Constitution Daily

Smart conversation from the National Constitution Center

Bloomberg’s Health Legacy: An Evaluation of Policies

November 25, 2013 by NCC Staff


This table was provided by Lawrence O. Gostin, University Professor and Founding O’Neill Chair in Global Health Law, Georgetown University Law Center.

Intervention Impact Criticisms
Trans Fat Ban (2006) 84% reduction in trans fat consumption. Inconclusive science, paternalistic, slippery slopes
Calorie Labeling (2008) Calorie labeling implemented nationwide. Inconclusive science, paternalistic, corporate speech
Salt Reduction (2009) 21 companies have reduced salt content voluntarily. Inconclusive science
Soda Portion Cap (2013) Soda portion cap overturned by court, pending appeal to highest New York State Court. Inconclusive science, paternalistic, unilateral executive power, slippery slope, health justice
Diabetes (2004) Diabetes has fallen from 9.2% in 2004 to 8.6% in 2008. Paternalistic, slippery slope, privacy
HIV (2005) HIV deaths and new cases fell from 2004 to 2011 since tracking of viral loads and drug resistance began. Paternalistic, slippery slope, privacy
Tobacco Control
Tax Increases (2002) The rate of smoking has fallen from 21.5% to 14.8% from 2002 to 2011 among adults, and from 17.5% to 8.5% among youth. Paternalistic, health justice
Smoke-Free (2002, 2011) Paternalistic
Restrictions on Sales: Graphic Signs (2009), Prohibit display of cigarettes and raise smoking age to 21 (2013) Court overturned 2009 requirement for signs; City Council enacted the increase in smoking age  in late 2013. Paternalistic, corporate speech
Built Environment
386 miles of bike lanes added; Citi Bike Share Bicycle riding has doubled from 2007 to 2011, and 46,840 members have joined Citi Bike. Inconclusive science, priority for bikes over cars
Revitalize recreation areas, parks within 10 minutes of all residents, plant 1 million trees Encouraged outdoor recreation through sidewalk seating for cafés and park revitalization.Parks and hundreds of thousands of trees have been added. Inconclusive science, allocation of resources
Gun Control
Gun Offender Registration Act (2006) Proportion of teens carrying guns down to 2.3% in 2011, the lowest rate of any U.S. city, and < half the 5.1% national average.Record low of 419 murders in 2012, down 35% since 2001.New York State imposed 3.5-year minimum mandatory sentences for illegal possession.

Operation Crew Cut expanded the police’s Gang Division and focused resources in areas affected by crews/gangs.

Doubled police to control gang violence

Paternalistic, privacy, 2nd Amendment
Limiting handgun purchases, require inventories, report missing guns (2006) Paternalistic, 2nd Amendment
Lobbied state for 3.5 year mandatory minimum sentence for illegal possession (2006) Inconclusive science, paternalistic, health justice
Operation Crew Cut (2012) Health justice
Road Safety
Pedestrian Safety Action Plan (2010) 1,500 crosswalks built, doubled the number of 20 mph school zones. Allocation of resources
Safe-cycling campaign (2011) 386 miles of bike lanes added since 2006. Allocation of resources, road congestion, priority for bikes over cars
Transportation Alternatives Plan (2013) Reduce speed limits, increase bike lanes, pedestrian safety islands, dedicated bus lanes, and make speeding a higher priority for NYPD. Allocation of resources, road congestion
Pollution Control
Water quality improvements (since 2002) Croton Water Filtration Plant (2012), Gowanus Canal Project to reduce sewer overflow and improve water quality (2013) Allocation of resources
Congestion pricing for cars entering NYC (2008) State Legislature refused to bring to vote. Allocation of resources, unfair to motorists


* Lawrence O. Gostin, University Professor and Founding O’Neill Chair in Global Health Law, Georgetown University Law Center


Sign up for our email newsletter