Over the weekend, conservative commentator Ann Coulter appeared on Fox News’ “Geraldo at Large,” where she debated anti-obesity activist MeMe Roth. While the conversation was initially centered upon New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his proposed (and enacted) policies on sugary drinks, smoking and other related subjects, it ended up taking an unsuspected turn.
In making the point that cigarette smoke isn’t the only activity that impacts overall health care costs, Coulter noted that sodomy, gay bathhouses and AIDS are all issues that also raise the cost of medical care.
Her point? If the government is going to go after smokers with the rationale that their activities impact the greater society, why not go after those who use gay bathhouses and, as a result, are at increased risk for health-related expenses?
Coulter noted that she wasn’t advocating for the latter point and that she was simply comparing Bloomberg’s policies on smoking and cigarettes to other issues that she said have a similar health impact. The conservative pundit posited the sodomy comparison as Roth was doubling-down on defending the mayor’s bans.
“There’s lots of behavior that’s worse,” Coulter said, later decrying the fact that smokers are regularly singled-out for their actions. “People know smoking is bad for you and…all of the stigma of the world comes down on this one behavior.”
But Roth wasn’t budging, as she noted that smoking is a costly personal choice.
“If you make a personal decision that ends up costing others money, somebody has to pick up that tab,” she said. “If we’re picking up the tab, somebody’s got to help pay for that.”
Coulter responded by blaming Obamacare for increased costs that smokers will incur (you can read more about surcharges that smokers will face starting next year as a result of the Affordable Care Act). Then, she issued her comparison — one that clearly surprised Roth.
“If we have to worry about smokers because of Obamacare, I think we even have to do something about the gay bathhouses, because AIDS is very expensive and if I’m paying for it, how about discouraging that behavior,” she said.
The anti-obesity activist responded by noting that AIDS doesn’t only impact homosexuals, however Coulter continued, driving her point home about punishing people who engage in risky behaviors. She essentially asked: Why punish one dangerous activity that could become costly to the health care system and taxpayers at large and not the other?
“I’m just saying, if the argument is, ‘Smoking, well we all have to pay,’ [then] sodomy: we all have to pay,” Coulter continued. “You’re the one making the argument fine go ahead have your bathhouses.”
Watch the controversial segment, below:
It became clear that the two parties weren’t going to agree and Coulter proceeded to dismiss Bloomberg as “a politically correct nanny” — a label she also ascribed to Roth.
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