Monday, March 22, 2010

Our brave new world

What are you doing right now? What are you eating right now? Under normal circumstances we wouldn’t care but as yesterday’s vote on health care has signaled, these are no longer “normal circumstances”.

You see, though Obamacare is not a single-payer system, the template for complete government control of healthcare has been set and the battles in the future will not be for a repeal of Obamacare (given electoral realities, we just don’t see a full repeal being a possibility) but rather against the incrementalism towards a full-blown, British-style NIH system.

So, back to what you are currently doing/eating/drinking/smoking/watching. Drop it in the comments section but try to keep it as brief as possible because under our eventual single-payer system, we are going to have quite a few people to keep track of.

“They are chastising me for telling her she should lose some weight because it is raising the cost of health care and it is also bad for her children and she is going to end up with diabetes,” Sunderhaus said. “I had to take three days out of my practice and go down to Raleigh, losing income, just because somebody didn’t like that I told her that she was fat.”

The patient complained that Sunderhaus poked her thigh and told her she was fat, and scolded her as irresponsible for being unemployed and relying on taxpayers to pay for another pregnancy.

“I told her the thick glasses were not going to blind her, she would go blind because of her thick thighs because diabetes is the No. 1 cause of blindness in this country,” Sunderhaus said.

Sunderhaus is an eye doctor in North Carolina who is some dutch with the state’s medical board to where he may lose his license for having the temerity to suggest to one of his patients she might possibly be better served by altering her eating habits for her own good and for that of the overall health care system.

It’s bad enough that a common sense-speaking doctor dispensing some common sense in private to one his patients might actually cost him his job - now that we will soon be paying for all of your healthcare, that unfortunate responsibility of being a nag falls to us.

As we enter this uncomfortable intersection in cultural history where we hesitate pointing out any unhealthy life-style choices among others for fear of being labeled a prude and the single-payer era where we are all invested in each others life-style choices, again, the government has the solution.

If one feels uncomfortable moralizing about another’s smoking, drinking, crappy driving, sexual promiscuity or what have you, just give it a little bit of time before the government will simply ban whatever untoward behavior or substance that may bend the cost curve of health care upward. So if you don’t feel quite right about suggesting someone not take the hair dryer into the shower, don’t sweat it, the government’s got you covered.

The government has already engaged in some “price signaling” with respect to tobacco and trans fats and some other nasty, nasty stuff that needs to be regulated if not banned outright so here’s hoping we’ll be spared the role of our brother’s nag by the government stepping in and regulating or banning many other products and activities.

It’s all just so much simpler that way.

But until that time comes, we are politely asking KT to cut back somewhat on his beloved spice-laden and deep-fried Cajun/Southern cuisine. Also, B-Daddy, we know you are fond of cholesterol-inducing grilled red meat. Might want to dial that back, bro. Foxie, you are currently on a dairy farm or were raised on the family dairy farm, yes? Well, might want to think about a different profession. We’ll get to addressing others that we know in due time.

We’re glad to be of such overall societal benefit to you all. We’re sure you’ll see the wisdom of Obamacare and our collective roles in making it happen in the by and by.


SarahB said...

For the last month, every time I eat a donut or popcorn, I can't help but think these foods might not really exist for my kids by the time they are adults. A little on the dramatic side, but I can't help but feel breath of Big Brother on the back of my neck.

Dean said...

Sarah, you are obviously unfit to rear children if you would even consider feeding them donuts.

Lucky for all of us, the government will rightfully do what you fear since you cannot be trusted to make those healthy life-style decisions yourself.

All joking aside, that is precisely what is going to happen for any food or activity deemed to bend the cost curve of health care upwards.