T Nation

Health Care and Taxes


I am taking an ethics class and was asked "What do you think would constitute fairness in paying for health care? Should the government (i.e., the taxpayers) pay for everything for everyone? Should it depend on whether the individual conforms to a "healthy lifestyle"? Why or why not?

I wrote that it is only fair that those that have a healthy lifestyle i.e eat correctly, exercise regularly, dont smoke and drink should pay less for their health care. Those that are overweight and so on should pay more.

However what would constitute overweight what of people who lift? An argument can be made by those that believe that people are predisposed to certain so called diseases like alcoholism why should they pay more for something they have no control over?

So I was wondering what you all thought. Also what do you think of the point system below? Someone suggested the prof. seemed to like it?

When determining how the cost of healthcare should be divided in order to be fair, I would evaluate current research in order to come up with a point system and rank the traits according to their priority of known influence in causing health conditions and other diseases.

Those which require more costly treatment versus the usual ?maintenance care? most healthy people seek throughout the year (i.e. well doctor visits, twice a year ER visits; etc.) would have a higher point value.

Everyone would start off with the same amount of points at the same dollar rate?Essentially, these points can be used to cover most health visits, but in the case a more costly treatment the person could devote more of their maintenance pts to paying for the extra services they need and this would balance out the costs in addition to the members not paying for a policy in which they do not utilize all of their coverage.


Have you ever considered that that would require a surveillance that would put 1984 to shame?


Maybe an ethics class should start with whether it is ethical to confiscate money, lawfully earned, from one individual and give it to, or buy services for, another individual that did not earn it.