Selling Your Soul: Universal Healthcare

I wasn’t aware that Japan had carried out what I have often used as a (rather extreme, I once thought) example of why “universal” (i.e., government-controlled) healthcare was such a bad idea: 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. [Emphasis added.]

The part in bold is precisely correct. That is exactly what must happen when government “pays” for something (in scare quotes because, of course, we taxpayers pay for it; government “just” controls it). Put your life in the hands of someone else, and guess what: you no longer get to decide what happens with it.

Read the whole thing. It’s all rather frightening.

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