This is how socialism and totalitarianism slowly, inexorably overcomes a free civilization.
From ThisIsLondon, the "Conservatives" in the UK want to control how citizens live their lives, down to what they eat and how much the exercise.
The inroad for this kind of Orwellian control? Their National Health Service.
Patients who refuse to change their unhealthy lifestyles should not be treated by the NHS, the Conservatives said today.
In a bid to ease spiralling levels of obesity and other health concerns, a Tory panel said certain treatments should be denied to patients who refuse to co-operate with health professionals and live healthier lifestyles.
And those who do manage to improve their general health by losing weight and quitting smoking, for example, would receive "Health Miles" cards.
Points earned could then be used to pay for health-related products such as gym membership and fresh vegetables.
I don't think anyone would argue that eating healthy food and getting regular exercise are good. But shouldn't people have the freedom to choose what they eat and how much they exercise? I think all but the most rabid Marxist would agree that this is outrageous in a free society...but when you have socialism, you don't have a free society.
That's one of the key aspects of socialism that very few people understand, yet it's very elementary. Whoever is paying the bills gets to call the shots. If you're paying your health care bills, and you find that eating pizza and Twinkies every day with little or no exercise has cost you a triple heart bypass, that might incent you to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Or it might not. But it's your choice, because you're paying the bills.
But if Big Daddy Government is paying your bills (what Democrats and some liberal Republicans want) then guess who gets to call the shots? Who gets to decide whether you have that second Hostess Cupcake or not? Who gets to decide if you go down to the gym or not? It isn't you...not if you want health care, it isn't. Your Big Brother gets to tell you what to do if want medical treatment. Congratulations! How does it feel as a grown adult to be treated like a 5-year-old again?
I despise socialism, but it really makes sense from a fiscal standpoint, and even a fairness one. After all, if other taxpayers are on the hook for your health care, it's not unreasonable that the taxpayer's custodian (the government) should be able to dictate matters affecting the payout from the taxpayers.
Perhaps there are some folks in the United States who are either ignorant enough or stupid enough or ideologically brainwashed enough to be presented with this reality and still say "Okay with me" (after all, a lot of Democrats continue to be elected).
But can anyone who says they love the American way of life, can anyone who says they love freedom, can anyone who says they would rather live their life the way they want to live it, really and consistently embrace socialism?