The idea seems to be that if you have been bad, smoking, drinking, getting fat, well then, you go to the bottom of the queue for those who get treatment. Too fat? No help on fertility for you, dearie? Smoker? Somebody else gets the cancer care first. When waits are long already, this is as good as saying, no care for you.That a service is provided by the government does not make it a public good, in the sense economists use the expression. Consumption is rivalrous, exclusive, and must be rationed in some way.
Free? Universal? Isn't there a corollary to Friedman's First Theorem that applies here?
Creating formal conditions for treatment would build on recent controversial developments in health policy.
Despite the NHS commitment to provide free universal care, it is already common for doctors to set conditions on patients seeking treatment.