Nanny Government and vending machines courtesy of ObamaCare

There is no end to what Nanny Government will regulate for your good. Yesterday in New York City it was 32 ounce sodas and salt. Today it’s vending machines and the regulations are courtesy of the Affordable Care Act, ObamaCare.

That’s right, a provision of ObamaCare allows the government – specifically the Food & Drug Administration – to regulate vending machines.

We think that this just pushes the envelope on insanity.

We know people who buy stuff from vending machines. Of those who purchase “snacks” like candy and soda or chips, the health content of the purchased item is a standing joke. The part that amazes us is that the government actually believes that by posting calorie counts on machines people will make large scale changes to their diet. We call that stupidity.

We’re not alone in that call.

The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, has lots of little hidden provisions that are slowly emerging to try to force you to be healthy. One is a requirement that vending machines list calorie counts for all of their Cheez-Its, ‘Nilla Wafers, alleged “trail mix” and other nutritional detritus that you might otherwise have mistaken as good for you.

The new law will affect about 5 million machines around the country, causing a major headache for the 11,000 vending machine companies that will have to comply.

One vending machine company owner called it “outrageous,” telling Atlanta’s KNTV: “How many people have not read a label on a candy bar? If you’re concerned about it, you’ve already read it for years.”

The Food and Drug Administration estimates that the new law will cost the vending machine industry $25.8 million up front and $24 million annually subsequently, according to NBC. Only companies that operate 20 or more machines will have to post calorie counts. They have one year to comply.

The government, of course, has a rationale for all this. They’ve studied it and the conclusion is, or should be, obvious to all non-Curmudgeons.

But it will all balance out, the government says. According to the feds, if just .02% of obese adults ate 100 fewer calories a week, it would save at least $24 million a year in healthcare costs…

14-0106 - ObesityHeck, we think they should have claimed $50 million in healthcare savings. At this point, what difference would it make?

The government simply has perverse ways of going about accomplishing their “goals”. We’re guessing that they are targeting fat people (due to our sensitive nature, we refuse to use the word “obese”) to help them be more healthy and, of course, to lower healthcare cost. [We just bit our tongue.]

There are more effective ways to do that and not punish small business and the skinny population at the same time. How about they allow health insurance companies to change their underwriting process to take weight into account when health insurance premiums are calculated.

Fat people get charged more than people who manage their weight responsibly because fat people use significantly more healthcare. After all, that’s the rationale behind forcing small businesses to include calorie counts on the machines. People who are really fat should pay significantly more than those who are just a little fat (pun intended).

That would probably raise all sorts of victimization claims, especially with poor people, because in our non-scientific observations poor people tend to be a whole lot more overweight than those of us who work for a living.

We hope you have a wonderful day today, and enjoy your guilt free snack from whichever machine you choose while you can because Mommy Government is about dump guilt on you and pass the higher prices along to all of us.

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