Radley Balko jokingly refers to them as the American Meddling Association. And he’s completely on point. What’s got him and many others upset is a proposed sin tax on soda to “combat obesity” as well as several other (even more asinine) proposed measures. Where will the revenues go? Government programs, of course.
The initiatives are self-evidently moronic. Disregarding the philosophical reprehensibility of such statist nonsense, as Mr. Balko points out, even the logic of it is dubious: Non-diet soda sales have remained relatively stable over the past 20 years or so. Meaning soda can hardly be considered to blame for the current obesity menace.
This is hardly the first time the AMA has stuck its nose into policymaking. And it likely won’t be the last. And neither are they the only expert organization to do so. I’ve talked about the thinly veiled statist tendencies of the Union of Concerned Scientists before. And I haven’t yet written much about the American Psychological Association for fear of an aneurysm.
Michael Cannon of Cato points out several other statist policy proposals the AMA put forth this week at its annual meeting in Chicago, including prohibitions on prescription drug and alcohol advertising, regulation of clinics run by nurse practitioners (and by that they mean drive out of business since they can offer services much cheaper than their doctor-members’ offices) and much, much more.