Saturday, January 10, 2009

Universal Healthcare And The Waistline Police

Imagine a country where the government regularly checks the waistlines of citizens over age 40. Anyone deemed too fat would be required to undergo diet counseling. Those who fail to lose sufficient weight could face further "reeducation" and their communities subject to stiff fines.

Is this some nightmarish dystopia? No, this is contemporary Japan. The Japanese government argues that it must regulate citizens' lifestyles because it is paying their health costs.

This highlights one of the greatly underappreciated dangers of "universal healthcare." Any government that attempts to guarantee healthcare must also control its costs. The inevitable next step will be to seek to control citizens' health and their behavior. Hence, Americans should beware that if we adopt universal healthcare, we also risk creating a "nanny state on steroids" antithetical to core American principles.

~Dr. Paul Hsieh writing in the Christian Science Monitor

Thanks to Ben Cunningham.

9 Comments:

At 1/10/2009 11:57 AM, Blogger Milena said...

Sick sick sick. This is just sick.

The only difference between an obese person and a bulimic, apparently, is that the bulimic is "smart" enough to throw up their food and get sympathy from the public for their "disorder." Whereas the obese should be ashamed and singled out for keeping their food down.

Sick.

 
At 1/10/2009 1:25 PM, Blogger Dean said...

Milena,
+1.

 
At 1/10/2009 2:19 PM, Anonymous Machiavelli999 said...

Imagine a country in which businesses spend more on health care for their employees than on raw materials for their products.

Oh wait, that's our country.

 
At 1/10/2009 2:38 PM, Anonymous Mark said...

The distinction here is that the spending increases will come with universal healthcare from Pres-elect Obama; however, the cost controls will not. So, as much as I don't want the gov't worrying about waistlines, this won't be a problem because we'll just be paying for the excessive waistlines and all the costs that come with that. That's what one might call a "lose-lose" situation.

 
At 1/10/2009 3:18 PM, Blogger 1 said...

"Imagine a country in which businesses spend more on health care for their employees than on raw materials for their products"...

A business doesn't have to spend money on employee health care, its a contract which each side reached a compromise without some socialist parasite (a.k.a. government bureaucrat) mandating it...

Imagine a country where slapping down a socialist nonsense earns one a tax deduction...

 
At 1/10/2009 4:01 PM, Anonymous richard said...

Hold on, cowboys,

Aren't we getting this backwards?

Obese people cost less to society than slim people, because they live much shorter? Don't have to pay pension & stuff like that.

?

 
At 1/10/2009 5:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

we worry about tax payer money increasing and going to universal health care..isn't already to bailout the Big 3's Health Care plan? This removes their excuse saying the effect on foreign cars health care cost is minimum since the government helps with the tab...this equals less qualifying reason for bailing out poor performing companies.. What if we just used all this bailout money here in US for Universal Healthcare vs bailing out companies...because in the end the tax payer is paying it anyways..the interesting circle

 
At 1/10/2009 7:12 PM, Anonymous Machiavelli999 said...

A business doesn't have to spend money on employee health care, its a contract which each side reached a compromise without some socialist parasite (a.k.a. government bureaucrat) mandating it...

Umm, right and the businesses of America have made that contract a long time ago. What is your point?

That is not the reason health care costs are out of control.

 
At 1/11/2009 12:45 AM, Blogger bobble said...

"Those who fail to lose sufficient weight could face further "reeducation" and their communities subject to stiff fines"

wrong solution.

these people increase the cost of health care, whether it is privately paid or government provided.

for private insurance it should be higher premiums for higher weight (or cigarette use, etc).

for public insurance it should be a health care fat (or cigarette) tax. they are entitled to live their life as they please, but they should incur some of the cost

 

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