Rather than denying care when the unvaccinated fall sick, it might make more sense to hold accountable the vast majority of intentionally unvaccinated people, who took the identical risk and did not land in the ER. Maybe we should charge them more for health insurance, given the costs they impose on society. Maybe we should require vaccination in key job roles (as many companies have done already, as has the Biden administration). It’s right, in the proper domain, to enforce important social norms—including through financial pressures. We liberals aren’t always comfortable saying so. Yet as the late public policy scholar Mark Kleiman famously emphasized, swift, certain and fair sanctions are key arrows in the quiver to deter anti-social behaviors ranging from gun violence to white-collar crime.
Posted on by Kelly Smith