CONTROVERSY – Applying Established Policy to COVID; Making Unvaxxed, Like Smokers, Pay The Huge Costs They Create
Imposing Huge Costs On The Unvaccinated
WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 27, 2021) - A fundamental principle established by the nation's health commissioners more than 30 years - that those whose unhealthy behaviors impose huge costs on society should pay them - is now beginning to be applied to those who refuse to be vaccinated, just as it has long been applied to smokers, and it's creating a bitter controversy, as evidenced by pieces this week in Newsweek, CNN, Daily Kos, and many other publications.
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Public interest law professor John Banzhaf, who is credited with using various mechanisms to force smokers to pay more of the enormous costs their behavior inflicts on society (e.g., Obamacare's 50% surcharge on smokers), has suggested that those who without justification simply refuse to be vaccinated should be forced to bear more of the financial and other costs of their decision.
He notes that some unvaxxed claim the right to refuse to be vaccinated, but clearly they do not have the right to inflict the costs of their decision on others in the form of costs of treating patients for preventable COVID, periodic testing required by employers and schools for those who refuse vaccinations, added cleanup and disinfecting expenses, and even being forced to wear masks where they probably would not be required 9e.g., in many offices and on airplanes) if access were restricted to people who have been vaccinated (and young children not yet eligible).
It's time to stop forcing the vaccinated majority of Americans to accommodate those who refuse to take this simple step -- especially now that at least one Covid-19 vaccine has been fully approved. Vaccinated workers, students, airline passengers and others who go out in public should not have to bear the risks and huge financial costs that the unvaccinated are imposing on society.
What Should Be Done With Unvaxxers
Think of what we do with smokers. . . . [what should be done re: COVID]
- Vaccine refusers should pay more for life and health insurance, just as smokers have long done.
For example, Delta Air Lines announced this week that beginning in November, it will charge its unvaccinated employees up to $200 a month more for health insurance, and also limit the number of sick days unvaccinated employees may take if they contract Covid-19.
- Where unvaccinated workers, students or others are required to be tested frequently, they and no one else should bear the cost of testing.
- If the unvaccinated want to get hotel rooms or board cruise ships or fly on airplanes, they should have to pay more to cover the additional costs of thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing the places they may infect. They should also be charged more because of the added burdens associated with requiring all airlines, bus and train passengers to be masked.
Let's stop coddling the minority, and hold the unvaccinated responsible for the consequences of their own deadly decisions.
The controversy was then pickup up by NEWSWEEK - Professor Who Led Smoking Ban Push Wants Unvaccinated to Cover Pandemic Costs
Sheltering The Vaccinated
John Banzhaf III, an emeritus professor of public interest law at the George Washington University Law School, has claimed the now majority of Americans vaccinated against coronavirus should be sheltered from disproportionately bearing the pandemic's financial burden.
The expert's call for an alteration on how the pandemic's effects are to be paid for coincides with a spike in COVID-19 cases and deaths.
Writing an op-ed for CNN, Professor Banzhaf said: "The surge in infections caused by the coronavirus' highly contagious Delta variant has made it clear that the unvaccinated pose a deadly risk to others and themselves."
"Vaccinated workers, students, airline passengers and others who go out in public should not have to bear the risks and huge financial costs that the unvaccinated are imposing on society."
The retired founder and executive director of Action on Smoking and Health has a history of campaigning for distributing public health costs, in particular highlighting the costs related to the tobacco industry
Equating smoking to refusing to get vaccinated, he wrote: "When it became clear that secondhand smoke threatened the health and very lives of blameless nonsmokers, governments and those in charge got tough on smoking in public."
Then, among many other sites, it was the subject of controversy on DAILY KOS - Make the Unvaccinated Pay for Their Deadly Decision
Making The Unvaxxed Pay For Their Deadly Decision
Make the unvaccinated pay for their deadly decision is an excellent CNN article supporting the idea that now the unvaccinated have to pay for the burden they are placing on the rest of us, the medical system and and our economy.
The author John Banzhaf III “led the successful movement to ban smoking in workplaces and public places and championed requiring smokers and the tobacco industry to pay their fair share of the costs of smoking”
The article draws very relevant and strong parallels with the efforts to ban smoking and the effects that smoking has on non smokers.
Unfortunately,the party of personal liberty and responsibility has completely abandoned any responsibility for their freedom to refuse a vaccination.
The costs that the rest of us must bear include among other items he lists are: the incalculable additional costs of lock-downs, disruption of schooling now and to come, and Americans desperately trying to pay for rent and food.
I think this will be the first shot across the bow, as businesses, government leaders (at least those not batshit crazy about killing their own constituents) and most importantly insurance/ healthcare providers begin to require that some one other than all taxpayers begin to pay for reckless and negligent behaviors.
Banzhaf says it is interesting that a fundamental principle and basic policy which was adopted and advocated by America's insurance commissioners, and which has been applied to smoking and sometimes also to obesity, should suddenly be challenged.
In many instances, including higher rates for health insurance, smokers have been required to pay more to cover the totally unnecessary costs they impose on everyone in the form of higher taxes and bloated insurance premiums. This burden is imposed for reasons of fairness, but it has also provided a strong additional incentive for millions to quit smoking and slash our nation's medical care costs.
This basic cost-allocation principle, which is universal regarding life and car insurance, has also been applied to people who are obese, even though it is more difficult to lose weight than to receive one or two injections.
Indeed, the activist law professor brought several successful legal actions to require the federal government to authorize charging higher health insurance rates for applicants who are smokers, and for those who are obese.
In any event, Delta Airline's recent decision to charge unvaccinated employees an additional $2,400 for health insurance is a sign of change, which Banzhaf predicts other companies are likely to follow.