I have quoted these words from Mark Twain many times. They never lose their relevance:
There are people who strictly deprive themselves of each and every eatable, drinkable and smokable which has in any way acquired a shady reputation. They pay this price for health. And health is all they get for it. How strange it is. It is like paying out your whole fortune for a cow that has gone dry.
I am willing to sink to my knees and plead with any bureaucrat to explain Twain’s simple meaning. I will not succeed and convert my audience more than five times out of every five hundred, but I will do my level best.
With the coming of Obamacare, the reign of the progressive mantra “Right to Choose!” is over—to be replaced by a “right” to listen to government “guidelines”, which will be mandatory. You may not choose to smoke. You may not choose to drink a pop over 16 ounces. You may not eat, drink, or smoke that which the government and its Enlightened advisors fears.
Why? Because health is all that matters. Quantity of life will replace quality of life as the ne plus ultra of medicine. Living here and now and for as long as possible, when all there is, as we will increasingly be told, is nothing but the here and now, will be our only goal.
Until one becomes too old. Paradoxically, once people pass an age where they are too unattractive, or deemed unfit to serve society, or it is gauged too expensive to prolong their lives, seniors will rightly fear having wandered into a 1970s-era Charleton Heston movie.
For an example of progressive perplexion, Matt Ridley begins a plea in the Wall Street Journal by saying, “Almost everybody agrees that [obesity] is a growing burden on health systems and that it requires urgent attention from policy makers. But almost everybody also agrees that no policy for reducing obesity is working.”
It is not clear what Ridley means by “almost everybody”, especially in “everybody’s” call for “urgent” attention by “policy makers.” Perhaps Ridley overestimates the proportion of concerned in the same way he overestimates when he writes, “Some 32% of adult American men and 35% of women are clinically obese.” The key to understanding these statistics comes from noticing that “clinically obese” bears the same relation to “obese” as “legally insane” bears to “insane.”
What is true is that there are more fatter people in 2012 than there were in, say, 1982. But instead of celebrating the universal availability of cheap food, since the lack and expense of the same has been the overarching human predicament for all of recorded history—until yesterday—all we can do is complain and call for government intervention to stop people from enjoying themselves.
Here are just a sample of what we will see in the tsunami of regulations about to appear from Obamacare, as the tweet above shows is already happening in Britain.
- Ever-present calls for more spending. Bureaucracies are like malignant cancers which grow without restraint unless their food supply (money) is cut off. This has happened in every country which implemented socialized medicine.
- An increase in disease. Rather, an increase in diagnosed diseases, and not necessarily in real rates. And a rise in the number of new, mostly mental diseases or mild but exaggerated somatic “syndromes”. These findings will lead back to #1.
- Rules, bannings, regulations, and then more of the same.
As evidence of the last, this simple list built in just five minutes internet searching. I invite you to add to it. As the government will invite itself to do, ad nauseum.
- Classic kids games like kickball deemed unsafe by state in effort to increase summer camp regulation
- Deep-fried foods banned at NYC Health Department agency lunches.
- Boston Mayor Thomas Menino KOs Soda
- San Fran bans secondhand smoke from tobacco shop workers.
- Chicago school bans some lunches brought from home But what about the children!
- Congress-approved calorie limits on school lunches went into effect in August. But what about the children!
- Arkansas school bans peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches from home. But what… oh, hell, you get the idea.
- National Physicians Group Pushes Banning Milk from School Lunches
- Concord, Mass., the first US city to ban sale of plastic water bottles Oops. That’s “environmental.”
- New York City bans food donations No calorie counts on donated foods, you see.
- Ban Trans Fats: The Campaign to Ban Partially Hydrogenated Oils Hey, it worked in NYC, which may soon surpass San Francisco in number and kinds of bans.
- Baltimore To Ban Liquor Store Snack Sales To Kids
- Jails to ban junk food And now hospitals, too!
- Move to ban fast-food advertising on city streets In New Zealand, but Disney here already self-banned itself.
Get ’em when they’re young!