Political Correction

Does Rick Scott Want The Government Paying Attention To Our Personal Habits?

June 01, 2009 12:22 pm ET - by Melinda Warner

Conservatives for Patients Rights released a thirty-minute infomercial that displayed a few of the drawbacks to a single-payer health care delivery system (even though President Obama does not want one).  During one of his interviews, group founder Rick Scott made an interesting remark about the need for Americans to be "rewarded for not smoking, exercising, and eating properly."

"Rewarding" People Implies The Need For Additional Government Oversight

During his group's infomercial, Rick Scott described his four pillars of health care reform:


"Personal Responsibility.  We will never control health care costs unless you are rewarded for not smoking, exercising, and eating properly."

Prevention and ongoing wellness are crucial factors in maintaining good health.  It is common knowledge that eating right, exercising, keeping alcohol consumption to a minimum, practicing safe sex, and not smoking all contribute to feeling better overall.  And because Americans are reaching alarmingly high levels of obesity, efforts to curb our collective growth are becoming more common.

However, what type of "reward" could be issued for healthy living?  And how would that behavior be monitored?  Is Scott proposing a new government agency to closely regulate the very personal lives of American citizens?  His language also begs the question: how do you determine what, specifically, is "healthy?"  Would that include a daily nutrition requirement?  A daily exercise requirement?  A government-issued ideal weight cap for a person's height?  Perhaps free gym memberships? 

It's interesting that someone advocating to keep governmental regulations out of health care would also advocate for some kind of increased government control over individual rights and/or behaviors.

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