We have been waiting for the long-anticipated new health care proposal that the Obama Administration hopes Americans can get behind. We got something earlier this week.
After looking this past weekend, there is definitely one Obamacare initiative that I can think of that I can support.
And while there may be ideas coming from the Oval Office that might make sense to Americans, this initiative did not originally come from the president, but I must say kudos to Obama nonetheless.
Mrs. Obama, that is.
Although it is easy to question the first lady’s statements that the federal government will have a small role in her “Let’s Move” campaign (particularly if the man of the house—or those such as Mrs. Pelosi and Mr. Reid—has anything to do with it as evidenced by the $10 billion already pledged to increase in nutritional funding over the next 10 years), the decision to take on the fight against childhood obesity is the type of initiative that looks at current costs and long-term savings around getting Americans involved in the process in ways that should not look to spend a lot of money in the interim.
As the first lady has mentioned during her public television appearances (including her recent interview on Fox News’ “Huckabee”), there are opportunities to address issues and resolve these problems. She gets it right: childhood obesity is problem that is a “…solvable issue because it’s…community based… it doesn’t require new technology, or…new research…”
And, it should not cost billions to accomplish while it should be able to save us a portion of the $150 billion that we spend as a nation annually treating obesity-related illness. Of course, there is another figure related to our loses as a nation that relates to the resources lost in the workforce, in schools, and in volunteerism as a result of obesity-related illness.
Either way, we stand to gain a lot if we can successfully help Americans lose a lot.
To our benefit, her solution has the potential to be very conservative-based as well.
That is: smaller government responsibility and bigger personal responsibility.
Hopefully, the president can ride some of the momentum from his wife’s insightful initiative and guide the health care summit on Thursday much the same way. As Mrs. Obama mentioned, the federal government must be a small player in the process of overcoming childhood obesity if we are going to defeat this American killer. On a larger scale, as the Obama Administration chases down a healthier America through the access of a less-expensive health care system, the same mantra must be applied.
Government can provide laws, money, and public service announcements, but it cannot provide better choices and healthier lives without infringing upon personal liberties, even if for the “best of intentions.” Government can provide programs for parents to learn more about nutrition to apply in their homes, secure better food for children in schools, and focus more on physical education in schools, but it will not be able to turn around the epidemic faces our future generations—and the financial implications facing future American taxpayers and politicians—without the basic credo that was espoused repeatedly at C-PAC this past weekend:
One person + one choice + one’s liberty and sense of responsibility = one great nation.
Just the same, the federal government can attempt to force people to purchase health care insurance or maneuver other realities as it sees fit, but without the willingness of everyday institutions to stem off the expansion of the health care problem in America, the money, time, and effort will be wasted—basically shoving something upon the American people that will complicate a situation that could take the ill into critical condition.
Ironically, as we approach the health care summit this week, we can only hope that the president understands this principle and takes a page of Mrs. Obama’s noble campaign to stop stuffing things down the throats of Americans that are not good for them. If the president is more referee between Republicans and Democrats than he is cheerleader for his Democrats’ proposals, perhaps we can an Obama-led health care initiative and an Obama-led health care plan that America can benefit from without growing fat (on taxes) and sick (of partisan gridlock.)
Lenny McAllister is a syndicated political commentator and the author of the book, “Diary of a Mad Black PYC (Proud Young Conservative,)” purchased online at www.tinyurl.com/lennysdiary and www.amazon.com.