I’m a big believer in personal responsibility. Part of being responsible is to pay the costs for the things you choose to do. Do you drive a car? Pay to keep it in good condition, pay to cover pollution damage, pay for roads, pay for car insurance. Do you smoke? Pay for the extra health care you will need. Pay for the extra health care for people you endanger (for instance, your children).
I can be a real ass about personal responsibility. I don’t think alcoholics should get liver transplants unless there is no one else waiting for that liver. This doesn’t apply to alcoholics who’ve kicked the habit – I’d give them a break. Yes, I know it’s judgmental. But what will you think if you’re the one who needs a liver and the only one available went to an active alcoholic?
Anyway, we’re long overdue to start making people pay for the damage their choices do to their bodies. I do know it’s a slippery slope, and no, I don’t know where to put on the brakes. If you eat a diet of junk food and sodas, and never exercise, should you pay a health care tax if you get diabetes? I’d put it on the table for discussion.