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Germans: Overweight Should Pay ‘Fat Tax’

From the UK’s Telegraph:

Overweight people should pay ‘fat tax’ to cover healthcare costs, German MP says

Overweight people should pay higher taxes in order to cover the extra costs they create for German’s healthcare system, a conservative MP has said.

By Allan Hall in Berlin
22 Jul 2010

"The question must be admitted whether the immense costs that, for example, arise from excessive consumption of food, can be permanently paid out of the consolidated health system," said Marco Wanderwitz, the conservative MP for the state of Saxony.

For the record, “wanderwitz” in German means ‘wandering joke.’

"I think it’s sensible that people who knowingly live unhealthily carry a responsibility for it in a financial respect," said Mr Wanderwitz, who is also head of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats’s group of young parliamentarians.

He was supported by Juergen Wasem, an economist who said foods like chocolate should carry health warnings.

"As with tobacco, we should tax the purchase of unhealthy consumer goods at a higher rate and pay that tax into the health system," he said.

‘First, they came for the smokers. And I didn’t speak up because I did not smoke…’

Germany’s health system is funded by a series of mandatory health insurance funds, all of which are reporting serious deficits as the system is overused.

But don’t ‘fat people’ die sooner? Doesn’t that actually save the healthcare system money? Isn’t it really ‘healthy people,’ the people who end up living a long time, who end up costing the healthcare system the most money in the long run?

Bild, the German newspaper, estimated that treatment for obesity-related illnesses cost Germany some £16 billion [$24.6 billion] a year.

Recently the German Teachers’ Association recommended weighing children in class each day and reporting the seriously overweight to social services, who would have the power to remove them to clinics

(Mit accent:) ‘Do not be afraid. It is only a veight loss clinic.’

But don’t worry. It can’t happen here.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Friday, July 23rd, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

12 Responses to “Germans: Overweight Should Pay ‘Fat Tax’”

  1. proreason

    What about heavy breathers?

    Drooling Barney will owe a fortune.

    Of course, he could avoid little boys. That would save him gazillions.

  2. Reality Bytes

    Good to see the Germans are improving. At least they’re not advocating making their soap from fat folks.

  3. Rusty Shackleford

    Where’s that YouTube “Hitler gets angry” video when you need it?

  4. NoNeoCommies

    It shouldn’t take long for some enterprising law firms to remind these idiots that genetics play a big role in “apparent” obesity.
    Pima Indians, for instance, appear to be overweight but have healthy levels of cholesterol and triglycerides and low rates of heart disease.

  5. TwilightZoned

    And this is only the beginning of dictatorship.

  6. 64dodger

    Who will determine which foods are unhealthy?

    I know for sure red meat will be on the list.

    • beautyofreason

      “He was supported by Juergen Wasem, an economist who said foods like chocolate should carry health warnings. ”

      Chocolate comes from the cacao bean. Dark chocolate contains healthy plant flavoniods that reduce cholesterol and the risk of blood clots.

      But hey, chocolate sounds bad.
      Let’s tax it and subsidize tofu instead.
      Yuck.

    • confucius

      This thread got me wondering if there are fat vegetarians. On asking the Great Internet, I found these obese vegetarians:

      Kelly Osbourne
      Rue McClanahan
      Meat Loaf
      Forest Whitaker

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


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