Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

December 29, 2005

Government Micromanagement

I find it quite curious and fascinating (in a morbid sort of way) that the same side of the political aisle that is so eager to “get the government out of the bedroom” when it comes to things like abortion and homosexuality, is so eager to set up a government-run and government-paid-for health care system, which will put government into not only your bedroom, but your kitchen, living room, and anywhere else you go.

As Coyote Blog puts it, it’s a “Health Care Care Trojan Horse“:

I get email and comments from time to time that my language deriding government’s intervention into every aspect of our lives is overblown and exaggerated. My answer: Oh yeah, well how about this:

Mike Huckabee, the Governor of Arkansas, now requires annual fat reports. These are sent to the parents of every single child aged between 5 and 17; a response, he says, to “an absolutely epidemic issue that we could not ignore” in the 1,139 schools for which he is responsible.

As I have argued many times in the past, a large part of the blame for these initiatives is public funding of health care. Beyond the efficiency and choice arguments, I have tried to point out that publicly funded health care is a Trojan horse for a number of truly intrusive nanny-state government controls of our lives.

When health care is paid for by public funds, politicians only need to argue that some behavior affects health, and therefore increases the state’s health care costs, to justify regulating the crap out of that behavior. Already, states have essentially nationalized the cigarette industry based on this argument.

And later he writes:

The logic is that by paying for your health care, the government can argue it has a financial interest in your not eating fatty foods, not smoking, wearing a bike helmet, exercising, etc, decisions that would otherwise only affect the individual themself.

For those who often accuse me of exaggerated paranoia when it comes to government intervention, check out this from the UK:

People who are grossly overweight, who smoke heavily or drink excessively could be denied surgery or drugs following a decision by a Government agency yesterday. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) which advises on the clinical and cost effectiveness of treatments for the NHS, said that in some cases the “self-inflicted” nature of an illness should be taken into account.

Sorry, but I told you so. What’s next? Is an unwanted pregnancy “self-inflicted”? How about an STD from unprotected sex?

Well, there’s a way to get the Left’s attention…

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