Home Letters To The Editor The other side of health care

66% of Americans are overweight and 31% are obese adding over $80 billion a year to related health costs (half of that currently paid by Medicaid and Medicare) and 112,000 excess deaths per year over healthy-weight statistics.

22% of Americans smoke adding over $100 billion a year to related health costs including heart disease (the leading cause of death), lung cancer, and 30% of all cancer deaths.

Some Americans fit all three categories.

And these citizens have a right to federally-funded healthcare?

Think about it - people with good health habits footing an enormous bill for the above, most of whom don't care enough about their own health or well being to alter such habits, much less save the money they spend on cigarettes, alcohol, and too much unhealthy food for potential medical care which they would less likely need as healthier people. In fact, think also about how their legacy affects their children.

This is the epidemic that has to be tackled, not liberal entitlements to a huge population with deadly dependencies by choice. To do otherwise is to reward bad (and expensive) behavior and penalize everyone else who cares enough to care for themselves.  Health plans should indeed hold people responsible for their actions while providing affordable incentives for those who choose to stay healthy and those who suffer afflictions and circumstances beyond their control. They should not enlist government waste, inefficiency, corruption, taxation, and political manipulation of the health industry and the welfare state.

We don't need national health insurance. We need national health accountability.

Ira White
Portsmouth VA
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