Monday, September 03, 2007

What's in your file?

Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards (I’m told the former senator, not the psychic) has proposed as part of his universal health plan some universal nosiness on when you should see a doctor.

Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards said on Sunday that his universal health care proposal would require that Americans go to the doctor for preventive care.

"It requires that everybody be covered. It requires that everybody get preventive care," he told a crowd sitting in lawn chairs in front of the Cedar County Courthouse. "If you are going to be in the system, you can't choose not to go to the doctor for 20 years. You have to go in and be checked and make sure that you are OK."
He noted, for example, that women would be required to have regular mammograms in an effort to find and treat "the first trace of problem." Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth, announced earlier this year that her breast cancer had returned and spread.

Edwards said his mandatory health care plan would cover preventive, chronic and long-term health care. The plan would include mental health care as well as dental and vision coverage for all Americans.

"The whole idea is a continuum of care, basically from birth to death," he said.

Ann Althouse comments the health care proposal "ignores individual autonomy" and notes,
So, the mental health check is mandatory too? Why does he not even realize how bad that sounds? He's so warmed up about the generous benefits he's promising that he doesn't even hear the repressiveness in his own statements. I'm sure he won't be able to deliver on these promises. I'm just wondering about a person with so little sensitivity toward personal freedom.
I would question Edwards if the mandatory mental health check-up would include a check for megalomania.

I've commented on the totalitarian tendency in health care before.
With that expansion, government will have an incentive to keep costs down. Democrats believe they can keep costs down by reducing administrative costs, promising a bigger miracle than any found at Lourdes. But as health care costs increase, the government will either ration care, restrict certain procedures to those that live an approved healthy lifestyle (as in Great Britain) or find ways to make the state-insured healthier.

I think it unlikely the state will restrict itself to making restaurants put little smiley faces on the menus next to the "heart healthy" choices. For those of us who might indulge in another choice, someday soon we might be wondering, where did our Triple Whoppers go?
With the mandatory health checks, will it follow that our doctors, dentists and psychiatrists will be responsible for reporting us when we do not engage healthy behavior? "Mr. Wigderson is an occasional cigar smoker, a drinker, and is overweight. His blood pressure tends to be too high when he is questioned about his eating and drinking habits. Please put him in tax category F."

F for Falstaff.

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