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Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014

The Right Stuff

A politics blog by Tom Jackson

Tom Jackson's baseball card - if he had one - would report he throws left, writes right. In his columns and blog, "The Right Stuff," southpaw Jackson provides insight into the evolving human condition from a distinctly conservative point of view.

What FCC mission creep means to future of medical care

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The genuinely worrisome thing about the Federal Communication Commission’s proposal to put its agents in America’s newsrooms — aside from the hideously obvious — is that it represents nothing more or less than bureaucracy’s inevitable mission creep in pursuit of its expansionist instincts.

Sending bureaucrats to poke around inside the decision-making processes of private companies carrying out provisions of the First Amendment may strike fans of an untrammeled Bill of Rights as the definition of wretched excess. But we must understand: This is what they do.

Once an agency decides it needs to administer rectal exams to those who fall within its jurisdiction, it is only a matter of time before the agency declares its excuse for snapping on powder-free latex gloves.

The FCC proposes to “study” newsroom operations to more fully report its Congress-mandated obligation to promote diversity in the media, but about the first thing first-year physics majors learn is studies affect outcomes. While probably not entirely accurate about examinations of distant stars, it is almost certain newsroom behavior will be altered, not necessarily for the better, when FCC surveys and surveyors show up.

And that, bottom line, is why Americans — who still prefer being free citizens and not subjects of an imperial ruling class … I think — should resist, must resist, the encroachments on their liberty represented by expansions of government-run medical care. If bureaucrats think they can get away with injecting themselves in a process protected by the First Amendment, how much more emboldened will they be to meddle in the daily lives of civilians once they have charge over the nation’s health, which the Founders failed to mention?

New York’s zeal in limiting salt, trans fats and the size of sugary drinks under Nanny Bloomberg is merely the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Imagine First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” operation growing from a suggestion to a mandate.

Not that I’m opposed to sensible exercise and healthy eating. But such things are, just now, individual choices. That all changes with increasing oversight by the government in our relentless march toward guaranteed access to medical care, unless we figure out how to repeal the laws of limited supplies. One plan — Independent Payment Advisory Board — was to have established savings through treatment dictates, but President Obama acquiesced to Congress gutting its budget.

This doesn’t mean Washington’s careerists won’t resort to flanking maneuvers. Alert thinkers will understand how the FCC’s game-shaping gambit could be — almost certainly will be — molded by federal employees who imagine they’ve been entrusted with doing what’s best for all of us.

Because asserting control is what they do. That’s what they always do.

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