" You can't take an 18-month training program and produce a machine-learning scientist"
He is right you can't, however that does not mean we do not need to change the system to encourage more American talent to go down this route. This is actually why a bidding system for H1Bs would be great. People with high level skills will continue to be allowed in. Also those with high potential will also be brought in. The Low skill low talent low cost hacks will be priced out. We have enough people who can fill that need with the 18--month training programs.
You under estimate the cost of healthcare/chronic illness. £15 * 2 times a day * 365 days * 30 years = only £328,500. The healthcare costs can EASILY eclipse that. In USD "total cost of a single lung transplant to be $561,200.
To compensate for the long term healthcare costs and chronic treatment throughout the smokers life. Something like £30-£50 seems more appropriate.
"Just think of a computer as hardware you can program." -- Nigel de la Tierre