Letter: Get consumers to change bad eating habits by hitting their wallets

Perhaps government banning of sugary drinks oversteps. It is a meaningful effort to reduce the burden of obesity on everyone. One thing that has stood out in the debate over health care reform is repeated statements from health care consumers that they do not want to pay for the other guy's health problems. There is one sure way to get consumers on board with changes in habits and consumption and to take more responsibility in their lifestyle choices. Through the wallet. How about higher co-payments for folks whose BMI, which does not lie, is over the recommended goal? It is entirely reasonable for them to pay more out their own pockets for their back and knee surgeries. Smokers? Same thing: Significant co-pays for lung surgeries.  We know for a fact that these two habits harm a person's health in many ways.  Leave the drinks. Offer, however, a better choice in the same vending machine or in the school cafeteria. Let the people make their choices. Let them pay accordingly.

A. Conlin

Ellicott City

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