Monday, September 03, 2007

Mandatory Preventive Care

Forbes reported Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards said on Sunday that his universal health care proposal would require that Americans go to the doctor for preventive care. "It requires that everybody be covered. It requires that everybody get preventive care," he told a crowd sitting in lawn chairs in front of the Cedar County Courthouse. "If you are going to be in the system, you can't choose not to go to the doctor for 20 years. You have to go in and be checked and make sure that you are OK." He noted, for example, that women would be required to have regular mammograms in an effort to find and treat "the first trace of problem."
Would over weight people be forced to lose weight? What would happen if they do not; would they be sent to prison? What about smokers? Would they be forced to stop smoking?
Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth, announced earlier this year that her breast cancer had returned and spread. Edwards said his mandatory health care plan would cover preventive, chronic and long-term health care. The plan would include mental health care as well as dental and vision coverage for all Americans.
Would mental health doctors send Republications to reeducation camps? Would people that don't floss enough be penalized by their dentists?
"The whole idea is a continuum of care, basically from birth to death," he said.

mljones blogged What is being lost here is the tradition of freedom. Or maybe the illusion of it. The idea that a government will make doctor visits MANDATORY is absurd. I know, I know; it’s to save me from myself. My own negligence will no longer be tolerated by the state. Because the state loves me more than I love myself.

Following Edwards’ logic, will women still continue to have that “right to choose?” This is not to debate the abortion issue. It is to point out that one’s right to choose has been a public mantra for decades now. Rather than argue for or against it, I place it next to this mandatory aspect of the Edwards’ plan.

Mandatory means that someone else is making a decision for YOU. The only “choice” remaining is whether to comply or suffer the consequences.

The road to an authoritarian state is paved with good but grandiose intentions.

Senator Edwards, with all due respect, let me die a sick and neglected man, but let me die with a smidgen of freedom. I know that’s too much too ask.

But so is asking for my vote.

Betsy Newmark blogged What's the penalty for not going in for your checkup? And how will the government know if you've gone or haven't gone? Will our doctors have to file reports on their patients' pattern of visits?

Yes, we can all agree that regular preventative checkups are a good thing. But should the government really be in the business of requiring everything that is good for us?

Dr. Steven Taylor blogged I guess Edwards is looking to put the “big” back into “big government.”

On the one hand, there is little doubt that it is good medicine to engage in preventive care. Yes, women of a certain age should get mammograms every years, and men of certain ages should get prostate exams and so forth. However, to say that it will mandated that everyone will have to do X, Y or Z is a substantial increase in governmental power over the lives of the citizenry.

For that matter, there are some practicalities to be considered here If one doesn’t go to one’s annual whatever, will there be a fine? Will the CDC dispatch agents to your house to force the tests on you? Will there be reminders and free transportation to make sure everyone remembers and gets to their appointments? What if someone managed to avoid their preventative care and then they get sick, will they then be denied care? For example, what if a woman avoids the mammograms and then gets breast cancer, how will the system deal with such a person?

TinyElvis blogged The irony here is the fact that Democrats are usually the ones up front screaming freedom of expression, freedom of speech, stay out of our bedroom, etc. However, they feel no shame in inviting the government into their colons and vaginal canals.

Brennan blogged Hear that ladies? You want to get an abortion? That’s up to you. You want to decide not to go to the doctor? He’ll force ya to. Oh the freedom! How much is this craptastic, freedom-sucking, socialist medical plan going to cost Americans each year? According to Edwards, who lives in his own world, over $120 billion a year. How will he pay for this? Why, by ending Bush’s tax cuts, of course!

Jon Henke blogged Which one of John Edwards' two Americas gets a freedom of choice and privacy that extends beyond the uterus?

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