Thursday, August 20, 2009

Obama Response To "Personal Responsibility" Fails Comprehensiveness Filter

Today President Obama participate on a radio call in show as a guest.  He took questions surrounding health care.

He was asked what obligations in the way of  "Personal Responsibility" do Americans who receive the benefit of this "reformed health care" have.

Obama pointed to the company "Safeway" (a grocery store).  He stated that their setup an employee health and fitness program.  As employees met certain healthy lifestyle goals they receive bonuses and certain breaks on their health care costs via increased subsidy by the company.

President Obama was satisfied that he had addressed the caller's question.

I think that he did not.

My "Comprehensiveness Filter" attempts to thwart the pacification that some people experience when they receive a long, itemized list of things that they have done (or could be done) to address the problem at hand.

Safeway is one company.  Such an example does not speak to the broad need for people to take more active control of their health and lifestyles.  Most people do not have a relationship with an employer with these type of programs.  Some people have no employer at all.  

My view remains - Most of the focus in this health care debate has focused upon shifting resources and decisions away from the private insurance companies over to some government scheme.  The wealthy are being asked to step up and contribute their "fair share" to the cause of health care for all.  Lost in all of this the incumbency of the individual to step up and be the primary manager in his own healthy lifestyle choices.  We have a compulsory tax system that forces everyone to pay taxes, thus paying for government health care.   When it comes to the potential drain upon the system via this individual's choices there is little specificity about how these costs can be mitigated.  One also questions if the door for more social control by the government is not right around the corner.

Certainly if fast foods are contributing to obesity and thus costing the government money - I would be not surprised that some would logically conclude that it is in our nation's financial best interest to either regulate these food places or add a special tax in order to recoup these costs to the government.

In truth the only way for these "debt neutral" goals to be accomplished by this government system is to significantly reduce the payouts for the system.  The savings claims and the increases in taxes have some clear limits and neither are without residual consequences.

With the individual now being more of an agent of the state - I can't think of any way of avoiding the government seeking to regulate us as a "cost center".

Since the functional nationalization of health care is a "non-individual" move - why would anyone anticipate that this same government would leave it up to "individual responsibility"?

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