Friday, August 14, 2009

Bar The Door

Tim from Colorado e-mails to speculate about where government control of heath care might one day lead:

If a government health care bill passes, in what ever possible form, I can envision the day when the government tells us what foods we can eat, what beverages we can drink, and what activities we can participate in, all because the higher risks of not following the government's rules will lead to increased health care costs.

For instance, fast food will be eliminated, or the menus will be greatly changed, because the government will say eating Big Macs and fries leads to heart disease. You would no longer be able to enjoy more than two or three beers or mixed drinks per week because the government cannot afford to treat sclerosis of the liver. That pack a day habit will have to get cut down to two packs per month.

How would the government know if you cheated on the rules? Easy; they'll issue you a government health care card which you would have to present to a doctor to get treated, but the government could also later mandate that to buy fast food, cigarettes, booze, or other detriments to our health, you'd also have to present your health care card, which could then be used to track how much or how often you bought stuff on the government's no-no list.

Am I being a nutter here? I'm not saying this will happen, but is it not possible?

Whoa there Tim. One has to be careful about discussing such matters lest one be accused of spreading "disinformation" and "right-wing lies" about health care. It's still okay to think about things like that (at least for now), but it's very disruptive and quite possibly un-American to share such thoughts in public. Please turn yourself in to the White House and await further instructions on how to begin your rehabilitation process.

At The Corner, Jonah Goldberg sows similar fears and discord with a post called Health Care Is the Door to Controlling Everything:

A point I didn't flesh out too much in my column seems to have struck a chord with a lot of readers nonetheless. Once the government decides it is in charge of health care, it has a say in everything you do (this, natch, was an argument of my book). Guns, diet, and cars are more relevant to our slightly lower life expectancy than insurance premiums and reimbursement rates, so of course Henry Waxman and Barbara Boxer and the rest of the gang are going to use their control over the health-care system as an excuse to go after those aspects of our lives. Why wouldn't they? They already want to influence those aspects of our lives now. Health care is really the only other policy area--after "the children" and global warming--that gives the State access to the most private spheres of our lives. Whenever someone says "it's a health-care issue" it's somehow supposed to trump traditional rights and liberties. That's what the push in the 1990s to make gun control a health-care issue was all about. That's why cameras once used to catch terrorists are now used to catch people eating in their cars in the U.K.

I've never heard anyone say something is a "health-care issue" as a preface to an argument for getting the government out of something.

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