"Make sure that if national insurance is put in place, I will make sure the roots of such bill will not inclued any type measuring of the waist like other counties."
This statement is from Basil Marceaux (R), a candidate for governor in Tennessee. The misspellings above are left in on purpose, including substituting "counties" for countries.
As troubling as the collective American waistline is, there is no plan, imaginary or real, to measure anyone's waist for health insurance. And no other county or country has any current or future plan to do the same.
Despite what can be described as naive paranoia by Marceaux, the government is doing as little as humanly possible to make us a healthier nation. Even the actions of First Lady Michelle Obama have no official government endorsement.
And the role of government in other Western countries is providing true universal health care and providing precise measures for what qualifies as food.
Some insurance companies in the United States are taking blanket body mass index (BMI) marks and adjusting health insurance policies accordingly. That isn't measuring waists, but it is almost as troubling and more irresponsible. But since the actions are from private companies, the right wing thinks this is okay behavior.
The right wing of this country is good at being paranoid about what our government might do, especially when they aren't in charge. The left wing is also paranoid, but they are right more often than the right wing.
Somewhere somehow Marceaux got this idea in his head that someone somewhere was measuring waists in the name of government. Is it true? Doesn't really have to be these days.
There is a standard where the government might do too much to make us a healthier nation. We could actually ban salt, as some have claimed will happen. It won't, but it makes for an interesting story, even if it isn't true.
We could improve school lunches, but probably not by that much, regardless of whether our children won't learn as well as a result. But there are people who don't think our children should eat healthier at lunchtime in our schools, and some of those people have great power.
If you are really concerned that the government will do too much to make us healthier, let it do something before you complain that the government is doing too much. Rules that require only actual cheese to be labeled as cheese. Increased inspections for factory farms. Increased federal funding for school lunches. These are tiny steps where government would be the best influence.
No country has a worst efficiency of spending vs. results in health care than the United States. No country is even close to our incompetence in this area. One reason is that we don't trust government when we could, and we refuse government's help to fix those problems that it can effectively solve.
Government shouldn't measure waistlines, but government can and should do more to help us be healthier. At least, allow government to let us make better choices for our own individual health.
screen capture via BasilMarceaux.com