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This is a very good response, Angela. I like Frank (the author) and although he is a strong independent thinker, I don't always agree with him. From my conversations with him and most of his work, I wouldn't peg him as a progressive.

I put the premise of "the government is in this area of industry, that area of individual's lives, therefore it has an interest in controlling it" in the slippery slope and inevitable outcomes columns(s) of overbearing government intrusion in every aspect of our society and individual lives. I don't think that once the government is in our bedrooms, healthcare, neighborhoods, families, businesses (the list goes on) that that unjustifiable intrusion gives them any more right to unjustifiable intrude any more.

Correction: that that unjustifiable intrusion gives them any more right to unjustifiably intrude any more.

to allow any recipient of federal taxpayer's largesse through conscripted and confiscated tax dollars WITHOUT demanding that their behavior be regulated or changed, especially in Medicare and Medicaid where people can get federal benefits to the tune of 85% subsidy (Medicare) or 100% (Medicaid, is the precise reason why we have sky-rocketing costs out of control right now.

People can continue to gain weight and ruin their health by smoking and overdrinking and still have the federal taxpayer pick up the tab for their ever-increasing hospital bills due to diabetes, cancer, and heart attack and stroke?

Are you flipping kidding me? This is not a 'freedom' issue at the individual level.

This is a federal budgeting and management level. And we better do it damn soon before the next humongous and overly obese generation starts to retire and send Medicare and Medicaid costs even higher than CBO can reasonably even estimate at this point in time!

I know you people are just pulling my leg. I have been reading LCR for about a year now and if you are actually saying you believe people should be able to eat and drink to their heart's desire and not moderate their diet and lifestyles while continuing to chew up federal tax dollars through Medicare and Medicaid, I will be simply stunned.

That would be a complete bastardization of the concepts of individual freedom and responsibility Jefferson and Madison hoped would rule the country. (Note: They have been proven 'wrong' on many levels and must be turning in their graves like a spinning top nowadays)

(Cross posted at LCR): Mr. Hill, it was the lack of caffeine that drove me to hit "enter" before I proofed my response. My snarly reaction to all big government "solutions" won't ever change. I am not a diplomat, I won't ever win a Ms Blogger Congeniality award, and frankly most people don't like me even when they agree with me. I am not your friend, I won't ever fit in at beltway cocktail parties, and nobody is ever going to vote me into office. Having said all that, I stand quite firm behind by sentiments.

You pointed out mandates that accompany voluntary participation in assorted government programs and made a case to apply those standards to a program that is certainly not voluntary.

Look at the statistics behind obesity, and you'll see that blacks and Hispanics are far more likely to be overweight than whites. Women tend to be affected more then men. So what you're essentially saying (even though you obviously didn't intend it that way) is that because white males are the least likely to be obese, they should have the first rights to the limited health care resources. That's a form of selective genocide - good luck adding that to the GOP platform.

Of course, maybe you can reach across the aisle, and develop some sort selective standards. White men can be held to a much higher standard, blacks and Hispanics can get a pass based on race, and women will have yet another chart to decide their eligibility. I mean, equal opportunity planning worked so well in academia and the workplace, we should obviously move towards incorporating it in out national health care system.

Of course Medicare and Medicaid are going to fail. We've known that for a couple of generations. That's just another reason that the responsibility should at least be returned to the states ASAP. 50 different approaches are far more likely to produce at least a single success than a DC bureaucratic nightmare that's already failed repeatedly.

If a private firm had failed on such a spectacular level, it would be bankrupt (or bailed out) and a flurry of market alternatives would arrive. Instead, Washington DC has created a virtual monopoly in the health care system, and is now seeing why politics and business don't tend to mix well outside of K-Street.

I'm sure he's a nice nice guy. Politicos almost always are.

Way to go, Angela! And keep that coffee brewing!

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