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Avalanching Down the Slope

Here’s a letter that I just sent to the New York Times:

Writing in support of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s effort to force Americans to eat less salt, Gerald Glasser asserts that “the first and most important step in addressing health care in the United States is to do whatever we can to make Americans healthier so they need less care, thereby reducing the cost of the system” (Letters, Jan. 17).

This attitude is frightening.  If America’s current quasi-socialization of health-care justifies government telling us how much salt we may eat, where does such intrusiveness end – especially if government socializes health-care even further?  What’s to stop officious politicians tomorrow from enacting other measures that would likely improve Americans’ collective health – such as forcing each American to spend a few hours every week in the gym, or outlawing sports such as hang-gliding and rock-climbing, or requiring that all aspiring parents be genetically tested before they are approved for procreating, lest genetic diseases that raise “the cost of the system” be passed on to children?

Donald J. Boudreaux