Victory is sweet!
On Thursday, the Supreme Court upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and its individual mandate -- and (unofficially but thank you very much) my idea for a fat tax.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. has decreed that the government can’t make you buy something like insurance, but it can tax you if you refuse to buy something like, uh, insurance.
DOCUMENT: Supreme Court ruling on healthcare law
Which dovetails nicely with the argument I made Wednesday in favor of a tax on obese Americans.
As I wrote:
So that’s the dilemma: We don’t want the government telling us what to do, but we can’t afford the healthcare-related costs from our gluttony.
The solution? It’s not government-approved and insurance-paid-for counseling.
It’s a fat tax.
You want to be obese? Fine. Keep chowing down, big guy or gal. Just don’t expect those who pursue sensible, healthful choices to pay for you.
Of course, not everyone saw it my way. My colleague Alexanda Le Tellier, for example, wrote a persuasive post using (rather unfairly, I thought) actual facts and history to make her case that American’s weight problems aren’t all their fault:
I think for a lot of people, food is like a drug. If we’re going to treat drug addiction like a disease, per the recommendation of Gil Kerlikowske, President Obama’s top drug policy advisor, we should take a similar approach toward caring for food addicts.
Laugh all you want, but the food that’s expanding our collective waistline has been designed to make us keep coming back for more, more, more. And I’m not just talking about the McDonald’s fries.
Really, she almost had me convinced. But I just can't, er, stomach her blame game: She blames corn; she blames high fructose corn syrup; heck, she even blames Richard Nixon!
Now, Cambodia may have been Nixon’s fault. Watergate certainly was Nixon’s fault. But your fat Aunt Martha? I’m gonna have to give Tricky Dick a pass on that one.
No, I’m not gonna play the blame game. It’s un-American. Did Washington’s troops blame him for Valley Forge? Did the GI’s call Ike from Omaha Beach and complain? Of course not.
Real Americans don’t blame others. They stand up and take responsibility for themselves.
So, with the healthcare reform law upheld, the idea of “fat counselors” for the obese is upheld too.
And before I go into private practice talking fat folks into being thin, I’m going to give you my best advice for free.
(With apologies to Paddy Chayefsky.)
Here’s what I want you to do. I want you to get up from your LazyBoy right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell “I'm as fat as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!”
That’s it. You want to take back the country from a nanny-state government?
Then start by taking back your own waistline.
McManus: The Obama edge
Blame Nixon for the obesity epidemic
The Supreme Court was not about to reconsider Citizens United