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Limbaugh Calls for 'Slut' Tax: the Politics of Personal Responsibility in Health Care

Your individual rights only go as far as my wallet.
 
 
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Here's Rushbo -- drug addict, likely third-world sex tourist and self-appointed guardian of America's moral virtues -- working a bit of gratuitous slut-shaming into the health care debate.

It's comedy gold! See, Rush is up in arms over the fact that smokers buying insurance through the public health 'gateways' envisioned by the Dems would have to pay a higher premium. It's so unfair!

Why? From what I can make out in his "argument," Rush is saying that smokers make a risky lifestyle choice which results in higher health costs. So why don't we impose surcharges on other risky behaviors, like women having an active sex life?

It's a patently silly argument -- unless they've come up with some kind of a cigarette-condom that makes smoking safe, I don't see much of a parallel. And, as is the norm with so many of these silly attacks on a public insurance option, Limbaugh acts as if private insurers don't charge higher premiums for smokers, which is ridiculous. Not only do insurers charge a premium, but many private companies make their employees who smoke pick up higher share of the costs of coverage. Heck, smokers actually pay higher premiums not only for health insurance, but also in many cases for life insurance, homeowner's insurance and even auto coverage.

So, a typically dishonest rant, but one that does touch on one of the crucial pivot points in the health care debate -- personal responsibility and the mandate that everyone (with a few exceptions) carry insurance.

Joshua Holland is an editor and senior writer at AlterNet.

 
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