The Life And Death Business

Megan McArdle:

The other major reason that I am against national health care is the increasing license it gives elites to wrap their claws around every aspect of everyone’s life. Look at the uptick in stories on obesity in the context of health care reform. Fat people are a problem! They’re killing themselves, and our budget! We must stop them! And what if people won’t do it voluntarily? Because let’s face it, so far, they won’t. Making information, or fresh vegetables, available, hasn’t worked–every intervention you can imagine on the voluntary front, and several involuntary ones, has already been tried either in supermarkets or public schools. Americans are getting fat because they’re eating fattening foods, and not exercising. How far are we willing to go beyond calorie labelling on menus to get people to slim down?

These aren’t just a way to save on health care; they’re a way to extend and expand the cultural hegemony of wealthy white elites. No, seriously. Living a fit, active life is correlated with being healthier. But then, as an economist recently pointed out to me, so is being religious, being married, and living in a small town; how come we don’t have any programs to promote these “healthy lifestyles”? When you listen to obesity experts, or health wonks, talk, their assertions boil down to the idea that overweight people are either too stupid to understand why they get fat, or have not yet been made sufficiently aware of society’s disgust for their condition. Yet this does not describe any of the overweight people I have ever known, including the construction workers and office clerks at Ground Zero. All were very well aware that the burgers and fries they ate made them fat, and hitting the salad bar instead would probably help them lose weight. They either didn’t care, or felt powerless to control their hunger. They were also very well aware that society thought they were disgusting, and many of them had internalized this message to the point of open despair. What does another public campaign about overeating have to offer them, other than oozing condescension?

Do read the whole thing, this is only her secondary reason for opposing nationalized health care. Nonetheless, it is important. (You can also get all the coordinated troll’s talking points from the comments. No echo chamber there.)

Do you really want the government to decide who lives and who dies? Have you ever seen the government run anything well?

This is not something I want decided by faceless bureaucrats with better health plans than I would be allowed under ObamaCare. This is one thing we desperately need to keep the government out of. All you young supporters of ObamaCare, just keep in mind that you will eventually grow old and face the hard fact of a bureaucrat’s decision that you are not worthy of treatment. Then you’ll be Orszaged – given some pills rather than treatment.

This entry was posted in Medicine, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Life And Death Business

  1. syn says:

    My dad was a health-nut freak who followed the preventive health brigade-ie., abhorred smokers and smoking, drank moderate wine, exercised daily, kept his weight just under normal, bi-yearly medical exams,took vitamins and meditated yet,

    he died at the age of 69 just 3 months after being diagnosed with stage 4 small cell lung cancer (the same thing which kill anti-smoker opera singer Beverly Sills)

    My mom was not a health-nut freak, did not exercise but spent time outdoors, smoked (my parents divorced when I was very young), was a little-over weight and she was diagnosed with brain cancer the same year as my dad yet she lived five years longer passing at the age of 76.

    There is no rhyme or reason to any this and no amount of Universal-Government provided health care would have changed the outcome.

    I do think however that genetics will primarily determine my state of health and I hope I can be as graceful in dealing with my death as were my parents.

    I have chosen to deal my life and death by putting both in God’s hands; it is comforting to feel that whatever happens as scary as these things can be I know I am in loving, caring hands.

    Faith, it’s amazing grace heals all ills.

  2. Foxfier says:

    Sleeping around has a lot bigger effect than being slightly over weight*, but you won’t find any pols willing to come out against THAT…

    What’s the stat? Three partners, even with “safe sex,” raises the cervical cancer risk of a woman by some incredible amount– I think it was over 1000%? (yes, that’s the right number of zeros)

    *(even ignoring studies that show that the current definition of ‘overweight’ has the same life/health expectancy as ‘normal,’ while ‘underweight’ and ‘obese’ are tied on negative, and ‘morbid obesity’ is what most pols draw their fear-stories from)

Comments are closed.