Essay about Regulating Health

623 Words May 3rd, 2011 3 Pages
Regulating Health
Overview: In the absence of a national consensus about health care reform, many cities have taken the lead in providing health care and protecting their residents’ health and welfare. For example, San Francisco provides universal health access for its residents, while New York and Chicago ban unhealthy ingredients, such as trans fat, or unhealthy behaviors such as smoking. What is the government’s role in regulating healthy and unhealthy behavior, especially if the government bears the financial responsibility for health care? It is a fine balance between personal freedom and the government’s responsibility to provide for the health and welfare of the majority of its citizens. Have these local governments gone too far?
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The plan requires all businesses with more than 20 employees to contribute a percentage toward the plan, a mandate many area business owners consider too burdensome. Some business owners warn that businesses will not stay in the city if the plan is approved. The mayor, however, sees universal health access as a moral obligation for the city.

San Francisco has an obligation to provide its citizens with health access:

San Francisco does not have an obligation to provide its citizens with health access:


The Issue: San Francisco, which currently funds a health access program that guarantees basic health care for all its residents, passed legislation in March 2008 that requires chain restaurants to post nutritional information on their menus. The legislation is designed to help people make informed decisions about healthy eating and aims to curb rising obesity and diabetes rates. Opponents say that menu labeling will not change people’s eating habits, and is an unfair burden to restaurants.

San Francisco should require chain restaurants to post nutrition information:

San Francisco should not require chain restaurants to post nutrition information:


The Issue: In 2008, Chicago banned smoking in all public

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