Saturday, April 2, 2011

Meanwhile, Back On The Personal-Responsibility Front

Republican Governor Jan Brewer has proposed charging a $50 Fee to people with unhealthy habits in order to help shore up Arizona's cash-starved Medicaid Program.
If you want to smoke, go for it," said Monica Coury, spokeswoman for Arizona's Medicaid program. "But understand you're going to have to contribute something for the cost of the care of your smoking."  She said the proposal is a way to reward good behavior and raise awareness that certain conditions, including obesity, raise costs throughout the system.  Ms. Brewer's surcharge would apply only to only certain childless adults: Those who are obese or chronically ill, and those who smoke. They would need to work with a primary-care physician to develop a plan to help them lose weight and otherwise improve their health. Patients who don't meet specified goals would be required to pay the $50, under terms of the proposal.
Naturally, this provokes a compassionate reaction from the other side of the isle, because the proposal isn't "fair."
State Sen. Krysten Sinema, a Democrat, said such a fee would unfairly penalize those who can't control their weight.  "If someone is obese because they're severely disabled or can't exercise, we shouldn't be punishing them," she said.  "I mean, it's not their fault."  Ms. Sinema said she would vote against the plan...
At least she didn't use the word "discriminates." Noman notes that while such conditions would be a burden for anyone to bear, Sen. Sinema is perfectly willing to punish everyone rather than the party with the problem, despite the fact that it would not be the taxpayers' fault either that someone "couldn't help" being fat (probably a very small minority).

If money weren't tight, Noman would probably be willing to go along with giving fatsos (like himself) a free ride.  But, given the economic realities facing taxpayers and the states, as well as the nation's biggest problem--flabby character--he says that $50 sounds reasonable for using tens-of-thousands of dollars worth of medical services.
Medicaid's rising cost has become one of the biggest problems for states struggling to balance their budgets. It is one of states' top two expenditures, along with education, and has ballooned in recent years as more people lose jobs and otherwise fall on hard times. 
Noman bets that this Arizona citizen votes Democrat.

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