Last week, with much of the news cycle focused intently on the oil spill disaster in the Gulf and the continuously weakening economy, Barack Obama quietly signed an executive order to establish the National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council.
While such a council isn’t unusual given the president’s preferred collegial approach to governance, and may sound innocuous, a deeper look is needed to understand exactly what this council is and what it aims to accomplish.
As the newest expansion to the Department of Health and Human Services, the council is headed by the Surgeon General, Dr. Regina Benjamin, and is comprised of 13 other high-ranking officials of executive agencies — including Janet Napolitano (DHS), Kathleen Sebelius (HHS), Hilda Solis (Labor Dept.), and Arne Duncan (Dept. of Education).
Additionally, the council will oversee an advisory group of up to 25 non-federal government officials who will be appointed by Obama. Many of the president’s appointees will be licensed health-care professionals with expertise in worksite health promotion, community services, preventive medicine, health coaching, public health education, geriatrics, and rehabilitation medicine.
Beginning this year, until 2015, the council will submit an annual report to the president and Congress that describes the progress it has made with its efforts to advance health promotion and disease prevention. Overall, it is expected to address “lifestyle behavior modification” of the American people, including, but not limited to, smoking cessation, proper nutrition, appropriate exercise, mental health, behavioral health, substance-use disorder, and domestic violence screenings.
Does the council still seem innocuous now?
Just in case a reminder is needed, this is the U-S-A, not C-U-B-A. Americans take pride in living in a free society, and we the people don’t need a president who can’t quit smoking, a surgeon general who has had to defend her own weight problem, government bureaucrats, and what will likely be an advisory group comprised of the crème de la crème of radical statists, to tell us what we should and shouldn’t put in our bodies, in addition to, how to behave.
The last council the president created via executive order was the deficit commission that Congress had previously refused to create – which came shortly after a New York Times report disclosed the president was preparing to rule more through executive declaration – and an explanation shouldn’t be required as to why Obama didn’t bother discussing the creation of this health council with the legislative branch.
With the Democratic Party poised to lose its majority in Congress, Obama will have to intensify his presidential usurpation of legislative power to ensure that the re-creation of America in his image comes to fruition; it has to make one wonder, what else is to come?