Frequent readers will now that I have long warned of government-funded health care acting as a Trojan horse for micro-management of our personal lives, the logic being that if our lifestyles or behaviors make us less healthy, then the government that funds medical care may claim an interest in regulating those behaviors. I often post examples of this phenomena, the most recent of which is here.
This installment comes via Reason, and looks at the NYC Health Commissioner Thomas Friedan's new fascism to prevent diabetes program. I am not sure I even need to comment on the following for you to get the picture:
New York City is at the forefront of this new public health movement. In
January, city health officials began
that medical testing labs report the results of blood sugar tests for all
the city's diabetics directly to the health department. This is first time
that any government has begun tracking people who have a chronic disease.
The New York City Department of Health will analyze the data to identify
those patients who are not adequately controlling their diabetes. They will
then receive letters or phone calls urging them to be more vigilant about
their medications, have more frequent checkups, or change their diet....
So what could be wrong with merely monitoring and reminding people to take
better care of themselves? New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Friedan
has made it clear that it won't necessarily end there. If nagging is not
sufficient to reduce the health consequences of the disease, other steps
will be taken. Friedan
that "modifications of the physical environment to promote physical
activity, or of the food environment to address obesity, are essential for
chronic disease prevention and control." Friedan envisions regulations for
chronic disease control including "local requirements on food pricing,
advertising, content, and labeling; regulations to facilitate physical
activity, including point-of-service reminders at elevators and safe,
accessible stairwells; tobacco and alcohol taxation and advertising and
sales restrictions; and regulations to ensure a minimal level of clinical
The NYC health department starred in a previous post for their brave attack on restaurants that give patrons too much for their money.