows or really pretty men who speak with a slight lisp? The answer is that not very many of us immediately associate “gay” with “AIDS” anymore. If we think about it for a while, it might come up, but it just isn’t what “gay” automatically means anymore. Well done, gay community, for managing to celebrate your identity and perform one of the gretest unsung public relations coup’s in history! Okay, so they replaced one stereotype with another, but at least it’s a better stereotype, friendlier, less scary. Fuck, who doesn’t like rainbows?

        I mean, besides congress. Clearly congress hates rainbows. And puppies. And banana hammocks.

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