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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Posted by on January 6, 2014.
Filed under Culture.
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Michael Becker is a long time activist and a businessman. He's been involved in the pro-life movement since 1976 and has been counseling addicts and ministering to prison inmates since 1980. Becker is a Curmudgeon. He has decades of experience as an operations executive in turnaround situations and in mortgage banking. He blogs regularly at The Right Curmudgeon, The Minority Report, Wizbang, Unified Patriots and Joe for America. He lives in Phoenix and is almost always armed.

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  • alanstorm

    OK, Nancy, we passed it and found out what’s in it. Now that we know, let’s repeal it.

  • 914

    Buy your snacks at WalMart.

    • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

      I already do! They’re pretty much the ultimate one-stop shop. Food, clothing, entertainment, firearms, auto, home and garden – they’ve got almost everything I need.
      Their shoes, however,.. (shudder) Evil things, from the Inquisition.

      • Hawk_TX

        The one thing that Walmart lacks is pistols. They only sell rifles and shotguns. Other than that I agree that they have almost everything. And yes their shoes are awful.

  • Paul Hooson

    The average person only lives to be 78 average. I’m close enough to 60 that I’m looking what’s just the last 25% of my life. So I could care less at this point in time how many calories are in a soda or whether potato chips or French fries contain as much as 290 times allowable cancer causing byproducts from frying potatoes at high temperatures. I eat what I want and enjoy my life because when you’re 78 it’s dead and buried time for the average person.
    A growing teenager might want to watch their wasteline so they look good in their prom dress. But, us older folks don’t have to be held to standards like that anymore. At an older age if you don’t check off items from your bucket list, then you probably won’t ever get to do them ever.

    • 914

      At any rate we don’t want to be limited to Wookie bars and diet caffeine drinks. Government needs to be reduced not our waistlines..

      • Paul Hooson

        I agree!

    • jim_m

      It’s not up to government to decide what our lifestyle priorities are. Period. It doesn’t matter if you are 16 or 65, what you want to eat or drink is pretty much none of their business.

      • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

        Amen.

        • Paul Hooson

          Absolutely!

      • Paul Hooson

        That’s absolutely right!

  • GarandFan

    “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…”

    Another number some effete liberal dweeb pulled out of their ass.

    Here’s thought: Digital scales underneath each seat in a restaurant. As soon as you sit, a display lights up with your weight. The waiter/waitress will then hand you the corresponding menu that you’re allowed to select from. That should only cost a couple hundred billion. But it will all balance out……….

    • jim_m

      There you go. If obamacare doesn’t work out it will be because they didn’t have enough totalitarian control over people’s lives. So the dems will campaign to have more control and they will promise that, “If you like your way of life, you can keep it” and that they will only control the lives of your icky neighbors. I expect that millions of idiot lefties will fall for that.

  • LiberalNightmare

    I’ll agree with a sticker that lists the calories of the candy bar, if they agree to place a sticker right next to it that shows how much of the purchase price for the candy goes to taxes.

    • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

      I LIKE that!

    • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

      Everyone should have to write a quarterly witholding check to the IRS, and filiing day should be changed to 4 weeks before Federal Elections.

  • John Smith

    So Obamacare allows the government to go after vending companies and small business owners because they want people to be healthy? This is ridiculous.

    • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

      It’s not about ‘healthy’ – it’s about justifying their own existence.

  • Paul Hooson

    If anyone cares to check it out, I just finished a story at Wizbang Pop about The Viewpoint Club, that $2 million dollar night club I own. Local government regulations prevented the club from opening for days while I was forced to install a $17,000 grease trap in the kitchen and have to comply with other expensive environment regulations. It’s a miracle we have any businesses open in this country because business is forced into such expensive costs to even open their doors. Government regulations are extremely costly, with only marginal gains in the ecology.

    • Walter_Cronanty

      I’m tired of hearing about your tittie bar, but you’re absolutely correct. I can’t imagine trying to start and grow a small business while dealing with the alphabet soup of federal agencies, AND state and local governments. We’ve tied our economic engine’s hands behind its back – we’re destroying ourselves.

      • Paul Hooson

        The economy is indeed held back by so much government regulation sometimes for only a marginal ecology outcome. Every household in this city will wash far more grease than all of restaurants combined will, yet restaurants are forced into such an expensive upgrade for the marginal difference it will make.