This is not the latest Lifetime TV reality show, but the state of affairs in the nation’s largest city. The past few years New York City has taken some pretty big “Nanny State” steps. They have eliminated smoking indoors and at outdoor stadiums, stopped the use of Trans fat, reduced salt in cooking, and most recently cracked down on the dreaded “Big Gulp”. In all of the reporting about these steps, you would think there would be more analysis as to why. There are those who think this is just the natural progression of the liberal mindset, and NYC is certainly controlled by liberals, but there is a bigger issue at play here. The overriding reason for all of this intervention in the free lives of New Yorkers is that near 40% of the population of NYC is on Medicaid. The decisions in regards to health, by the people of New York, have a tremendous financial impact on the city. How long before more city and state governments come to this conclusion?
Medicaid was a program developed for the poor, but do-gooder lawmakers with an entitlement mentality have increased the coverage from the truly needy to as many as possible. The funding for Medicaid is shared by the City, the State, and the Federal government. The State of NY has capped its contribution, and the feds are an unreliable future source of money, so the funding going forward will increasingly fall on the City. (http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/city_medicaid_near_critical_condition_gXDExUBXUJRS2hAZiXZ2EJ). Faced with these facts what would a forward thinking executive do? Try to reduce costs.
As more and more people are enrolled on Medicaid, there develops a parent-child relationship between the government and the people. These citizens have no incentive to keep themselves healthy, because they do not pay for the consequences of their bad decisions. Mayor Bloomberg has decided that he will reduce the cost to NYC by eliminating unhealthy choices for all New Yorkers. His steps, even with all of the collateral damage, are reasonable when viewed in this light.
One of the major provisions of Obamacare is to cover more Americans through a further expansion of Medicaid. This allows people at 133% of the poverty level to be covered by Medicaid. (http://obamacarefacts.com/obamacares-medicaid-expansion.php). This is akin to the policies of New York being spread nationwide. Is New York City just the first place to make the preemptive decision to force healthy decisions on its citizens?
This is a look into the future for all Americans. With the government increasingly picking up the tab for healthcare costs, it will create an excuse for control over all citizens’ daily life. The feared implementation of a “Twinkie tax” (a tax on fatty foods) is nothing compared to the elimination of the unhealthy choices. Now that the government is covering so many, this will be justified. If all states accept the new Obamacare Medicaid expansion, America will end up like New York.