Majority of UK doctors support denying treatment to smokers and the obese

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    Apr 30, 2012 5:21 AM GMT
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/guest-post-anything-government-gives-you-government-can-take-away

    A majority of doctors support measures to deny treatment to smokers and the obese, according to a survey that has sparked a row over the NHS‘s growing use of “lifestyle rationing”.

    Some 54% of doctors who took part said the NHS should have the right to withhold non-emergency treatment from patients who do not lose weight or stop smoking. Some medics believe unhealthy behaviour can make procedures less likely to work, and that the service is not obliged to devote scarce resources to them.

    And that’s the trouble with services and institutions run from the taxpayer’s purse, administered by centralists and bureaucrats. It becomes a carrot or a stick for interventionists to intervene in your life. Its delivery depends on your compliance with the diktats and whims of the democracy, or of bureaucrats. Your standard of living becomes a bargaining chip. Don’t conform? You might be deemed unworthy of hospital treatment.

    It seems innocuous to promise all manner of services in exchange for taxes. Citizens may welcome the convenience, the lower overheads, the economies of scale. They may welcome a freebie, and the chance to enjoy the fruits of someone else’s labour. They may feel entitled to it.

    Many words have been spent on the problems of dependency; that rather than working for an honest living, the poor may be sucked into a vortex of entitlement, to such an extent that they lose the desire to produce. A tax-sucking multi-generational underclass can develop. Individuals can live entirely workless lives, enjoying a semi-comfortable existence on the teat of the taxpayer, enjoying the fruits — financial handouts, free education, free healthcare, a free home — of social engineers who believe that every problem under the sun can be remedied by government largesse and throwing money at problems. And who can blame them? Humans have sought out free lunches for as long as there have been humans.

    Welfare dependency is generally assumed to be viewed negatively in the corridors of power. After all, broad welfare programs mean greater spending, and that very often means great debt. And why would a government want to be in debt? Surely governments would prefer it if more of the population was working and productive and paying taxes?

    But it is easier to promote behaviour desired by the state when a population lives on state handouts. And for states that might want to influence the behaviour of their citizens — their resource consumption, their carbon footprint, their moral and ethical beliefs, or their attitude toward the state — this could be an attractive proposition. It might cost a lot to run a welfare system, but it brings a lot of power to influence citizens.

    And increasingly throughout the Western world, citizens are becoming dependent on the state for their standard of living. In the UK, 92% of people are dependent on the socialist NHS for healthcare. 46 million Americans receive food stamps. That gives states a lot of leverage to influence behaviour. First it may be used in a (relatively sensible) attempt to curtail smoking and obesity. Beyond that, the sky is the limit. Perhaps doctors or bureaucrats may someday suggest withholding treatment or dole money from those who exceed their personal carbon or meat consumption quota? A tyrant could even withhold welfare from those who do not pledge their undying allegiance or military service to a regime or ideology (it happened many times last century). An underclass of rough and hungry welfare recipients is a fertile recruiting ground for military and paramilitary organisations (like the TSA).

    With the wide expansion of welfare comes a lot of power, and the potential for the abuse of power. Citizens looking for a free lunch or an easier world should be careful what they wish for. Welfare recipients take note: you depend on government for your standard of living, you open yourself up to losing your liberty.
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    Apr 30, 2012 1:58 PM GMT
    ...and in private for-profit health insurance:


    "Health insurance companies will also be likely to decline your application if you have a history of engaging in "risky" behaviors. If you are a smoker or drink alcohol on a regular basis, it is likely your application for health insurance will be denied because you stand a greater risk for developing cancer or other diseases that will cost the company money. If you have a history of accidents or seeing a therapist, the insurance company may also deem you at risk for lapsing into a severe mental illness or even label you as accident-prone. This could apply if you suffer from something like joint sprains or strains. According to Daily Kos, you don't even have to be sick to be rejected, but if people closely related to you have suffered from numerous illnesses, it could stand as grounds for rejection."



    Read more: Reasons Why People Get Denied Health Insurance Coverage | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/list_6657720_reasons-denied-health-insurance-coverage.html#ixzz1tX2SsJO7
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    Apr 30, 2012 4:56 PM GMT
    meninlove said...and in private for-profit health insurance:


    "Health insurance companies will also be likely to decline your application if you have a history of engaging in "risky" behaviors. If you are a smoker or drink alcohol on a regular basis, it is likely your application for health insurance will be denied because you stand a greater risk for developing cancer or other diseases that will cost the company money. If you have a history of accidents or seeing a therapist, the insurance company may also deem you at risk for lapsing into a severe mental illness or even label you as accident-prone. This could apply if you suffer from something like joint sprains or strains. According to Daily Kos, you don't even have to be sick to be rejected, but if people closely related to you have suffered from numerous illnesses, it could stand as grounds for rejection."



    Read more: Reasons Why People Get Denied Health Insurance Coverage | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/list_6657720_reasons-denied-health-insurance-coverage.html#ixzz1tX2SsJO7


    According to DailyKos? That's sort of like using Ann Coulter as an expert reference source.

    There are insurers who will reject you but there are those who specialize in higher risk groups - that's how the insurance business works. This is what I find so absurd about government healthcare - I mean it's more than fine and necessarily compassionate if we need to cover the needs of those who cannot get insurance - but why change the system for everyone when the system is largely working for most people?

    But when it comes to the government - if we only create one system/monopoly, what's the choice when things go awry as they appear to be now as most social networks become strained because of poor management and fiscal planning?
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    Apr 30, 2012 10:07 PM GMT
    I am sure doctors already engage in subtle forms treatment denial to patients who do not look after their own health. Some are not even subtle about it. An uncle of mine who has COPD from life-long pipe smoking (which he did not give up post-diagnosis) was told by his doctor that she 'Washed her hands" of him. And she did. He had previously asked his specialist if it would help his condition if he gave up smoking and the specialist had replied, "I wouldn't bother if I were you".

    My own experiences of our National Health Service have been excellent (as have those of most people you care to ask).