Monday, November 23, 2009

My Dear Old Nanny

In Saturday's NY Post, Reason's Jacob Sallum points out how the calorie counting mindset is poised to be incorporated into ObamaCare: "The most conspicuous effect you will see from President Obama's health-care overhaul won't be at your doctor's office or the hospital. It will be at your local Burger King. That's assuming the Senate goes along with a provision, already approved by the House, that requires restaurant chains with 20 or more locations to display calorie counts on their menus. Although supporters claim such mandates have the power to make people thinner and prevent obesity-related disease, New York City's experience suggests they have little or no impact, possibly because customers who are interested in nutritional information can already obtain it."

Now we have commented extensively on this silly but dangerous regulation-and our observations were given a forum last month in the NY Post, where we pointed out: "And the lesson here — just as with the failed menu-labeling regulation — is that you need to educate the folks in order to change their behavior. This involves treating them as functional adults who can think and act for themselves."

Education, however, isn't the goal of the new health care mandates-and the trend should be obvious. If the federal government gains full regulatory control over the health care of 200 million + Americans, it will begin to set the parameters by which we all will have to live. After all, if the government (read tax payers) is paying for your health care it will have the right to tell you what to eat and how to live-under the rubric of no one should be made to pay for the mistakes or the unhealthy habits of others (except, it seems, when it comes to abortion).

If you think this sounds alarmist-remember the pushback over the "death panels" claim-then you're someone who hasn't lived in New York under the reign of Mother Tom Frieden (now, fittingly, the head of Obama's CDC). Government run or controlled health care will be the most intrusive federal program yet into the most intimate aspects of the lives of all Americans.

And the fact that some of the mandated behavioral changes are inane-as is calorie posting-will not make one damn difference to the nannycrats. For them, it's all about control-and their self-delusion that they know best how others should be living their lives.