'Willfully unvaccinated' slammed: Missouri newspaper suggests anti-vaxxers pay higher insurance premiums
Twitter/screen grab

Now that the FDA has given full approval to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, a major newspaper is taking the stand that Americans who refuse to take measures to protect themselves and their loved ones from the risk of infection should pay the price in the form of higher insurance premiums.

In an editorial in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, the editors made the case that, outside of those whose health issues prevent them from getting vaccinated, the last reason to avoid the shot or shots has withered away.

As the editorial notes, health insurance companies have routinely charged smokers larger premiums for endangering their health and that anti-vaxxers should face the same penalties.

The editors wrote, "... some advocates are calling for making the willfully unvaccinated pay higher insurance rates to cover the costs they're incurring in the health care system," before adding they agree.

Noting that the Affordable Care Act -- also known as Obamacare -- specifically allowed for charging smokers more, the editors made the case that, "Resurgent coronavirus infections, led by the delta variant, are now causing a full pandemic resurgence. Infection and death rates are rising dramatically even though vaccine rejection has become a political badge of honor in certain areas. Hospital beds are filling. Alabama, a national hotbed of vaccine obstinance, is completely out of intensive care unit beds."

They continued, "The only sliver of justification for the holdouts (and it is a sliver) was that the Food and Drug Administration's approval of the vaccines was done on a fast-track emergency basis — necessary to get the vaccines out there as soon as possible. But it has had the unfortunate effect of allowing some critics to claim, falsely, that the approval process was somehow inadequate."

That argument, the editorial asserted is now "moot."

"Allowing the insurance industry to charge higher premiums for the unvaccinated would likely require changing the rules governing Obamacare, which would mean a major fight in Congress. It would be a fight worth having," they wrote before concluding, "The sooner society stops treating this pandemic as a culture war skirmish and starts treating it as the public health crisis it is, the better."

You can the whole piece here.