The Washington Post

Can it be bad if it feels so good?

Ezra wrote the other day about how the Cleveland Clinic controls health care costs for its own employees. He sort of framed it up as a spooky trade-off between cost control and life control. “]A] model for American health care or a preview of a dystopian surveillance state” was how he put it.

This terrifying future apparently involves being fit and healthy as opposed to having diabetes and cancer. Sign me up. I have an acknowledged weakness for the nanny state, and if Nanny can give me thirty additional years of good health at low cost, she can tuck me into bed and kiss me good night as well. Some, I gather, prefer the freedom to be disease-ridden, which I guess is along the same continuum of freedom to not go to school as a child because of freedom to be ignorant, not that we need any help there.

This would all be well and good if our national idea of American Exceptionalism is now to be the spongy, wheezing superpower of the globe, and you can decide for yourself whether that orthopedic shoe already fits. But the fact of the matter is, health care costs are bankrupting us just now, and this idea of good health is indeed the most horrifying solution, except for all the other alternatives proposed so far.

Tom Toles is the editorial cartoonist for The Post and writes the Tom Toles blog. See all of his cartoons here.


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