The government might have an easier time of making it beneficial for us to be responsible. As you said, this means drawing a line where the government needs to allow us to make our own choices and push us in the right direction. It also needs to reduce the pressure on responsible people to pay for irresponsible people. The most obvious way, to me, is to charge a higher premium for people who miss checkups and go against doctor's orders.
The disadvantages of this are pretty substantial though; the biggest is that it adds tension to the doctor-patient relationship. However, I think doctors should be a bit pushier--which is part of the reason prevention is so hard right now. It would also put more pressure on doctors from the government...
So that's pretty complicated.
Also, we already tax smokers. I think it'd be a good idea to tax unhealthy foods too. We should make them a luxury instead of a staple. I suppose that money could go towards healthcare costs. This option makes more sense to me, but you'd be fighting companies like McDonalds instead of companies like BlueCrossBlueShield. And you wouldn't be making sure people got their checkups.
nameless wrote:Are you suggesting that the obese are only in such a condition as a resuly of making 'poor' choices? If so, wouldn't that be as antiquated and ignorant as thinking that gays make a conscious choice to be that way?
Nope, since there's a lot more evidence that people's health is related to their diet (unlike sexuality) and people usually choose their diet (unlike sexuality).