Saturday, November 7, 2009

Pelosi's Health Care Bill and Vending Machines

A typical American snack vending machineImage via Wikipedia
Seriously.  Is there any end to the nanny state mentality of idiots like Nancy Pelosi?  I don't think there is anybody who does not think some reform of the health care system is needed.  You keep hearing how premiums are too high, people turned down for pre-existing conditions, and such.  Those are the types of things that one would expect to see addressed in any type of reform.  However, would you expect to see regulation of an industry not associated with health insurance or health care?

Pelosi's monstrosity of a bill (HR 3962) has a provision in it that will regulate the vending machine industry.  Section 2572 of the bill states:
“In the case of an article of food sold from a vending machine that – (I) does not permit a prospective purchaser to examine the Nutritional Facts Panel before purchasing the article or does not otherwise provide visible nutrition information at the point of purchase; and (II) is operated by a person who is engaged in the business of owning or operating 20 or more vending machines, “the vending machine operator shall provide a sign in close proximity to each article of food or the selection button that includes a clear and conspicuous statement disclosing the number of calories contained in the article.” (See page 1,515 of H.R. 3962 Section 2572 (H) (viii).
The Congressional Budget Office has yet to determine what this provision of the health care bill will cost the vending machine industry, but the National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) has provided the CBO with an estimate of the cost for their members.  NAMA estimates that in the first year, the regulation will cost over $56 million.

The industry itself has seen their same store sales drop 17% in the past year, so the business is already suffering.  These provisions will negatively impact the industry even further.  Most vending machine operators are small businessman who own their individual sales routes.  Pelosi and company stand to drive more small businesses out of business, adding to our current 10.2% unemployment rate.  Not to mention what the other provisions in the bill will do to small business in this country.

Why is this regulation needed, and more importantly, why does it need to be in a health care bill?  Show of hands everybody, how many people when standing at a vending machine are concerned with the nutritional value of that Snickers bar they are about to buy?  Don't most people buying a snack from a vending machine already have an idea of how nutritious an item is?  I already know that the candy bar or bag of chips I am buying out of that machine isn't the most healthy choice I can make. 

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


  1. What's really ridiculous is punishment for not having health insurance under this plan. A maximum of 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine!

  2. the whole thing is obscene and that would be the top

  3. Only $56 million as part of the effort to get vending machines to stop adding to the problems of obesity, diabetes and hypertension in our country, and only a 17% reduction so far? It should be more. We spend much more stopping other drug dealers.

  4. aldon, I guess you don't believe in personal responsibility or freedom for that matter?

  5. I believe that your freedom ends somewhere before it starts impinging on my freedom. I believe that a lot of people talking about their own freedom often fail to exhibit personal responsibility. I believe that people that sell drugs fail to show personal responsibility as do the people that buy drugs.

    I believe that people who sell drugs should be held responsible for the damage they do to their clients and I believe the same should apply to those who sell junk food in vending machines.

    I take it from your question that you do not believe we should have drug laws or drug enforcement.

  6. Apples and oranges. HUGE difference between an illegal substance like drugs and a legal food product.

    I have no problem with not allowing smoking in restaurants because the danger from second hand smoke can impact other people. Same with drunk driving laws because a drunk driver can and often does infringe on others when that moron causes an accident.

    However, my deciding to have a Snickers bar does not infringe on your freedom at all, unless I took that bar from you before you got a chance to chow down on it.

  7. This is a great post followed by great comments. I wish I had stumbled on it sooner.

    As an owner of a small vending machine company and as a person who is health conscious I can see the usefulness but I don't agree that it should be required. That is a big burden for small vending business owners and can hurt our bottom line.



Related Posts with Thumbnails