detlef

The NY soda law

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OK, so at face value it certainly seems pretty lame and random, but I keep going back to the same dilemma:

 

Are we, as a nation, going to turn our back on those in dire need of health care but can't afford it? We kind of, sort of do as it is, but it seems like, ultimately, we end up caving and giving people the absolute minimum. I mean, I don't think I can honestly come to grips with a policy that makes it official that, if you can't afford health care, you're screwed. That you're just going to have to die now.

 

Of course, everyone has different ideas of how to provide this basic need for everyone, but, by definition, someone has to pay for it. If we make insurance companies insure everyone, they raise the premiums of everyone, including the healthy, to cover the loss. If the gov't picks up the tab, then, same story, we all do.

 

So, that comes back to this. If I'm ultimately going to be paying for your diabetes meds, I'm a bit less interested in observing your right to pound massive amounts of sugary sodas. We've figured out a way to deal with this sort of thing when it comes to other choices, like driving a car. You drive like an idiot, you get a bunch of tickets and your insurance rates go up. If they go up too high for you to pay the tab, you can't drive. If you do anyway, you get busted. It's all so handy and clean. You driving like an idiot only affects me if you crash into me. You eating like an idiot may affect me even if we never meet.

 

We're all libertarians until, because of our bad habits, we need someone to bail us out.

 

Where do you stand on this? It is certainly making me rethink a number of stances I have on similar matters.

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I'll answer your question with a question.

 

Where does it end?

 

The logical extreme of something as silly as a soda ban is every person in the country confined in padded rooms wearing strait jackets and eating high nutrient food paste (100% FDA Approved!).

 

If we're going to ban soda, we may as well ban fat, salt, carbohydrates, and anything else that might directly (or indirectly) be responsible for 'poor health'. If we're really worried about health care costs then every single activity that lends itself to a high incidence of injury needs to be outlawed as well (contact sports, driving, escalators, etc.).

 

On one hand, I can see a soda ban as another stupid thing that New York state is going to do (I think they already banned salt), but on the other hand I see it as a slippery slope of utterly destroying freedom in the name of the 'better social good'.

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Was prohibition a good idea in your opinion?

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While I probably still wouldn't agree with it, I would be much more sympathetic to a large soda container tax, instead of an outright ban on soda containers over 16oz.

 

But that raises a question... does the City of New York really end up paying for coverage of non-insurance-having dead-beats, or does that "free" coverage get funded at some other level of government. If the answer is anything other than, Yes the City of NY pays a lot of money for this kind of coverage, then the Mayor has no business getting involved in this way.

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To deathpig:

 

Well, for starters, it's actually not a ban on soda. Rather, you can't order anything larger than a 16 oz drink.

 

As for your "we need to ban everything" bit, many of the things that can be tied to health care risks are built in. You mentioned driving, and so did I. You driving like an idiot costs you money, not me.

 

Here's another "where does it end?" To what degree is society going to subsidize everyone's freedom to be an idiot? What is your stance of providing health care for those who can't afford it and yet, may need it because they crush a gallon of soda a day?

Edited by detlef

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Was prohibition a good idea in your opinion?

 

Let me be clear, I do think the law seems silly and, by nature, am inclined to not be in support of it. I've just got an issue with everyone having the right to get themselves into trouble they can't afford to get out of and then turning to the rest of us to bail them out. That's where the dilemma comes in.

 

Also, this is not prohibition. This is basically enforced moderation.

 

I'll re-ask the same question I asked to deathpig but to anyone who feels very strongly against this law. What is your stance on what we should do with people who can't afford healthcare for situations they brought upon themselves through bad habits like consuming way too much sugar. Let's keep in mind, that this is a major, major issue in this country. Perhaps not with the number of people who have this sort of issue and can't afford it (because I don't have data on that, specifically), but with the connection between sugar and bad health in general.

 

Say, for instance, you've got someone who is getting subsidized medical benefits but just won't stop eating like an idiot? At what point to the rest of us have the right to say, "Hey a-hole, we're paying for this. Could you kindly meet us half-way on this, start eating right and get off your ass?"

Edited by detlef

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It's completely asinine. You can't legislate fitness and healthy eating habits. Just charge fat people more for health insurance like we do with smokers.

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It's completely asinine. You can't legislate fitness and healthy eating habits. Just charge fat people more for health insurance like we do with smokers.

 

I think we already do. But that doesn't address the public bill for people who need medicine but can't afford either the higher premiums or don't have insurance at all.

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It's completely asinine. You can't legislate fitness and healthy eating habits. Just charge fat people more for health insurance like we do with smokers.

 

 

Smoking is a choice. Although its rare, some fat people have problems causing their weight gains.

 

Banning or limiting soda is not the answer. Although I am not 100% sure I would be ok with this, but taxing heavily in these circumstances seems appropiate but the tax generated from this MUST be used appropiately.

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Oh boy, I'm not even going to get into the debates going on in this thread, it's simply more than I feel like debating right now, and is only bound to turn into a larger political disagreement, but I will say this...

 

Education is key, not regulation. Youth smoking has gone down because of education about it. Places where heroin was never made illegal saw great reductions in use as information spread and people became educated about how dangerously addictive it was... I mean, if meth was legal, how many of us would be going to the store to pick up a pipe-full? Well, still some, but the legality doesn't really make a marked difference in who will do so.

 

Now I'm not saying that even dangerous drugs should be legal, but rather that it's education that has the biggest effect... Hell, you're seeing it now with all of the trends towards healthier eating, but not because it's regulated, but because people are increasingly becoming more concerned with what they put in their body.

 

So by all means, educate people on the fact that too much soda is detrimental. It got me to where I don't ever even drink them anymore, and drink coffee and tea instead, but thinking that you can regulate morality and health is going to backfire on you every time.

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The problem is, these laws really won't matter much, and will have ton's of problems in practice. When I saw the news story they said it won't apply to diet sodas and fruit beverages. So I can order a XL (32oz) Diet Coke, and then go fill my cup (assuming they haven't outlawed self serve fountain drinks in NY) with Coke or another high sugar beverage. Or get a 16oz Coke and go back for refills.

 

And banning the sale of anything over size X will not prevent people from consuming too much of this.

 

Where's the ban on a package of beer over 6 or 12, who needs 18-24-30 beers at one time?

 

What about 2L bottles of pop, will they be banned?

 

 

I agree with some others that it is is a slippery slope to banning anything that some group thinks is dangerous. Going to that point, I could see people saying "outlaw motorcycles, skateboards, skydiving, horseback riding, ........." and so many other things that people may want to enjoy.

 

 

We as a nation need to eat better, get more excercise and generally take better care of ourselves. But I don't think you can (or should) legislate that.

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For the record, it seems that 15% of non-elderly people with diabetes and 13% of those with heart disease don't have insurance. For whatever reason, I can't copy and paste the link, all of a sudden, but that's what I found.

 

I do like, by the way, DoG's notion on the subject, by the way. Of course, with that in mind, you've a situation where you're spending, I assume gov't money to educate the populace against something that has gotten advertisement saying "DRINK ME!" everywhere.

 

Would you oppose a situation, no unlike cigarettes and booze that limits where they can run ads and requires them to put warning stickers on the bottle? That doesn't infringe on anyone's right to drink soda if they want to. I mean, we can continue to pretend that sugar isn't as bad as those but, perhaps that notion of harmlessness is why the problem is so big.

Edited by detlef

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Would you oppose a situation, no unlike cigarettes and booze that limits where they can run ads and requires them to put warning stickers on the bottle? That doesn't infringe on anyone's right to drink soda if they want to. I mean, we can continue to pretend that sugar isn't as bad as those but, perhaps that notion of harmlessness is why the problem is so big.

 

An interesting question. The libertarian in me wants to say "no, f' off with the legislations", but I gotta admit that the prescription meds commercials are pretty awesome, where they're forced to list all the potential side effects, sometimes worse than the affliction itself. Also, I do believe that transparent information to consumers to make an informed choice is necessary for a truly free market, and if the ones who have essentially a monopoly over the market don't have any reason to do it themselves, then...

 

Hmmm, as much as I didn't want to get into a discussion about the role of government, I might have to revisit this thread later after thinking about it. I always want to believe that there is a free market solution, but as long as the system is set up to where we have to pay for the choices of others, then it muddies the waters quite a bit.

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An interesting question. The libertarian in me wants to say "no, f' off with the legislations", but I gotta admit that the prescription meds commercials are pretty awesome, where they're forced to list all the potential side effects, sometimes worse than the affliction itself. Also, I do believe that transparent information to consumers to make an informed choice is necessary for a truly free market, and if the ones who have essentially a monopoly over the market don't have any reason to do it themselves, then...

 

Hmmm, as much as I didn't want to get into a discussion about the role of government, I might have to revisit this thread later after thinking about it. I always want to believe that there is a free market solution, but as long as the system is set up to where we have to pay for the choices of others, then it muddies the waters quite a bit.

 

Well said.

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Where's the ban on a package of beer over 6 or 12, who needs 18-24-30 beers at one time?

 

:raiseshand: :unsure:

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Let me be clear, I do think the law seems silly and, by nature, am inclined to not be in support of it. I've just got an issue with everyone having the right to get themselves into trouble they can't afford to get out of and then turning to the rest of us to bail them out. That's where the dilemma comes in.

 

Also, this is not prohibition. This is basically enforced moderation.

 

I'll re-ask the same question I asked to deathpig but to anyone who feels very strongly against this law. What is your stance on what we should do with people who can't afford healthcare for situations they brought upon themselves through bad habits like consuming way too much sugar. Let's keep in mind, that this is a major, major issue in this country. Perhaps not with the number of people who have this sort of issue and can't afford it (because I don't have data on that, specifically), but with the connection between sugar and bad health in general.

 

Say, for instance, you've got someone who is getting subsidized medical benefits but just won't stop eating like an idiot? At what point to the rest of us have the right to say, "Hey a-hole, we're paying for this. Could you kindly meet us half-way on this, start eating right and get off your ass?"

 

You keep bringing up the part about what do we do if someone can't afford healthcare.....

 

I know this does not answer your question directly but I think another question needs to be asked - why can't said person not afford healthcare? If it is an illegal immigrant in this country then I don't really care if they can afford it or not and I don't want to help pay for that. If it is some lazy ass that does not try to find a job and then sucks down 42 oz sodas everyday then again I don't really care to help that person afford healthcare.

 

For people who have been dealt a bad hand at no real cause of their own I am totally OK with helping those people afford healthcare - someone with birth defects or pre existing conditions etc. I guess bottom line is that I don't want to spend my money helping people who don't even care enough to try and help themselves.

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The constitution doesn't prohibit the government's ability to infringe on your right to gain weight.

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You keep bringing up the part about what do we do if someone can't afford healthcare.....

 

I know this does not answer your question directly but I think another question needs to be asked - why can't said person not afford healthcare? If it is an illegal immigrant in this country then I don't really care if they can afford it or not and I don't want to help pay for that. If it is some lazy ass that does not try to find a job and then sucks down 42 oz sodas everyday then again I don't really care to help that person afford healthcare.

 

For people who have been dealt a bad hand at no real cause of their own I am totally OK with helping those people afford healthcare - someone with birth defects or pre existing conditions etc. I guess bottom line is that I don't want to spend my money helping people who don't even care enough to try and help themselves.

 

Well, I certainly respect your stance. It's more thorough than wanting everyone to be able to do what they want and then expecting them to magically be taken care of when said bad habits come home to roost. That said, there are some that say that part of being the greatest country in the world means that a bunch of people don't start dying in the streets. And, part of what you're implying sort of flies in the face of that.

 

OK, what if it's like this: Dude has worked hard his whole life, but has a horrible diet and has always crushed sodas through the day. He's worked in some sort of mill or another and got his healthcare through his job. Mill got closed and now his awful lifestyle has caught up with him in a bad, bad way. He's got a horrible case of adult onset diabetes and heart disease to boot. Do you let him die? Both diseases he has are absolutely his fault.

Edited by detlef

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I really wish I had some sort of Solomon-esque answer for you, but I keep abstracting the question to be more like:

 

Should this poor guy who has adult onset diabetes die, or should 400+ million people get screwed because of him?

 

 

It's like that scene from any movie that has a submarine and one of the compartments starts flooding... sometimes a handful of people need to be sacrificed to save the rest of the ship. You simply can't save them all no matter how much you'd really like to. I'd rather a minority suffer from extreme bad luck or horrible personal decisions than to screw over the majority. It's utopian fantasy to pretend that people aren't going to die, we're really just arguing when and how.

 

Also, a ban on large sodas doesn't stop your mill worker from downing soda all day. He can buy a six-pack and drink it all himself in one sitting if he wants. He just can't go to a restaurant/convenience store and have them pour half that into a single glass-- unless it's diet (until we decide the potential cancer risk merits banning that) or ice tea (until we decide that potential caffeine related prostate problems merits banning that too).

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Well, I certainly respect your stance. It's more thorough than wanting everyone to be able to do what they want and then expecting them to magically be taken care of when said bad habits come home to roost. That said, there are some that say that part of being the greatest country in the world means that a bunch of people don't start dying in the streets. And, part of what you're implying sort of flies in the face of that.

 

OK, what if it's like this: Dude has worked hard his whole life, but has a horrible diet and has always crushed sodas through the day. He's worked in some sort of mill or another and got his healthcare through his job. Mill got closed and now his awful lifestyle has caught up with him in a bad, bad way. He's got a horrible case of adult onset diabetes and heart disease to boot. Do you let him die? Both diseases he has are absolutely his fault.

 

That is a tough question and of course if I answered yes let him die then I am a horrrible person but I can't help but think that people need to be held accountable for the actions that they choose. Similar to somone who buys a house and spends money carelessly and then the mill closes and they can't afford the mortgage - basically same issue but would you pay the man's mortgage? I assume not so why pay for the other dudes healthcare??

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The constitution doesn't prohibit the government's ability to infringe on your right to gain weight.

 

:huh:

 

Umm, you care to show me the part of the constitution where it gives them the power to infringe on that right?

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That is a tough question and of course if I answered yes let him die then I am a horrrible person but I can't help but think that people need to be held accountable for the actions that they choose. Similar to somone who buys a house and spends money carelessly and then the mill closes and they can't afford the mortgage - basically same issue but would you pay the man's mortgage? I assume not so why pay for the other dudes healthcare??

 

If dude with the house he can't afford goes bankrupt, we all pick up the tab in one way or another. And, just like the dude with the soda habit, he still gets the worst of it. So, nobody really wins.

 

None the less, you're right, it is a tough question, and one of the reasons that supports the astute comment that DoG makes. At some point, you're going to step in and mess with the market. In this case, by ultimately not letting anyone truly go under. So, once you've done that, you've fundamentally changed the playing field and, in a way, encouraged reckless behavior. "What's the worst that can happen?" Once we raise the floor on what that is, you change behavior and, ultimately, the market's ability to sort things out on its own. So, perhaps you need to step in again and try to discourage poor behavior.

 

Now, making sure people can't buy big sodas seems like about the stupidest way you could do that, but I'm certainly not against doing something to discourage people from pounding vast amounts of something that will ruin their health and trigger the safety net we've created.

Edited by detlef

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I'll buy 2 small sodas please. :thinking:

 

And does this apply to diet sodas? :shrug:

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:huh:

 

Umm, you care to show me the part of the constitution where it gives them the power to infringe on that right?

 

 

You have to have the right first in order for the government to infringe upon that right.

 

I don't see where the right to be overweigh would be protected by the New York State Constitution.

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Well, I certainly respect your stance. It's more thorough than wanting everyone to be able to do what they want and then expecting them to magically be taken care of when said bad habits come home to roost. That said, there are some that say that part of being the greatest country in the world means that a bunch of people don't start dying in the streets. And, part of what you're implying sort of flies in the face of that.

 

OK, what if it's like this: Dude has worked hard his whole life, but has a horrible diet and has always crushed sodas through the day. He's worked in some sort of mill or another and got his healthcare through his job. Mill got closed and now his awful lifestyle has caught up with him in a bad, bad way. He's got a horrible case of adult onset diabetes and heart disease to boot. Do you let him die? Both diseases he has are absolutely his fault.

 

 

Medicare, Medicaid, state sponsored HC programs for the indigent, etc...

 

I think a lot of us fail to realize how many programs that exist that essentially pay for indigent HC in this country (for instance, I had never heard of Peach Care in GA until my wife was talking about some of her friends back home who have access to the program.)

 

Further, there are a number of hospitals (like Grady in ATL) who have free dialysis and other such centers that treat indigent people who have renal issues.

 

I think that an earlier post struck at the heart of it, educating the citizenry about the dangers of certain activities is key.

 

Now, with regard to legislating the sizes of soda... It is crazy. It is a s ridiculous as the peiople in San Fran filing suit over Happy Meals. If people in the US would practice just an iota of self control (in regards to a bunch more than just diet) they and this country would be in much better shape.

 

Now, excuse me while I go smoke a cigarette.

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