Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Tryanny of Universal Health Care

In case anyone thought I had overstated my case in my previous post concerning universal health care and it's impact on personal freedoms, my predictions are already coming true in New Zealand.

New Zealand has a universal health care system. From Wikipedia: "In New Zealand hospitals are public and treat citizens or permanent residents free of charge and are managed by District Health Boards. Under the current Labour coalition governments, 1999 - present, there are plans to make primary health care available free of charge. At present government subsidies exist in health care. This system is funded by taxes. The New Zealand government agency PHARMAC subsides certain pharmaceuticals depending upon their category. Co-payments exist however these are ignored if the user has a community health services card or high user health card. " As I've previously pointed out, this opens the door to all kinds of restrictions on behavior and lifestyle in that society now has a vested interest in your real and potential need for health care.

In this case a couple wishing to immigrate to the country were denied visas because both exceeded the country's Body Mass Index limits. The husband was able to lose the weight necessary to comply. The wife was not. The husband left his wife in England for the time being, but that's a whole other story.

The relevant point here is that since the government is the provider, the government can set the conditions as to who will get resources and when. This woman is a victim of her own metabolism (and the fact that the biggest factor in fat creation and storage is actually the carbohydrates that make up the base of the food pyramid we're all encouraged to use.) She is now, no doubt, frantically seeking weight loss programs and paying through the nose for them, so that she can not be such a burden on the health care system of the country she wishes to live in. Of course, if she's successful, she'll be taxed to help pay for the system she's being encouraged not to have to use.

Regulating your weight is only the beginning. Universal health care makes restrictions on things like recreational activity, diet, mode of transportation, almost any activity you can imagine, justifyable. Anything that carries any potential risk of illness or injury represents a potential "burden" to society.

Take note and be careful what you wish for.

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