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British Health Care: Exercise or Else!

You get what you pay for, goes the adage, and it certainly is true when it comes to nationalized health care. Britons thought that they were entitled to medical treatment. Not so fast! It turns out that they have "responsibilities," in the view of Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Reports the Daily Telegraph:
Patients could be required to stop smoking, take exercise or lose weight before they can be treated on the National Health Service, Gordon Brown has suggested. In a New Year message to NHS staff, the Prime Minister indicates people may have to fulfil new "responsibilities" in order to establish their entitlement to care. The new conditions could be set out in a formal NHS "constitution", Mr Brown says. In his open letter to doctors, nurses and other health workers, the Prime Minister promises to press on with Tony Blair's reforms of the NHS, pledging more personalised care for all patients.

He adds: "We will also examine how all these changes can be enshrined in a new constitution of the NHS, setting out for the first time the rights and responsibilities associated with an entitlement to NHS care."

Next the government should consider controlling what people eat. London could limit how much junk food people can buy. No more midnight runs for ice cream. And forget that British classic, greasy fish 'n chips! Americans should take heed: Beware what you ask for when you're asking government to take care of you.