Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Breast Milk, Seat Belts and Obamacare

Yesterday's post on why I oppose the mosque at ground zero but oppose government regulation that would prevent its building got me thinking about the logic of a world in which there are no constitutional limits on government power.

A few facts for your consideration. A University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute paper argues for primary enforcement the use of seat belts (ticketing solely for not wearing a seat belt, not ancillary) thus:

A broad literature supports the effectiveness of seatbelts in reducing motor vehicle injuries and deaths.
. . .
A primary enforcement seatbelt law in Wisconsin could be expected to prevent an estimated 1,950 injuries, save 73 lives and approximately 220 million dollars annually in crash-related costs.
. . .
. . . public policies are often made by weighing the cost in loss of individual freedoms against the potential benefit of the policy to the community as a whole. In this case, a switch to primary enforcement has the potential to benefit the community as a whole by reducing crash-related injuries and deaths and their associated costs.
Arguments such as these have been effective in getting thousands of American's a close encounter of the law enforcement kind for doing nothing more threatening than failing to buckle up.

Here is the American Academy of Pediatrics (you know, guys in white coats) on the benefits of breast feeding:

Human milk is species-specific, and all substitute feeding preparations differ markedly from it, making human milk uniquely superior for infant feeding. Exclusive breastfeeding is the reference or normative model against which all alternative feeding methods must be measured with regard to growth, health, development, and all other short- and long-term outcomes. In addition, human milk-fed premature infants receive significant benefits with respect to host protection and improved developmental outcomes compared with formula-fed premature infants… Pediatricians and parents should be aware that exclusive breastfeeding is sufficient to support optimal growth and development for approximately the first 6 months of life and provides continuing protection against diarrhea and respiratory tract infection. Breastfeeding should be continued for at least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child.
So we have to ask ourselves this, given that Obamacare can mandate that everyone buy health insurance, largely on economic arguments under the rubric of social cost theory, and we have police stopping drivers for not wearing seat belts under the same theory, what's next? The answer is obvious, given the obvious health benefits of breast feeding; a mandatory breast feeding period of one year for mothers is clearly called for. Mom wants to go back to work, get back in shape, whatever? No way, she's drawn a year's sentence as a milk factory. And Dad? Don't even think about it, you pervert, that milk's for the baby.

This is what you get when you elect a Congress and a President who appoints a Supreme Court who don't believe the constitution limits the federal government's power in any meaningful way. Right to privacy, hands off my body? Name any cherished liberal shibboleth that isn't threatened by this lack of limit on the federal power. Think this won't happen? Look at the history of seat belts.

No pictures, it would ruin this otherwise tasteful post.

1 comment:

  1. Seems to make sense, good of the future of country. Place the draconian eminent domain laws in with the mix of seat belts, helmets and breast milk. Jeesh...where is my country? This is tough love by our beloved leaders. I guess they know best.