He who pays is he who sets the rules

If the government is paying for our health care costs, then the government will inevitably have the power to dictate, not only what types of health care we can receive, but what types of food we can eat and what types of exercise regime we must follow, since diet and exercise affect our health, and the government is paying for our health care. Which further means that the government will have the power to punish us for not following the diet and exercise regime it requires. Which further means that the government must spy on us in our homes to determine if we are following the required regime. The scene in Nineteen Eighty-Four in which a young woman on a two-way television screen in Winston Smith’s apartment is barking out orders telling Winston to do his push-ups harder is not just a fictional satire but a logical and inevitable result of government-provided health care.

- end of initial entry -

Richard P. writes:

There’s an ever better dystopian vision of this logic than Nineteen Eighty-Four. It’s an old Stallone movie called Demolition Man. A police officer is frozen and reawakened in a future where anything that is not explicitly “good for you” is banned. There is no meat, alcohol, caffeine, salt, tobacco, junk food, or any of a number of other pleasures. People do not even touch each other for fear of germs. There is an underground resistance movement led by a man who mostly just wants a cheeseburger.

On first seeing Demolition Man in the early 1990’s I thought it was hilarious. Now I’m not quite so amused.

Hannon writes:

Re the 1984-ish manifestations, they are beyond the planning stages:

UK government to install surveillance cameras in private homes

Terry Morris writes:

More accurately,

He who collects, then pays (after administrative costs and so forth are deducted off the top, leaving—probably a generous estimate—maybe 70 percent of the initial collected amount), sets the rules.

By the way, if (government) healthcare is a “right,” as some would propose, does that mean then that government has no right to impose a tax on Americans to provide it since the Supremes have repeatedly ruled that rights cannot be taxed?

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 12, 2010 07:49 AM | Send

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