Your government-approved lunch

by Crowhill on 27 October 2015

In 1984, the government nanny watches Winston Smith every morning to make sure he does his exercises. Well … when you put the government in charge of health care, there will be pressure in that direction. They need to control costs, after all.

It’s one thing for your health or life insurance company to charge you more if you choose to smoke or hang glide or ride a motorcycle. When it comes right down to it, they don’t care if you smoke and die from cancer. They just want to assign the risks and costs appropriately so they make money on the deal.

The government, on the other hand, wants to “help” people. To shepherd them. And they can exert enormous power to do so.

Consider this. What would happen if child protective services found out that you were letting your 10-year old smoke? You might end up in a world of trouble, because we’ve all been conditioned to think that smoking is a terrible, awful thing. (It is bad for you. Don’t do it.)

Is the same going to happen now if you feed your child bacon, or a hot dog? See Bacon, hot dogs and processed meats cause cancer, WHO says.

Seriously. According to some news stories (which probably got it wrong) WHO is saying that bacon is just as bad as smoking.

I’m not going to imitate the people I heard on the radio this morning and fault the study simply because I like bacon. Maybe processed meats really are that bad for you, and maybe I’ll cut back. Or maybe, like so many other health and diet studies, we’ll find out in a year that the exact opposite is the case.

In any event, I can listen to the advice and make my own decisions.

But … can I? Really? These kinds of things are no longer a matter of prudence for individual citizens to decide, but are becoming matters of public policy and, potentially, matters of enforcement.

There is an appropriate level of government interference in our decisions. IMO, laws requiring seat belts and against selling raw milk are both good ideas, for example.

When the government becomes both the health care provider and the default insurance company, that adds another level of nannying to it, and it makes me uncomfortable.

Originally published at crowhill.net.

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