The Nanny State Begins....

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The Nanny State Begins....

Postby Haggis@wk » Sat Jul 17, 2010 11:56 am

YOU voted for him, I didn't

As the Obama administration sets its sights on overweight Americans, demanding obesity ratings for all citizens by 2014, the White House has promoted the Obamas' personal cook to a senior advisory position.

Sam Kass, the 20-something Chicago chef, is now the White House "Food Initiative Coordinator," Kass' title reportedly was upgraded last month from food initiative coordinator to senior policy adviser for health food initiatives. His duties have not changed.

The change comes as the Health and Human Services announced this week that under the stimulus law, health care providers must establish "meaningful use" of electronic health records to qualify for federal subsidies or risk seeing their Medicare and Medicaid payments slashed. The electronic health records must include Americans' body mass index, or BMI, height and weight.


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Re: The Nanny State Begins....

Postby analog » Sat Jul 17, 2010 5:17 pm

health care providers must establish "meaningful use" of electronic health records to qualify for federal subsidies or risk seeing their Medicare and Medicaid payments slashed.....


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Re: The Nanny State Begins....

Postby dai bread » Sat Jul 17, 2010 6:02 pm

The Body Mass Index was discredited here the first time someone applied it to our All Blacks rugby team. All of them are either obese or overweight according to the BMI measurements. These overweight and obese players beat their South African equivalents last night 31-17.

The BMI is one-size-fits-all. It takes no account of race (yes, there are racial differences, politically incorrect though they may be) or physique or fitness. Any serious weight-lifter, for instance, is obese, as are the afore-mentioned rugby players.
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Re: The Nanny State Begins....

Postby Shapley » Sun Jul 18, 2010 4:51 pm

We had one of those 'obese' guys on the USS Carl Vinson when I was in the Navy. He was a weight-lifter and looked like he could stand in for Arnold in one of the Conan movies, but the Navy classified him as 'obese' by the BMI standards when they adopted them. They wound up adding some criteria to adjust for such things, but I have no recollection of what they were.

I just remember that it was quite funny that an out-of-shape Shapley was considered by the Navy to be a finer physical specimen than he was. :roll:
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Re: The Nanny State Begins....

Postby piqaboo » Fri Jul 23, 2010 7:39 pm

BMI is silly, applied to any athlete. It works tolerably well on an 'average' population.
%body fat makes much more sense, but its not as easy to calculate.
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Re: The Nanny State Begins....

Postby dai bread » Sat Jul 24, 2010 6:08 pm

Somebody told me that the BMI was designed to be applied to populations, not individuals. However, band-wagon hoppers and other attention-seekers have hi-jacked it and the "news" media never question anything that comes out on letterhead.
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Re: The Nanny State Begins....

Postby piqaboo » Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:52 pm

BMI calculation:
metric weight/height-squared
american weight/(height-squared x 703)

Easy, hands off.
Bodyfat? Not so easy and not hands off
waist line vs height ratio? not so accurate. Most people are really bad at measuring their waists, I observed, when in charge of wardrobe.

Be good to get activity levels when using BMI (are you a spud, recreational athlete, serious athlete)
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Re: The Nanny State Begins....

Postby Nicole Marie » Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:59 am

Come on folks... You have to admit that Americans are getting huge. One in three children are obese. Diabetes is out of control but I look at it from economic stand point. Obese related illness is becoming a huge factor in cost of health care. As a tax payer I am tired of paying for someone because they need that powered motor scooter because they are too fat to walk and they can not support their own weight. Medicare covers those damn things... diabetes meds, heart pills etc. Tax payers have to pay the fire departments when they have to get a fat person out of their home. Come on now... I'd rather have my fire department fighting fires.

I was in line at the store the other day, at there was this huge women, huffing and puffing just from standing in line. Standing was exhausting her... really! That is nuts.My local hospital just did a study and the top reason why people end up in the ICU at this hospital... smoking and obese related illness and the average age is 55. Most are in the ICU because of complications from diabetes, heart issue and the body failing because they are so unhealthy. Most do not have health insurance so that means the state and tax payers have to pick up the tab.

The truth is we already pay for the uninsured, and obesity and it's related illness is becoming a top health care cost. So I say that it is about time American's take some personal responsibility, eat healthy, take up an activity (walking is free) get away from the fast food and TV so I don't have to have my taxes pay for your unhealthy lifestyle.

I think some of you may be upset that the government is laying down the law and demanding that American's loose weight but the government already tells you how to take care of your self - wear your seat belt, wear a helmet... but if you look at it from a monetary issue, the government is spending huge amounts paying for over weight people. With a huge deficit, one way the government can cut some cost is by slowing spending on obesity related issues. Americans should be the ones leading the change - not the White House. But we are not doing it and getting fatter. Until we take personal responsibility and slim down, it will continue to cost is huge amounts of $$$.
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Re: The Nanny State Begins....

Postby Shapley » Tue Jul 27, 2010 10:51 am

Nicole:

"Medicare covers those damn things... diabetes meds, heart pills etc. Tax payers have to pay the fire departments when they have to get a fat person out of their home. Come on now... I'd rather have my fire department fighting fires."

This is why so many of us opposed nationalizing health care. Once the government decided to pick up the tab, the government decided that it had the power to regulate those factors that affect the tab - the beginning of the Nanny State, as Haggis notes. I've quoted Bob Dole before, but it is appropriate:

"A nation that takes control of the economy for the good of the people will end up taking control of the people for the good of the economy."

I don't like paying for the costs of treating obese people. All those who said I lacked compassion for opposing such a plan are now seeing where their compassion has led them - and are 'compassionately' demanding that those we had to take care of need to start taking care of themselves. So much for 'compassion', eh? In my world, people need to take responsibility for themselves financially. They are free to overeat, but they bear the consequences of doing so. In your world, people do not have that freedom. they need to take responsibility for themselves, in accordance with your concept of responsibility - mandatory weight reductions, government monitoring therof, and so on. Where does it end? Forced gym time? Sentenced to Fat Camp for failing to comply? That does not bode well for the idea of freedom.

Neither of us likes paying for the folly of others. However, my method is consistent with the concept of freedom on which this nation was founded. I have never understood the basis of yours.

If I walk into a bar and declare "The drinks are on me!", does that give me the right to tell people what they can drink? That seems to be the theory behind the Nanny State. When the government decided to declare that "The Health Care is on me!", I do not believe that gave them the right to dictate how we use it. So now, we come full circle, now demanding that those we absolved of responsibility by picking up the tab for their health care assume responsibility in order to lessen that tab. This is where 'compassion' has led us.
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Re: The Nanny State Begins....

Postby Nicole Marie » Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:30 am

Shapley... I think you'll see we agree on this one. (I'm starting to sound like a Republican on this topic.) :roll:

I don't think the government should be telling people what to do. If people want to ride a motorcycle without a helmet feel free but there are consequences. If people want to eat fast food... feel free but they are going to face consequences. when it comes to personal choice - I'm all about it.

The problem is the system is set up where hospitals are getting paid from tax dollars to pay for these health problems. It is the system we have and I don't think it's going to change anytime soon. American's have to take responsibility and loose weight.

I would prefer there to be taxes on crappy food to pay for health care for the obese. We tax smokers... so let's tax fast food chains. Many states do tourist taxes to help fund tourism industries. Let's do the same for the overweight. If people want to eat bad... fine but there are consequences and they will have to pay a tax to cover the hospital bill when they have their 3rd heart attack because I'm tired of paying for it. Tax junk food, candy, soda etc. If people don't want to pay the tax then eat something good. That is what I would love to see happen to bring down cost.

I do think we need some type of insurance coverage for America because when the uninsured go to the hospital, tax payers pay for it anyway. So let's structure it so it's not over the top. But that means we have to have an attitude adjustment in this country and people have to start taking personal responsibility. Don't eat fast food everyday because you will end up in the hospital - if you want to eat fast food everyday then I should not have to pay for it.

I would prefer that unhealthy people have to pay extra into an insurance system. Discrimination? Sure but I'm being discriminated against when I have to pay more to cover someone's crappy life style. If people want to smoke go ahead... but then they should have to pay extra so I don't get nailed when they need an oxygen tank.
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Re: The Nanny State Begins....

Postby Shapley » Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:03 pm

Glad to see you onboard! We'll make a conservative of you, yet. ;)

I don't disagree, however, I don't think the proper approach is to allow the government to begin imposing the requirements. The better solution is to begin addressing the real problem - the factors driving up the cost of care. Giving people access to more of other peoples' monies won't fix that, and giving Congress more tax dollars to spend on health care won't fix that either. If you'll read my posts on Mr. Obama's approach to 'health care' by extending insurance to everyone, you'll get some understanding of my view on this.

The old principle that 'expenditures rise to meet income' applies to broad groups just as it does to individuals. If we raise taxes on unhealthy items, the cost of things will simply rise to consume those additional tax revenues, with little or no impact on the overall health of the nation. we've taxed cigarettes to the point that no one would smoke if taxes alone could curtail behavior, but people still smoke, bearing the indignity of standing by curb in the dead of winter if need be. I do not see how we can further impose the idea that smoking is undesirable, short of banning it outright, yet smoking continues. Nor will they ban it, because they depend on the cigarette taxes for income, despite all they hype about creating a 'smoke-free' society. Will they treat fast food and liquor any different, once they've found them an ample source of tax revenue? Methinks not.
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Re: The Nanny State Begins....

Postby piqaboo » Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:49 pm

Shapley wrote: we've taxed cigarettes to the point that no one would smoke if taxes alone could curtail behavior, but people still smoke, bearing the indignity of standing by curb in the dead of winter if need be.


Not quite true, tho people do smoke still.
There's a clear correlation between increases in cigarette tax and smoking rates.
I am not gonna google up the exact figures right now cause I'm lazy, but its something like for every 10% increase in the cost of cigarettes, adult smoking drops 2% and underage smoking drops 4%. I dont remember what they said the impact was on the rate of new smoker start-up.

I wonder who gets counted as a smoker in these numbers. I have two friends who each smoke 1 -2 cigars a year. How do you classify them?
(to me, they are smokers, but ones highly unlikely to be affected by taxing cigarettes, and I need not worry about them at dinner parties in my home).
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Re: The Nanny State Begins....

Postby Haggis@wk » Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:05 pm

piqaboo wrote: I wonder who gets counted as a smoker in these numbers. I have two friends who each smoke 1 -2 cigars a year. How do you classify them?
(to me, they are smokers, but ones highly unlikely to be affected by taxing cigarettes, and I need not worry about them at dinner parties in my home).


I smoke cigars as well certainly more than 1-2 a year, maybe 1-2 a months, depending on whom I with. I don't inhale and haven't smoked a cigarette since June 1982 so I don't consider myself a smoker! Personal semantics, I guess. :rofl:
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Re: The Nanny State Begins....

Postby Shapley » Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:52 pm

Illinois, where I live, taxes cigarettes at $.98 per pack, Missouri, where I work, taxes them at $.17 per pack, although some cities and counties add additional taxes.

Kentucky taxes them at $.60 per pack. Illinois has an anti-bootlegging law that prohibits bringing cigarettes in large quantities into the state. They used to conduct random searches, like sobriety checkpoints, but I haven't seen any in several years. I think they were used as a scare tactic when the tobacco tax was last increased, and they have pretty much gone the way of the whale since.

Illinois prohibits smoking in all public places. This has upset a number of businesses, particularly casinos, whose operators believe their sales have been harmed by the smoking prohibition. Missouri does not have such a blanket ban, allowing designated smoking areas in public facilities, but many municipalities and individual businesses impose restrictions of their own. Health Services companies usually ban indoor smoking, but many of them still have designated smoking 'huts' outside. Some companies and facilities ban all smoking on their premises, and their employees can frequently be seen standing curbside puffing away, regardless of weather. I once saw about five health-insurance company employees huddled together on the curb under a large umbrella, in freezing rain, trying to keep their cigarettes lit. I guess if you gotta smoke, you gotta smoke...

One of our customers hires only non-smokers. I don't know if they do tar-screenings in the same manner that drug-screenings are done.

My point is, we've tried to embarrass and harass smokers to the point of absurdity, and they are still among us. We won't ban them outright, because the revenue from the taxes is instrumental to government finances, and the tobacco 'settlement' can't be paid if there is no revenue stream to the tobacco companies. Our policies are absurd, and are revenue-driven, not health driven. Even the corporate smoking bans are often enacted more out of fear of being sued by second-hand-smoke breathers than out of concern for the smokers' health. I hardly driving them stand in the freezing rain beside a busy street qualifies as concern for their well-being...
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Re: The Nanny State Begins....

Postby dai bread » Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:38 am

Banning tobacco simply adds another drug to the list for drug dealers to profit from. Prohibition of alcohol failed spectacularly, and the prohibition of other drugs is going the same way. Some would say it's already gone.

After my trip to Australia last year, I commented that I had never seen so many fat Caucasians. Everyone said "Wait till you've been to the States."
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Re: The Nanny State Begins....

Postby Nicole Marie » Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:24 am

My point is, we've tried to embarrass and harass smokers to the point of absurdity, and they are still among us. We won't ban them outright, because the revenue from the taxes is instrumental to government finances, and the tobacco 'settlement' can't be paid if there is no revenue stream to the tobacco companies.


Very true Shapley. But I'm not for taxing people to get them to stop an action. I'm for taxing them so I don't have to pay for their hospital bill down the road. People have every right to smoke and eat crap food. I don't want to stop them - I just don't want to pay for it. I don't like paying for things were people had a choice. There are times were someone needs assistance due to circumstances outside of their control and I do not mind if my tax dollars go to help them. Like if someone needs a job and the state is offering work assistance programs etc. But when people have a choice and decide to do something that will have negative consequences in the end... well I don't like paying for it.

Where I live the cigarette tax is around $1.30 a pack. But the money goes into a fund. That fund is used for state programs to get people to quit and prevent kids from smoking. This type of tax works for me since smokers are directly funding programs. One of the programs is 1-800-QUIT-NOW. It's a toll free number where smokers can call and get information on quitting and they can get nicotine patches, gum and other quit items. I don't have to pay for it - I dig it,
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Re: The Nanny State Begins....

Postby Nicole Marie » Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:34 am

dai bread wrote:After my trip to Australia last year, I commented that I had never seen so many fat Caucasians. Everyone said "Wait till you've been to the States."


So very true.On my travels to Europe I have heard from people that they are startled when they find out I'm American (For some reason people often think I'm a Russian... :? not sure why?) In any case I've often heard "But Americans are fat and your not fat! I didn't know you were American until I heard your voice." It's really sad actually. But it is pretty easy to spot Americans when traveling out of the states due to their size. Sitting in cafes I've watched crowds to see if I can pick up what my European friends have said and they are sadly right.
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Re: The Nanny State Begins....

Postby Shapley » Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:56 am

I've noticed that as well, although there are some fat Europeans. It is worth noting that Britain has had to add heavy-duty ambulances and lifting equipment to their emergency services. Perhaps it's in our genes, although it is most notable in our jeans... ;)
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Re: The Nanny State Begins....

Postby Haggis@wk » Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:44 am

Shapley wrote:I've noticed that as well, although there are some fat Europeans. It is worth noting that Britain has had to add heavy-duty ambulances and lifting equipment to their emergency services. Perhaps it's in our genes, although it is most notable in our jeans... ;)



apropo, I'm amazed at the number of Brits who think I'm a Brit. I lived in the UK for ten years as a kid and as an adult and I picked up all the slang and lingo words and automatically revert to them when I'm around Brits. When we traveled there last summer (we're going next May!!!!) I'd call ahead for reservations and qhwn we arrived our landlady expressed ssurprise when she learned I was American. Fortunately neither the MRHYN nor I qualify as fat.
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Re: The Nanny State Begins....

Postby analog » Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:04 pm

I think there needs to be some responsibility for individual decisions.

Somebody's self inflicted disease shouldn't obligate the state to pay for it. Life insurance won't pay off for suicide.

If you let yourself get to 500 pounds you will probably die from it. It's that simple.
I have to actively curb my sweet tooth. I hover around 15 lbs overweight (5'8, 175) and have goal of returning to around high school wt of 155.
I know it's fat for i float in fresh water now. As a kid i went straight to bottom of pool and could barely float in ocean.

Scooters for the obese is a reward, shouldn't the same logic buy them bigger clothes and Snickerdoodles?

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