22 May 2008

The Bansturbators

Back again for another round, as some survey or other tells us that alcohol related problems and illnesses are costing the NHS more than ever before. The Bansturbators are right there telling us how alcohol should be even more expensive. Having recently paid £4 for a pint in London, I've got a few things to say to those who think alcohol is cheap. Then again they would probably say that the 'problem' has now moved into the home and this time it is cheap booze in supermarkets to blame.
To be honest I am not inclined to argue about whether I am, or anyone else is, drinking too much alcohol. The point that is always avoided is the question of why we are forced to pay for other people's healthcare in the first place, those of power hungry and paternalist instinct always go for more control and restriction on our actions. The irony is that these very same people are the ones to complain about the lack of responsibility in todays society.
Of course the obvious thing to do if you are worried about everyone bearing the cost of the excesses of the few is to have real insurance in healthcare. Then if you get ill through the wilful downing of 15 pints or a litre of vodka it is only an argument between you and your insurer whether they should pay for your treatment. Even better than that, there is usually no argument, as with real insurance you are clear that it doesn't cover you for intentionally damaging your health. This solution means people taking real responsibility for their own well being, having to accept the consequences of their actions and being allowed to live with the level of risk they are comfortable with.

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