On a conservative blog I found the following list of questions –

So I ask…

  • When did the government begin to try and take over what we eat and what doctor we use? When did that start?
  • When did it become fashionable to make too much money, to work too hard and do really well for your family?
  • When did it become good business sense for the country to own two of the three American auto manufacturers?
  • When did it start making good business sense for the U.S. to hold preferred stock positions in small local banks as the new small business stimulus allows?
  • When did it become fiscally responsible to have to borrow just to pay interest on the National Debt?
  • When did it become fiscally responsible governing to owe so much money to a country like China?
  • When did we become a nation that  WE THE PEOPLE said to do what we wanted, and that was ignored by those we voted into office?

I’m going to attempt to answer a few these questions today and I’m going to leave a few of them for later on. Let’s look at the first question, when did the government try and take over what we eat? As far as I know this never happened. I guess what the author is referring to is the fact that the government is suggesting that we eat healthier. Isn’t it in our government’s best interest for its citizens to be healthier? Doesn’t it cost all of us more if we can’t curb the costs of Medicare and Medicaid? The answer is of course. Instead of honestly looking at the question, the author is posing this as some sort of invasion of personal rights, an extension of the government into our private lives. The food pyramid been around for over 20 years. The food pyramid replaced “food groups” which are classified by types and nutrition. This has been around since the 1980s, yet the author of this question seems to be pointing a finger at President Obama for designing something so intrusive. Nothing could be further from the truth. Conservatives jump up and down about government spending but when progressives try to do something about the rising costs conservatives will have none of it.

Let’s look at the rising cost of obesity. According to the CDC, Americans spent $92.6 billion in 2003 on obesity and obesity-related illnesses. This would include diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, strokes, renal failure, skin infections, loss of eyesight (in relation to diabetes) and many other diseases. Multiple studies have clearly shown that prevention costs significantly less than treatment. So, let me ask the question again. Why wouldn’t it be in our best interest for all of us to eat healthier?

Many of us do not see the problem in our society. I would say that the problem is rampant and then relate the tale of one single patient whom I took care of some years ago. She and her family had been out on a boat and got severely sunburned. The four-year-old daughter, who was sunburned basically from head to toe, was morbidly obese. I placed the child in the hospital for pain control and care of her burns. I sent pediatrics to see the patient and to counsel the family on nutrition. The pediatrician asked the mother if she ever fed her child any fruit. The mother replied, yes, enthusiastically. She then went into her purse and pulled out a fruit rollup. Now, before you roll your eyes, go out to your local mall and just sit down on a bench and watch the crowd. What percentage of kids are obese? I’m not talking about kids that are just a little chubby. I’m talking about obese. We have to fix this. BTW, do you think that this patient’s family could benefit from some nutritional information?

The second part of the question is simply sad. The question is – when did the government began to try and take over what we eat and what doctor we use? What doctor we use? The government has never tried to tell us which doctor we use. Never. This is been reiterated over and over during the health-care debate by both President Obama and others who are pushing for reform. You can choose your own doctor. Quoting from HealthCare.gov – “You select the doctor: The new rules permit you to choose any available participating primary care provider as your doctor and to choose any available participating pediatrician as your child’s primary care doctor.”

More on these questions later. What are your thoughts? Are these questions specifically designed to elicit an emotional response or do you think are they designed to elicit a thoughtful discussion about the role of our government and our society?