Essay on Health Policies that Have Negative Effects on People
Health policies that penalize individuals has been a major issue in the United States recently. Health insurance companies have attempted to restrict or penalize individuals due to lifestyle choices such as smoking or abusing drugs. Smoking and abusing drugs are lifestyle choices that must not be penalized by health insurance companies due to the tremendous need that these individuals have for health coverage.
Penalizing individuals that smoke or use drugs is not ethically acceptable. If we were to penalize individuals based on their lifestyle choices then would we also do so for other lifestyle choices that hold less of a stigma? Overeating is a lifestyle choice that leads to obesity, which is a major issue in the U.S. Obesity has been linked the majority of chronic disease and increases in healthcare costs. If we were to penalize individuals based on their smoking habits it may lead to increased penalization of other lifestyle choices. Health insurance companies must not have the power to discriminate based on lifestyle choices or pre-existing conditions.
Smoking, alcohol, and drug use are addictive behaviors. These actions, although avoidable, are not easy to stop. The current opioid epidemic is an example of the need for health insurance to cover addicted populations. These addictions lead to chronic disease and as a nation we must not abandon individuals that are in dire need of healthcare. Addictions are not always a choice but a biological need that abusing drugs creates. Health insurance companies should not be able to restrict coverage to conditions that are not always a choice.
Individuals that smoke and abuse drugs have increased the financial burden of the healthcare system. This burden must not be corrected by restricting healthcare to these populations. These unhealthy behaviors are lifestyle choices that must not be controlled by health policies. Introducing health policies that control lifestyle choices can lead ot further attempts to control the habits of the public. Health policies must aim to reduce the underlying cause of the problem by introducing policies that focus on preventing smoking habits and abusing drugs.