Free Markets, Free People

The Shape Of Things To Come

A short little blurb in the WSJ:

The medical costs of treating obesity-related diseases may have soared as high as $147 billion in 2008, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday, as its new director set a fresh tone in favor of more aggressively attacking obesity.

Fresh my rear end. The only thing “fresh” about it is another bureaucrat discovering a “fresh” new area in which to intrude.  A little reading between the lines is required.

Note the name of the agency. Is it a stretch, given what we’ve seen lately, to imagine this agency recommending that obesity be classified as a “disease”?

Why else would the director of the CDC even address the issue?

Of course once it has been declared a disease, all sorts of “prevention” can be legislated – for your own good, of course. And to “cut medical costs”.

The cost of treating obesity doubled over a decade, signaling the rising prevalence of excess weight and the toll it is taking on the health-care system. The medical costs of obesity were estimated to be $74 billion in 1998, according to a study by federal government researchers and RTI International, a nonprofit research institute in Research Triangle Park, N.C.

Hmmm can taxes on food – sugary drinks, high calorie foods, etc – be far behind? Right now that may be a little more difficult and problematic because the government doesn’t have control of health care in this country. But, with that in the offiing, I think the new director of the CDC is just anticipating this “fresh” direction once said legislation is expelled from the bowels of Congress.

Just keeping you up to date.


12 Responses to The Shape Of Things To Come

  • This is why I oppose a “carbon tax.” If conservatives accept a carbon tax like Henke and Pick propose, then there is a defacto acceptance that carbon is a pollutant. Like declaring that carbon is bad and needs to be taxed, certain foods will be labeled as bad and in need of extra taxes. How can someone oppose a consumption tax on food but support a consumption tax on carbon?

  • Tax sugar.
    Tax carbohydrates.
    Tax fat content.
    Remember Clinton’s BTU tax? Don’t you suppose this will be just as successful?

  • This collectivist government will grab power wherever they can, be it through congress, the white house, EPA or the CDC.  The avenue doesn’t matter, as long as they all lead to more control over the people.

  • Sugar has a lot of carbon in it. Tax it, baby.
    Interesting point. Never considered the negative connotation that would occur with a consumption task masquerading as a carbon tax. Though, it is probably a bad idea to sell a product that you want (consumption tax) via trickery (save the planet!)

  • There’s no limit to this sort of thing once it is accepted that we all have a stake in each other’s health, which we will once Uncle Sugar becomes the sole provider of health insurance.

    “Hey! Stop that potentially unhealthy behavior! If you get sick or hurt from it, I’M gonna have to pay for it through my taxes!”

    Sugary drinks
    Fast food
    Insufficient exercize
    Riding a motorcycle
    Running / jogging
    Loud music
    Using a cel phone while driving

    ANY of these things can plausibly be considered a “health risk” that, in the interest of lowering health care costs, should be banned. For those (like 99% of the human race) who know how to run their neighbor’s life, the potential for well-intentioned meddling is boundless. Will we be able to sue our neighbor for potentially unhealthy behavior, or at the very least get a restraining order? How about suing for damages when he hurts himself and our taxes go up to pay for his medical care?

  • “Hmmm can taxes on food – sugary drinks, high calorie foods, etc – be far behind?”

    Isn’t there a junk food tax already? I’m pretty sure I saw the price of chocolate bars double in the span of a year during the mid 90’s.

  • I don’t smoke.   Never have.
    But there are times that I can barely refrain myself from going out and buying a pack of cigarettes  simply because the government insists on telling me “NO”.
    I have come to resent them, the 535, so much that I’m almost willing to jeapordize my own health just to give them the rasberries.

  • Hmmmm…Costs double in 10 years? Isn’t that slower than the rest of health care expenses?

  • Consider something like this, about how saturated fat may actually not be evil.
    There is some serious reason to believe that the reason America is fat is the exact diet the government has been pushing for the past 40 years, high in carbohydrates and low in fat. Skip for a moment whether this is absolutely true, because A: this isn’t a great place for a flamewar over that right now and B: it’s not actually germane to my point, which is simply that the science is not actually settled on this point.
    As usual, the government is structurally incapable of admitting fault and the only politically acceptable solution is to do the same thing, only harder. (See also: schooling, bigger government.) But what if it is wrong? If the government dietary recommendations are wrong, but the people freely decide this and eat something else, then it is possible for our society to recover from such a mistake nonetheless as people freely eat a better diet. But if the government has mandated the wrong diet, it might take decades longer to actually arrive at the correct diet, killing millions every year all along. This is especially rich if the reason the government needs to mandate its diet in the first place is that people are unhealthy due to eating the previously-recommended,-now-mandated diet.
    Also… you don’t have to be a libertarian to find your stomach turning (pun intended) at the phrase “government-mandated diet”. If this even remotely gets close to implementation, opposition should use it as frequently as possible.
    (I’m keeping track of the science and it is not yet settled… but if it does come out in favor of a high-fat, high-protein, low-carb diet when all is said and done, it will literally be the best argument against government busy-bodying in the history of humanity. Moralistically and Puritanically setting a diet before the science was actually in (again, something that has a lot of evidence behind it) will be in the running for most evil act committed in America, beating out even Cap and Trade by orders of magnitude. No joke; bad diet has long since left the Civil War’s body count in the dust, and if this was avoidable, heads should roll, except most of the relevant heads are already six feet under. For this, we want to hand it more power over us? How many of us have to die before our government will admit it was wrong?)

  • Well, it had paragraphs in the comment box.

  • The medical costs of treating obesity-related diseases may have soared as high as $147 billion in 2008….
    Cost to whom?
    Not me. Obesity didn’t cost me one red cent, ever.
    The gov’t invents a cause, no matter how mundane, the media runs with it repeatedly over and over, the soy laden obese herd gets nervous, the gov’t invents a cure, the herd stampedes, trampling all in its path, liberty takes another nut kick straight on.
    yawn…nothing new here…move along……
    All of this retardedness will end someday, I just wonder if I will live long enough to see it.