Senator Edwards Knows What Is Good For Us By Betsy Newmark

The nanny state will get that much bigger under a President Edwards. He would require everyone to get preventative checkups.

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.” 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.

“The whole idea is a continuum of care, basically from birth to death,” he said.

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? Steven Taylor has some more questions on how this wondrous plan would work.

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?

Think of all the regulations that would be involved for just the mandatory part of his program. And for all those who worry about a slippery slope, you can start worrying about what would be next on the list of “good for you” measures that Edwards would make mandatory. Exercise? Dieting? Flossing nightly?

And he’s going to pay for all of this wonderful birth-to-death health care by ending Bush’s tax cuts to people earning over $200,000 a year. Sure, that will be more than enough to cover this plan.

This content was used with the permission of Betsy’s Page.

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