Preventive health care is on top priority of governments and health companies. To promote and inspire preventive health care by maintaining active lifestyle, many health insurances companies have chipped in partial gym membership fee, if consumer goes to gym for certain days in week or month.
Germany has taken it to other extreme, where it has imposed a tax on overweight people living unhealthy lifestyles. This tax was put forth to fine people for overburdening the healthcare system due to unhealthy lifestyle.
Marco Wanderwitz, the conservative Member of Parliament from the state of Saxony said that
- The question must be admitted whether the immense costs that, for example, arise from excessive consumption of food, can be permanently paid out of the consolidated health system.
- I think it’s sensible that people who knowingly live unhealthily carry a responsibility for it in a financial respect.
- As with tobacco, we should tax the purchase of unhealthy consumer goods at a higher rate and pay that tax into the health system
This tax was slammed by opposition party but was praised by many people including Juergen Wasem, an economist and researchers at the Jacobs University in Bremen City.
/>The fat-tax as it is called is a similar step taken by City of New York, which put heavy taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products. The question I have is how you would implement this tax. Gauging unhealthy lifestyle is bit difficult and up to certain extent lead to privacy issues. I think forcing people to maintain active lifestyle is a necessary step, but taxing them is a big question? There are many cases when people fail to maintain healthy lifestyle due to various factors such as genetic, immunity and climate.
It may seem harsh to many people, but I would like to gauge, what you think about this tax. The question is to what extent, should the government intervene to force them to maintain their own healthy life?