Wednesday, December 5, 2007

"Should the government pay you to lose weight?"

There's a good article in Slate today called "Should the government pay you to lose weight?" It puts a good argument for why health insurance and employers should give financial incentives to those who lose weight. It's problematic towards the end when the writer, proposes that the government take up this mantle:

One of the main obstacles to such efforts is that employers and insurers are often reluctant to make long-term investments in employees. The average tenure of an American employee is just four years. The disincentives this creates for companies raises the question of whether state or local governments should follow Mayor Buonanno's lead. Indeed, this is a mayor who may have a great deal to teach us. His other social initiatives include a plan to supply the good people of Varallo with Viagra. "Ensuring the wellbeing of one's fellow citizens also means making sure they have the possibility of a serene sex life," the mayor has declared. Ahh, to be Italian.

This is exactly the type of stuff that causes us to have a ridiculously large government. It ishould be the perogative of the employers and health insurance companies to try out something like this. Having the government take it up would be a total waste of taxdollars on the part of Americans who aren't effected by obesity or don't see it as a problem.

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