It is, however, very odd that so many toys are being thrown out of so many prams when their goal of crippling the NHS is going so well.
"Say what, Dick! How do you work that one out?"
Glad you asked. Well, one must surely wonder why it is in the interests of private health insurer, PruHealth, to commission studies like this.
Almost one in three people believe those with health problems caused by alcohol, obesity and smoking should pay extra for their care.See, this is denormalisation in action. The perception has been fostered in the public that such lifestyle choices are anti-social and a drain on resources. Other people should be made to pay for their treatment.
Those with 'self inflicted' health worries should not rely just on the NHS but should be forced to pay for their lifestyles, they say.
The study found that some 69 per cent of people are in favour of adults taking more responsibility for their own health, with just 19 per cent thinking responsibility lies solely with the NHS.
Except for the fact that anyone who pays national insurance payments, or sumptuary taxes, have already paid. To extract more money from those people would mean making them to pay twice for their healthcare. I can see some pretty interesting test cases being brought should such a scheme ever be implemented.
And the great thing about those potential cases is that it only takes one to punch a massive - and possibly fatal - hole in NHS funding. Should it be judged that the public are of the understanding that their NI contributions are their consideration in a healthcare contract with the state (and why wouldn't it be seeing as NI was introduced for that very purpose?), further charging will have to be abandoned or - and this would be bloody fantastic - NI payments would become something one could opt out of.
OK, we know that NI is now just another tax going into the pot, but charging extra for certain patients would starkly illustrate to everyone in the country that NI isn't what they naïvely believed it was, and that they are subject to two different forms of damaging income tax; that the state is dipping into their pockets and thieving from them on a daily basis, and has been for a very long time.
I'm pretty sure PruHealth are well aware of such a scenario, too. They are perfectly au fait with the true actuarial risk of insuring those with 'unapproved' lifestyles - unlike politicians who are blinded by junk stats cascading down on them from fake charities, vested interests, and good old-fashioned greed-motivated rent-seekers - and would be quite happy to cater for the many who would redirect their NI contributions to a private provider.
The poor would lose out, of course, since the NHS would suffer greatly once net contributors jumped ship while those who don't pay into the system remained entitled to free healthcare. But hey, we don't make the rules, do we?
If PruHealth had asked the same people how many of them would wish to see a privatised NHS, the response would probably be quite vitriolically against, yet not many are seemingly able to recognise that charging for lifestyle choices holds the very real danger of ushering in exactly that.
So, why wouldn't PruHealth be fanning the flames of denormalisation ... it's a potential gold mine for them.
And, on the PruHealth study's evidence, every vindictive pronouncement from the public health lobby brings that day of NHS break-up ever nearer.