I'll say it again: Socialized medicine makes your lifestyle into everyone else's business.
From the article:
If you happen to be the 1-in-3 Americans who is neither obese nor overweight (and, thus, considered at risk of becoming obese), you might well conclude that the habits of the remaining two-thirds of Americans are costing you, big time. U.S. life expectancies are expected to slide backward, after years of marching upward. (But that's their statistical problem: Yours is how to make them stop costing you all that extra money because they are presumably making poor choices in their food consumption.)Why don't we just let private insurance companies charge higher rates for obese people. The more obese you are the more you have to pay. Seems like it would work for me.
I think the airlines tried that strategy and the LWM gave them a big ration of something stinky over it.
Here is some more from the article:
Key among the "interventions" the report weighs is that of imposing an excise or sales tax on fattening foods. That, says the report, could be expected to lower consumption of those foods. But it would also generate revenues that could be used to extend health insurance coverage to the uninsured and under-insured, and perhaps to fund campaigns intended to make healthy foods more widely available to, say, low-income Americans and to encourage exercise and healthy eating habits.From that I gather that this isn't about health but rather it's about power and taking money from people to use for things that nobody wants. Obese people in general are sort of like white men in that they are one of the few groups that you can still ridicule in public and get away with it. Just tax the fat people until they are skinny and use the money you take from them to pay for socialized medicine.
What is this nonsense about trying to "make healthy foods more widely available to, say, low-income Americans"? Maybe if low-income obese people didn't spend all their money of high priced fast food and junk food they could afford fruits and vegetables. Low-income obese people don't need the government to take money from other people to buy them healthy food. They need to make good decisions about their diet and exercise.
I've got another idea: Nobody that is overweight should receive food stamps.
It never fails when I'm at the grocery store some 350+ pounder is in there using food stamps to buy 12 loaves of bread and 6 gallons of whole milk. Then they take out a wad of cash to buy twinkies, chips, beer, cigs, soda, and every other kind of fattening food they can find. How can the government give food stamps to people that weigh that much!?
And although 40 U.S. states now impose modest extra sales taxes on soft drinks and a few snack items, the Urban Institute report suggests that a truly forceful "intervention" -- one that would drive down the consumption of fattening foods and, presumably, prevent or reverse obesity -- would have to target pretty much all the fattening and nutritionally empty stuff we eat: "With a more narrowly targeted tax, consumers could simply substitute one fattening food or beverage for another," the reports says.I didn't know that many states already had these taxes. Of course someone seemed to be surprised that if you raise the price of twinkies by 25% then twinkie eaters will switch to moon pies or chips. Wow, you should have smoked less dope and paid more attention in Econ 101 when you were in college and that wouldn't be so surprising. For that matter if you had any sense at all you wouldn't need Econ 101 to tell you that.
Of course, the United States also would have to adopt extensive menu- and food-labeling changes that would make "good foods" easily distinguishable from the bad ones subject to added taxes. Not to worry though: Several European countries, most notably Great Britain, have led the way in this area.I suggest that if you raise the price of ho-ho's to where they are more expensive than raisins or apples then even stupid people will start eating more raisins and apples and fewer ho-ho's. I chuckle at the thought of certain welfare people eating something called "ho-ho's".
I don't think we need to tax food. I think we need to drop the whole idea of socialized medicine. If there is a problem with obese people driving up the cost of healthcare then let insurance companies charge more based on how overweight people are. That will motivate people to be healthier.
The thing that strikes me most about the article is the condescending attitude. The whole thing reeks of liberal wanna-be elitism. Check out the last line of that paragraph from above:
Not to worry though: Several European countries, most notably Great Britain, have led the way in this area.
Isn't it wonderful that Great Britain has bestowed upon it's subjects the great benefit of a label to tell them that twinkies are bad for them. Of course the dirty, unwashed masses aren't smart enough to know what is good for them so the government will have to tell them, as if that will help anything.
The article goes on to praise the idea of food taxes and the crazy numbers they made up about how much revenue they think they can raise for other socialist programs.
I think I want to go have a donut and a Dr. Pepper.