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The problem is that personal responsibility for health and national health care are treated as the same issue. They're not.

If you smoke, you have to accept that you're more likely to get cancer. But you still deserve to be treated for cancer.

If you follow the SAD--Standard American Diet--you're likelier to get cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc. yet you still deserve health care.

If, like me, you spent many years vainly trying to get a tan, you have to accept you may have skin cancer one day. I still hope to be treated by my govt health care if and when I do.

This does not mean we shouldn't encourage and support personal responsibility--i.e. good health choices--whenever possible. Free nicotine patches. Free advice on diet. Subsidies for healthy food, not SAD food. Public warnings to stay out of the sun.

It's easy to stand up and say "personal responsibility" but, as Dover Bitch pointed out, look who's talking.

Off to pour more green tea.

Good point and it should be obvious since not everyone who indulges in irresponsible behavior gets sick and vice versa. But the idea of being responsible for our misfortune - health-related and otherwise - is something that the powers that be work very hard to have the powerless and disadvantaged internalize. Remember that study that said that the wealthy almost never mention Luck as a reason for their success? It's fruit of the same tree and if we don't do somehthing about that, we're going to lose Social Security, what's left of Medicare and never even get close to a health care system that's universal and single-payer.

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