Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Hsieh OpEd in Christian Science Monitor

I'm pleased to report that the January 7, 2009 edition of the Christian Science Monitor has published my latest OpEd on health care entitled, "Universal healthcare and the waistline police".

My theme is that adopting government-run universal healthcare will lead to a "nanny state on steroids" deeply antithetical to core American principles of individual freedom and responsibility.

Here is the opening:
Universal healthcare and the waistline police

Imagine a country where the government regularly checks the waistlines of citizens over age 40. Anyone deemed too fat would be required to undergo diet counseling. Those who fail to lose sufficient weight could face further "reeducation" and their communities subject to stiff fines.

Is this some nightmarish dystopia?

No, this is contemporary Japan.

The Japanese government argues that it must regulate citizens' lifestyles because it is paying their health costs. This highlights one of the greatly underappreciated dangers of "universal healthcare." Any government that attempts to guarantee healthcare must also control its costs. The inevitable next step will be to seek to control citizens' health and their behavior. Hence, Americans should beware that if we adopt universal healthcare, we also risk creating a "nanny state on steroids" antithetical to core American principles...
Read the rest here.

(I would also like to extend my deepest thanks to Diana Hsieh, Ari Armstrong, and Brian Schwartz for their many helpful suggestions when proofreading earlier drafts of this piece.)