Doctors in Ohio Call for Nanny Taxes in the Name of Good Health
September 21, 2007
It appears that in Ohio, doctors are taking the “doctor knows best” approach to a whole new level, suggesting “a broad tax on lifestyle choices that are detrimental to good health” should their proposal to mandate insurance coverage in the state ever be short on revenue. From the Dayton Business Journal:
The trade group for the state’s doctors say giving more control and responsibility to patients are key to health-care reform.
The Ohio State Medical Association on Thursday called for mandated health coverage that would require every Ohioan to buy private or state-subsidized insurance.
“We want everybody covered,” said association President Dr. Craig Anderson, a Columbus neonatal specialist.
“We want to get the patient back in control,” Anderson said.
If additional revenue is needed to support the system, a brochure on the plan says lawmakers should consider “a broad tax on lifestyle choices that are detrimental to good health.”
Gov. Ted Strickland and lawmakers are traveling the state seeking ideas on health-care reform. Strickland, a Democrat, has said he is considering a state-subsidized partnership with private insurers that would create affordable individual policies.
It makes you wonder — do these people even believe in any concept of individual liberty, or do they merely want to impose their moral view of the world (that every person should try to maximize his/her health every minute of the day) on everyone else through government edict (i.e. taxation)? Our advice to cheeseburger lovers, tanning booth patrons, smokers, drinkers (of anything except water approved by doctors), skydivers, football or hockey players, television watchers, and just about anyone who ever enjoys having fun: don’t move to Ohio anytime soon.
(Note: If the argument is that these activities impose unfair external costs on other taxpayers, then doesn’t the problem stem from government-provided healthcare that makes people pay for other’s health costs in the first place? Also, instead of taxing particular items, why not go directly to the source and tax people based upon their obesity, as is discussed here.)