Not heard of her? Well, she was once a contestant on The Apprentice and pops up occasionally with controversial views. Her website describes her as partly a social commentator, and I think her appearance on The Daily Politics can be placed quite firmly in that category.
Have a watch of this in case you missed it.
I'll wager there are many of you bouncing off the walls like a Tasmanian Devil after seeing that, eh? It's another moment to set alongside Jane Deville-Almond's from 2009. Remember it?
Longrider and Captain Ranty are certainly spitting blood, and I can understand why. However, I am always personally quietly ecstatic when this proposal is pitched as it quickly and efficiently cuts through much of the bullshit we have to suffer from politicians and public health 'experts' on an almost daily basis now.
You see, once you shift the NHS very slightly down the road of charging for certain behaviours, the entire point of the NHS is threatened. Politicians are well aware that there is no official contract with the public on NHS healthcare, despite their charging us for it for decades. National Insurance was originally brought in to cover the cost and - even though it is not hypothecated these days, instead going into one big taxation pot - that's exactly how the public view their "stamp".
There would be uproar if charges began to be levied without anything done about NI payments. In fact, it is quite feasible that a case could be taken through to the European Court (because Westminster would fight it every step of the way) demanding refunds of taxes paid if the assumption of free healthcare was denied carte-blanche for sections of the population, as Hopkins' plan would demand. Just one successful judgement, and the vast level of PPI repayment claims would be pocket money by comparison and the NHS would be bankrupt overnight, if not the country itself.
Just the thought is enough to give sweat-inducing nightmares to politicians of any persuasion. Hence why, in the clip above, Philip Hammond and Emily Thornberry were so incredibly eager to knock the idea on the head as swiftly as humanly possible. Party politics disappear faster than Julian Assange near a foreign embassy once a threat to their budgets rears its ugly head.
These are the same people who have been pumping out this 'cost to the NHS' shit for a couple of decades, yet when Hopkins takes that line to its logical conclusion, they are terrified! They know full well that their bent figures make up one of the biggest and most prevalent lies ever told in Westminster or beyond and, as such, are scared witless of any proposal like this.
If Katie's suggestion gains traction, we could quite conceivably see the hilarious situation where politicians who have been telling the unhealthy how costly they are for years, instantly U-turn and start arguing the opposite (and true) case that the healthy are more expensive. Can you imagine the fun we could have with that?
Now, I want to make it quite clear that Jane Deville-Almond's view is still evil by its very nature, simply for the fact that she is a dedicated and declared fan of the NHS, as well as benefiting herself from NHS funding. She really means it.
But with Hopkins, it's not as clear.
So we have a decision to make. Is Hopkins being serious, in which case she is a jaw-dropping incompetent? Or is she playing a game to highlight how the NHS - or, more specifically, the tax-sponging public health industry which profits from it - is an absurd contradiction in terms and should be changed dramatically from its current form? Which, of course, then makes her a very clever bunny.
At least one anti-smoking 'tobacco costs the NHS zillions' bore was very quick to make his mind up. He's very scared about how this might affect his livelihood.
So, Katie Hopkins. Idiot or genius? You decide.