David Harsanyi

And what would a proactive CDC mean if government operated health insurance? No, I don't believe Washington would deploy a phalanx of grinning, twisted doctors to perform coerced circumcisions. But when the CDC dispenses medical advice of the "universal" brand, it's difficult to accept that a government-run public insurance outfit wouldn't heed advice and act accordingly.

What if the CDC, through meticulous study, were to realize that circumcision is an entirely worthless procedure? Why would "we" waste $400 a pop? Would the CDC campaign to "universally remove" the operation from hospitals? Today, incidentally, government-run Medicaid doesn't pay for the procedure in 16 states. Most private insurers, on the other hand, do.

Though dismissed by public-option proponents, this is an example of how government persuasion can influence our decisions -- first by nudging and then, inevitably, by rationing.

The larger, more pertinent point for today is that government has zero business running campaigns -- and these things inevitably turn into scaremongering efforts -- that try to influence our choices regarding our children and our bodies. Especially when the procedure has so little to do with society's collective health. Circumcision is a personal choice.

Well, a personal choice for everyone except that poor little sucker lying on the chopping block.


David Harsanyi

David Harsanyi is a senior editor at The Federalist and the author of "The People Have Spoken (and They Are Wrong): The Case Against Democracy." Follow him on Twitter @davidharsanyi.


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