One of the problems with all the candidates' health care policies is that they all tout losing weight and quitting smoking as one of the keys to our being able to afford universal health care. Besides the holier-than-thou moralizing and the infuriating paternalism embodied in this approach is something I've long suspected, just from looking at my own family:
good clean living is not the key to a cheap and painless death.
If you got stuck with the genes for cancer, it makes no real difference if you get the disease at 50 or at 80, it's still going to cost about the same amount to treat it. If you got stuck with the genes for heart disease, it makes no real difference if your first heart attack is at 40 or 70, it's still going to cost about the same amount to treat it.
And if you didn't get any of those genes, but instead got stuck with the genes for Alzheimers, why in the name of all that is cost conscious did you not take up smoking at a young age and have the grace to die of lung cancer? Because Alzheimers, besides the emotional havoc it wreaks on its victims and their loved ones, is a truly expensive and often lengthy way to shuffle off this mortal coil.
So, now we can finally get off this 'personal responsibility' kick and lay the blame for out-of-control health care costs where it belongs: at the feet of the health-care-industry vultures --- pharmaceutical companies and for-profit insurance companies being good ones to start with.