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I now present two pieces of information that are supported by the data, as far as I know. Provide a link if you know otherwise.

First, 80% of healthcare costs go toward chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

Second, a huge study on diet and its correlation to disease, called The China Study, found that chronic diseases, particularly the ones I just mentioned, only get triggered if you eat a plant based diet, for the most part, regardless of your genetic propensity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_China_Study

The author's thesis, backed by a mountain of data, is that the only safe level of animal based food is zero. No milk or cheese either. Moderation simply doesn't work when it comes to eating meat. That's the data talking, not me, according to this expert. I haven't seen any data that contradicts that notion. Provide a link if you have.

As a practical matter, it would be impossible to ban meat from the diets of average Americans. But when you are talking about insurance of any sort, whether it is health or auto or hurricane, we accept the principle that risk factors can be considered in pricing. So all we need to do is charge meat eaters four times as much as vegetarians for health insurance. Over time it will create more vegetarians, for economic reasons alone, and healthcare costs will plummet.

You might say it is unfair for the insurance company to charge a higher premium for earthquake insurance to people who actually live on a fault line. But I say that's just good business.

Insurance companies shouldn't charge more to people who have preexisting or genetic problems of course, as these are things which can't be controlled. But people can certainly control their diets if they want to save money. As it stands now, vegetarians are subsidizing your cheeseburgers by paying more for health insurance than they should. (Insert counterpoint involving the non-existence of free will here.)

I want to stress that I'm not the sort of vegetarian who cares if you live or die, so long as you're enjoying yourself along the way. You can eat rusty tin cans and medical needles for all I care, so long as I don't have to subsidize it.

 
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Jul 28, 2009
It is a very inefficient way of charging the health care cost of meat eating, because it is hard to figure out the diet of people. Meat-, tobacco-, drugs-, and alcohol-taxes used to subsidize health care is much more efficient, and does not include the big Stasi type surveillance system.
 
 
Jul 28, 2009
I would rather starve than eat only plants.

I wouldn't want to pay 4x as much, so I would starve myself to the point of frequent hospitalization and treatment and I would 'eat up' all the fat people's insurance funds, so to speak...
 
 
Jul 28, 2009
I have to agree with some of your comments, but there are other insurances that are also expensive. Auto/motorcycle insurance - if you choose not to wear a helmet or seatbelt, and incur head injuries, how much should you pay? or how much care will be covered? Homeowners/Flood - Do you have a wood based roof in a fire prone area? Or have you chosen to have clay, metal, or composite roofing. Live in a 100 year flood plane or choose somewhere else. Do you smoke in your house? Wood burning fireplace or heater?
Sometimes we have to be responsible for our own choices and risks, and if over 50% of the population eat animal products (dairy as well as seafood and meat) it shouldn't be a pre-existing condition used to void health insurance. Education as to portion and frequency of consuming these items is necessary (and is available in some areas) but when we've been raised as omnivores you can't expect us to go cold turkey, no matter how healthy it would be.
 
 
Jul 28, 2009
Sorry but you will never keep me from eating tasty animals. Grilled animal flesh has been in the humans diet for centuries. What is killing Americans is this unhealthy addictive processed foods. That and poor genetics. Also a healthcare that profits off of sickness.

I personally think if folks want to go vegan then thats just great. But jackarses that think they need to change how everyone else thinks because they are so pioused they carry around a pulpit.... can go choke on it.


Meat is here to stay. Processed meats are killing us, nitrates and crap are proven aweful. But a good grilled steak is heaven.

And how about that thing called exercise?
 
 
Jul 28, 2009
"only get triggered if you eat a plant based diet"
HA, it's you vegans that are going to die! I'm sure that's not what you meant to type, but it's still funny. Actually there is a big difference between a vegetarian and a vegan, and you'd have to go fully vegan to fall within this group. But there are so few vegans, and the few that are must be so diffent in lifestyle in so many other ways because of the huge commitment that the study is worthless scientifically.
How about charging obsese people four times more, and smokers ten times more? How about limiting daily meds to no more than five prescriptions? How about limiting outrageous payments for frivalous lawsuits? How about shutting off all the advertisements for prescription meds on daytime TV? THEN healthcare might begin to be affordable again.
 
 
Jul 28, 2009
All three of the diseases mentioned also have a genetic factor in addition to diet. Would people with genetic risk factors also be penalized under this system? Also how could an insurance company know for sure that the person claiming to be a vegetarian actually does follow the diet? A good number of people would claim to be vegetarian simply to get the discounted insurance rates.
 
 
Jul 28, 2009
Life without bacon (and steak and hamburgers and brats!!) would seem to be way too long anyway. Sorry, people are meant to be omnivores. Moderation is the key in all things.
 
 
Jul 28, 2009
Well, first of all, you say that these diseases, according to this study, "only get triggered if you eat a plant based diet", which suggests to me that vegans are the ones who should pay extra. Maybe you said it backwards?

Also, many overweight people (including me) can't handle carbohydrates correctly -- our bodies produce too much insulin, so the solution is an Atkins-type diet in which you do the opposite -- eat meat and minimize carbohydrates. When I do that, I feel better and am healthier, so there are many of us out here who actually do better with a meat-based diet. Also take a look at the book "The Zone" by Barry Sears where he contends that about 1/4 of the population have a problem with their bodies producing too much insulin in response to eating carbohydrates. His solution is similar, although he allows more carbs than Atkins. Not all of us have the same metabolism so one diet does not fit all.
 
 
 
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