February 5, 2015
By Lorra B.
Jonathan Gruber is back in the news with another idea to which most Americans will likely not react kindly. I will go out on a limb and say this may be the most insulting statement Gruber has made as he suggests a health care tax based on body weight.
Gruber stated, “Ultimately, what may be needed to address the obesity problem are direct taxes on body weight. While it is hard to conceive of this approach being a common public policy tool in the near term, such taxation may be happening indirectly through health insurance surcharges. Currently, employers may charge up to 20 percent higher health insurance premiums for employees who fail to meet certain health-related standards, such as attaining a healthy BMI. The new health reform legislation increases this differential to 30 percent, with the possibility of rising to 50 percent. Results of programs that use differential premiums to impose direct financial penalties for obesity will bear watching in the future.
How will this look exactly? Will be have a end-of-year mass weigh in with certified weighers? Or, will it be a twice a year thing with flags throw for encroachments as the obese take up a bit too much space and, therefore, penalties then given?
Will these new taxes apply to illegal aliens or minorities or will they be let off the hook because they have discrimination issues that have caused their obesity? No seriously, states FrontPage Mag.
This idea has been suggested before and according to Rare, “there are more attractive variations of the idea. Dubai, for instance, pays citizens a gram of gold for every 2.2 pounds they lose. The program paid out more than $700,000 worth of gold in 2013.”
You can read the piece in full here.
Is Gruber’s idea of higher taxation on the obese a good idea or does it go too far and press a bit against our civil liberties?