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A tax on the careful?
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AgentOrange
AgentOrange
221 posts

A tax on the careful?
Feb 21, 2002, 13:04
This is a puzzling debate that I cannot thrash out within my own mind. Essentially I think I am a socialist, I beleive that everyone should have equal access to healthcare and that this should be paid for by wealth-related tax.

As I am now a taxpayer and someone fairly mindful of my own health, I begin to wonder about the fairness of subsidising other's carelessness. When my asthma became very bad over 10 years ago, I stopped smoking and over the last few years I have made huge efforts in taking up sport to increase my fitness so that now my need for medication has been minimised. Now I am able to get on with my life, I am rarely ill. earn a good wage and am happy to pay tax on that.

A small niggly part of me tends to feel a little resentment when I sit on trains next to people damaging their hearing (and my nerves) with personal sterios, will my taxes support their treatment? When I hear of people using their cars to drive a 5 minute walk, or know that many people pay no attention to their diet I wonder if I will be paying for their pacemakers in the future?

I know this is a really complex issue. I don't believe that people who do dangerous sports should have to buy health insurance because I think the health benefits to the individual must outweigh the risk of injury. This argument could be extended to smoking - perhaps the individual suffers less from stress because they are able to relax more?

Has the welfare state made us more complacent? Should I feel resentment? Whats your opinion?

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