German MP: overweight people must pay more on health

Thu Jul 22, 2010 1:37pm EDT
 
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BERLIN (Reuters) - A conservative member of Germany's parliament wants overweight people to pay more for healthcare insurance, arguing that their unhealthy lifestyle is putting too much of a strain on hospitals.

Marco Wanderwitz, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU), told Bild newspaper on Thursday it was not fair for those leading healthier lives to have to pay for those who raised healthcare costs by being overweight.

"It's legitimate to ask the question if the immense costs that are caused by the excessive consumption of food should continue to be paid for by everyone else," Wanderwitz said, referring to an estimated nine million overweight Germans.

"I think that it would be sensible if those who deliberately lead unhealthy lives would be held financially accountable for that," he added.

(Writing by Erik Kirschbaum, editing by Tim Pearce)