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Horton talks sense

Posted: August 25, 2009 6:29 p.m.
Updated: August 26, 2009 4:55 a.m.
Conservatives, take heart.

When liberals start writing opinion pieces encouraging people to take personal responsibility for their actions, there is hope for America.

Yes, in The Signal's Full Speed to Port column on Aug. 12, "Engorged on medical insurance in Fat City," writer Gary Horton addressed the mounting expenses of health care by asking, "Where's our obligation to live healthy lives so as to limit our own expense on the community system - be it public or private?"

Good question, Gary.

Hard-working, tax-paying Americans are the most generous people on the planet, always ready to jump in and help the less fortunate.

But as you've so wisely observed, there's a difference between the helpless and the shameless.

If I want to eat myself into oblivion, it's my right to do so as a free citizen.

But when my fellow citizens have to cover the horrendous medical expenses of diabetes, hypertension and heart disease following my years of slovenly behavior, that's an abuse of the public trust.

Not all of these conditions are caused by bad diet and sedentary lifestyle, of course, but the vast majority are preventable with healthful eating habits and daily exercise.

Thanks for a thoughtful column, Gary.

Perhaps the right and the left (on this issue, at least) have more in common than we're willing to admit.


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