Some people object to social minimum programs, including certain health care programs, because they believe the programs impose excessive taxes and other personal costs on those who fund them. This chapter argues that the most plausible philosophical reconstruction of this objection would rely on a personal cost principle which says that, in general, the proper level of the social minimum is at least partly a function of whether the benefits provided by the social minimum programs outweigh the costs, when judged on a scale that assigns disproportionate weight to those who bear the costs. It is argued that the personal cost principle can find a place within several plausible theories of justice, and that, in addition, the benefits of a well-designed universal health insurance system outweigh its costs.
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