By Carole on Mar 23, 2010
It takes a while for human beings to read and report on 2500 pages of twisted legislative language so details of the brand new health care reform law are being reported on in bits and pieces. Today, as President Obama and his accomplices were congratulating themselves on the signing of this monstrosity, news reports are informing us that to comply with the law, more than 200,000 fast food and other chain restaurants will have to include calorie counts on menus, menu boards and even drive-throughs. (source)
While this is not as offensive as many of the other regulations, requirements, mandates and dictates in the new legislation; it is a prime example of the way much of it will work. Under the guise of improving health, the law directs the Food and Drug Administration to create a new national standard for menu labeling, superseding all the state and city laws that already exist. This will result in Washington bureaucrats having more control over commerce as any restaurant with 20 or more locations will be forced to reprint/reproduce menus and menu boards in compliance with whatever new standard the FDA creates. Of course the cost of compliance will be passed on to customers most of whom can not afford higher costs in the current economy resulting in lower sales for and fewer jobs at the restaurants.
Then of course there is the implied intrusion in the choices made by American consumers. I can't help wondering if the new FDA standard will require large font sizes for calorie counts or even mandate that menu item be placed in such as way as to promote the lower calorie options.
Proponents of the new law claim the new and as yet undefined standard will be an important step in the fight against obesity. But according to a recent study, only half of customers in poor New York City neighborhoods with high rates of obesity and diabetes noticed the calorie counts after that city was the first in the country to pass a calorie posting law.
Does anyone believe that Americans need a law to tell them that Big Macs and french fries are high in calories? Of course not. This is just one part of the federal power grab that is the brand new $938 billion health care overhaul signed by President Obama today. It is just one more government tentacle created to reach into our lives and businesses. Before signing the bill, the president said, "All of the overheated rhetoric over reform will finally confront the reality of reform." (source) Looking at this new power given to the Food Police as an example of the reality we are about to confront, it will be far too intrusive, expensive and utterly ineffective for the American people.
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