In Ms. Lane's July 24 letter opposing local government's role in "raising public health standards", she claims, "The truth is, there are no good reasons for a government to infringe a citizen's rights to make personal decisions." I believe there are at least two principles that legitimately guide government action with respect to public health:
First, when government has knowledge that individual citizens lack and, second, when the costs of an individual's — especially multiple individuals' — bad decisions are borne by others. Examples abound: safety standards for restaurants and the food service industry, for consumer goods such as cribs, for alcohol and tobacco sales. I support the county's initiatives to improve public health, including those designed to encourage healthy beverage choices. I also appreciate Ken Ulman's moving toward a more sensible balance in policy implementation. And, I think Horizon Foundation and its CEO Nikki Vernick are HoCo treasures. Keep up the good work.
The writer is a former board member of the Horizon Foundation and serves on its investment committeeCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun