“A Nanny State On Steroids”

(Doctor) Paul Hsieh explains why lovers of freedom should fear “universal health care”:

Government attempts to regulate individual lifestyles are based on the claim that they must limit medical costs that would otherwise be a burden on “society.” But this issue can arise only in “universal healthcare” systems where taxpayers must pay for everyone’s medical expenses.

Although American healthcare is only under partial government control in the form of programs such as Medicaid and Medicare, American nanny state regulations have exploded in recent years.

Many American cities ban restaurants from selling foods with trans fats. Los Angeles has imposed a moratorium on new fast food restaurants in South L.A. Other California cities ban smoking in some private residences. California has outlawed after-school bake sales as part of a “zero tolerance” ban on selling sugar products on campus. New York Gov. David Paterson has proposed an 18 percent tax on sugary sodas and juice drinks, and state officials have not ruled out additional taxes on cheeseburgers and other foods deemed unhealthy.

These ominous trends will only accelerate if the US adopts universal healthcare.

But how could it be a nanny state on steroids? That’s probably one of the first things that will be banned…

8 thoughts on ““A Nanny State On Steroids””

  1. The other big problem is when the consensus gets it wrong. The Kyoto-like laws are bad enough, but they (mostly) just cost money. The current medical establishment has it all wrong at the moment though with their faith in the holiness of whole grains and sinfulness of saturated fats. Epidemic obesity and heart disease didn’t really exist until we moved off of butter and lard to vegetable oils and Crisco, but I bet some misguided fool in Washington will ban the cure for our ills if he listens to that fathead Dean Ornish.

  2. Banning Steroids wouldnt mean much.

    Steroids are already schedule 1 controlled
    and banned from College and international sports.
    Most pro teams except baseball have banned them.

    And given the damage Apollo on Steroids has done
    to NASA, they appear bad even metaphorically

  3. Keep in mind that there is already a default “universal health care” in existence. Even if I don’t have insurance or a cent to my name, I can stumble into an emergency room and get treatment, if I am “critically ill”. That is not likely to change because turning the uninsured away from hospitals is going to remain extremely unpopular politically.

  4. What makes me sad is the world my 11 month old son is going to grow up in.

    I was born in 1968. My childhood was a lot easier than his will be.

    Additionally, he’s going to think the nanny state and robot-controlled cars are ok.

    He just won’t have the experience to know better.

  5. Realized just now I should probably clarify that last a bit. Was directed at Mr. Lee.

    If you want a real close look at what can be banned under the aegis of “universal health care,” just take a look at the UK. Where students in elementary schools can earn go-home suspensions for smuggling in sweets and selling them to their classmates (at a significant markup). No word was forthcoming when the students were sent home, as to whether the punishment was due to their violating “we know how to run your life better than you do” regulations, or whether it was due to their black-market profiteering. Knowing nuLab, the latter is as likely as the former.

    I can’t speak for the rest of us here at Mr. S’s place (let alone Mr S. himself), but I trust my fellow citizens to make their own choices regarding their lives – and I expect that courtesy to be shown both ways. Which is why I can say that I truly think this “universal health care” rubbish is the most dangerous threat to personal liberty since the elimination of slavery, without any exaggeration.

  6. But how could it be a nanny state on steroids? That’s probably one of the first things that will be banned…

    Remember that the former chairman of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness (and current Governor of California) used steroids. He also helped to popularize the current cigar habit. There are always exceptions for the chic.

  7. This is kind of small potatoes. Lovers of freedom should fear and loathe “universal health care” because:

    (1) You won’t be given any choice in how you get your medical care. Want to try seeds instead of surgery for your prostate cancer, because you fear impotence? Too bad, the Federal Department of Health has already made that choice for you. Are you willing and able to pay the substantial cost of going to the expert cardiac center and having angioplasty within 30 minutes of your heart attack, so you can limit the amount of heart muscle lost? Too bad. The Federal Department of Health has already decided that the citizens can only “afford” to give the first 5 victims a day this kind of top-quality treatment — and you were the 6th to walk into the ER today.

    (2) You won’t have any recourse for bad service. If Verizon treats you badly over your cell phone bill, you can always tell them to go to hell and switch to AT&T. If Kaiser keeps you waiting forever in the ER, you can give some other hospital or health plan a spin. But when you’ve got the National Health Service, you’re limited to filing complaints. You can’t sue the government for screwing up, and you can’t punish them by taking your health-care money elsewhere, because you no longer have any choice about where your health-care money goes.

    I can understand Hsieh’s focus, however. The principal drivers of universal health care are the young, who are flipped out about paying huge amounts of money for routine and minor care. These folks have no clue about how important it is to be able to control your own health care, because they’re only familiar with broken bones and whatnot, low skill stuff, where it really doesn’t matter if a DMV or Post Office employee or trained ape did the job.

    Furthermore, they are annoyed by “nanny state” stuff that tells them how to live. Reminds them too much of Mom and Dad, whom they’ve just escaped.

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