Carol Platt Liebau

Saturday, February 26, 2005

This column was clearly written by a leftist. Who else would remark, in an article about overweight children, that "Cuba would have [KFC] too, if we weren't still punishing Fidel Castro for his kooky belief that his country belongs to Cubans and is not America's brothel"?

But what's interesting is the outraged insistance that emanates from the article:

The government has no business telling us how big our rear ends can get. Or how fat we are. Or that we can't wolf down junk food by the plateful if we want to. No, it's none of the government's business . . ..

Those are fine words. But here's the problem. To the extent that Americans are being required to subsidize other Americans' health care costs -- through Medicaid or through those who choose not to purchase health insurance -- it actually becomes the government's business, if holding down health care costs is truly a goal.

Don't get me wrong. I agree that the government should have no authority whatsoever to tell anyone what to eat. But the price of government involvement in the health care system is government intrusion in peoples' health choices. Writers like the author of the column linked above don't seem to get it. They want to be free; they also, however, seem less than averse to government subsidy of many aspects of Americans' lives.

Again, it's a matter of giving up a little bit of liberty in exchange for a little bit of government "help." Which is, most often, the problem with government being involved in just about anything.


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