Health Care Trojan Horse

I have warned many times:

When health care is paid for by public funds, politicians only need to argue that some behavior affects health, and therefore increases the state's health care costs, to justify regulating the crap out of that behavior.

So, don't be surprised to see a lot more of this:

"Too many lives are lost in motorcycle accidents," Christopher A. Hart, NTSB vice chairman, said in announcing that helmets had been added to the board's annual "most-wanted list" of safety improvements. "It's a public health issue."


  1. Don:

    When they had a vote on repealing this obnoxious law in Texas, something like 400K bikers stormed the capital. You couldn't move in Austin for all the damned Harleys and Hondas. Scared the crap out of the legislature.

    The helmet law was repealed (except for 17 and younger ... we gotta protect the children :^/).

    Perhaps the Stergus rally should be moved for a year to DC. If Congress can't hold session because the defining roar of Hogs outside, they might decide that's the wrong constituency to piss off.

    I'm for anything that scares them into NOT making bad decisions.

  2. Brian:

    Would it come across as juvenile to shout back, "YOU'RE a public health issue!"?

  3. Captain Obviousness:

    The irony is that helmet laws INCREASE health care costs because more people survive crashes with severe injuries when everyone is wearing a helmet. Someone who would have been killed instantly without a helmet might be paralyzed or otherwise require expensive life-saving treatment if they wore a helmet.

  4. Doug:

    I have long made the Trojan Horse and Freedom of Choice arguments, but once I looked at the numbers on my own I came up with a new approach.

    Here in Florida I have a bet I like to offer: when the Florida DOT publishes its next "Crash Facts" statistics they will show that riders who crash WEARING helmets will have a HIGHER death rate than those who don't. I have few takers once I point out that I would have won this bet in 7 of the last 13 years.

    10-15% of the cycle accidents in this country happen in Florida, so I consider this to be pretty good sample.

  5. greg:

    Don....same here in PA. Of course it was only repealed about 5 or 6 years ago. I've noticed a lot of people going bare-headed since (myself included).
    Having had a taste of freedom in this regard, I'm not so sure how easy it will be to go back. Keep in mind bikers are generally a different breed from the rest of the sheeple (as your example proves)

  6. Dr. T:

    A colleague who was part of a liver transplant team was attending a conference about organ donation, and he saw a sign: "Bikers for Organ Transplants." His reaction was, "Haven't they done enough already?" (Many transplanted organs come from brain-dead former motorcyclists who didn't wear helmets.)

    Eliminating motorcycling would yield great benefits to a government that provides national health care: fewer accident victims to treat and a worsened organ shortage that would eliminate a large percentage of expensive transplants.

  7. perlhaqr:

    Brian: Probably... but it was my first reaction as well. :)

  8. epobirs:

    It's hard at times holding out for freedom.

    I personally find smoking repugnant and wouldn't spend time in a restaurant where smoking was prevalent. But I'm dead set against laws dictating that all such establishments must ban smoking. Don't like smoke? Don't go into places that allow it. It's really that simple. Business owners should be allowed to make the decision as to which customers best suit their business. A non-smoking night club should bouncers wearing shirts with the text: If you insist on smoking in this place you will die sooner than later. A lot sooner.

    Same for motorcycle helmets. In my opinion anyone who rides without a good full-face helmet has a death wish. Both of my brothers would be dead if not for such equipment. With it, the rest of their injuries were survivable and mostly healed. But then, I'm all for organ donation. Perhaps a better law would be to make organ donation mandatory upon brain death as a waiver requirement for motorcycle licenses.