Government standards are not infringement [Letter]

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.

Bob Jeffrey


The writer is a former board member of the Horizon Foundation and serves on its investment committee

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