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The Personal Price of Public Care
Smokers in parts of the U.K. “will be denied surgery in order to slash health care costs”according the anti-tobacco watchdog, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH). Under “the rules, smokers are to be denied operations under the Health Service unless they give up cigarettes for at least four weeks beforehand, and doctors will require patients to take a blood test for nicotine residue to prove they have not been smoking.”

The government authority responsible for the new policy explained that “if people give up smoking prior to planned operations it will improve their recovery. It would reduce heart and lung complications and wounds would heal faster” thus making it a “perfectly legitimate clinical decision.”

The British policy makes clear that when the government is paying for your health care, is able – and willing – to use their financial interest in the matter to dictate your smoking, drinking, exercise and other personal choices. Something to think about when the US health care debate discusses single-payer proposals and other efforts to nationalize medicine.

See Medical News Today article

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