War on Obesity – Dead or Alive

WTF are you doingI’ve written before in this blog about how the War on Obesity is conducted in a way that lets us know that they want us thin or dead and they don’t much care which.  One of my many concerns with the horrific new US President is that he has promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare)

This is a big deal because before the ACA was passed, insurance companies were allowed to deny insurance to fat people.  I went fourteen years without insurance because insurance companies were allowed to consider my body size a “pre-existing condition” and deny me insurance in a country where medical care costs are predatory, profit-driven, and expensive far beyond all reason.

This is significant because those who don’t have insurance are often charged up to ten times the amount for the same procedure or medication as the insurance companies are charged (In this instance a two-day hospital stay would have been over $21,000 for a person without insurance, but the insurance company pays just over $2,000 for the exact same service.  A good friend of mine is on a medication for which he has a co-pay of $6 and his insurance pays another $68 for a 30 day supply.  Without insurance the same medication is $1,200.)

Some fat people in the UK are facing this situation in the face of funding shortages. Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has decided that patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above will be barred from most surgery for up to a year.

Let’s be clear, they are not suggesting that the surgeries are less necessary for fat people, and they are not suggesting that waiting a year will be good for these populations. They are simply saying that they’ve decided that, in order to save money, if your weight in pounds times 703, divided by your height in inches squared, is greater than 30, you are less deserving of routine medical care. 

Don’t fool yourself, this isn’t about health, or “healthy behaviors” by any definition – this is about money, and it’s about the people in charge deciding whose blatant oppression the general citizenry will tolerate. Years of campaigns suggesting that it’s fine for people to stereotype fat people and blame us for their problems have led to a situation where people are comfortable with us being denied the same medical care that they receive.

You can read my full piece, including a look at the complete lack of logic in this decision, here…

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5 thoughts on “War on Obesity – Dead or Alive

  1. Meanwhile, “healthy” people doing truly, horrifically, nonsensical things (just check the Darwin Awards “honorable mentions” – those who actually survive their stupidity, or the News of the Weird), are racking up the medical bills.

    And professional athletes doing awful things to win records, without regard to their own long-term health in doing so. Steroids is just one example. Continuing to work out on an injury is another. Many professional dancers, for example, will inject pain medication directly into the injury, and then get up and keep going, because they’re not allowed to take time off to heal. Meanwhile, they have VERY short careers, because of it.

    I’d love to see the day when athletes don’t push themselves to be super-human, but have longer, safer, healthier careers.

    I’d love to see the day when fools endangering themselves and others are made to pay full price for their medical care, and the insurance companies pass the savings on to those whose afflictions are beyond their control.

    Plenty of developmentally challenged people have enough SENSE not to have sex while driving or go “planking” on the railroad tracks or on a 12th story balcony railing. It’s not a marker of intellectual ability, but a marker of actually thinking about consequences before you act. And yet, the world wants to punish us for a state of being, rather than punish the people who are actively harming themselves AND OTHERS in their foolish actions. It’s easy to say “No, I’m not going to play William Tell with the kitchen knives.” It’s nearly impossible to become the shape and size they want us to be.

    And yet, in an effort to save money, they are not even MENTIONING the possibility of rationing the surgery for the fools. Why?

    Just try to lose weight, when you can’t even walk, because of a bad hip or knee. A hip or knee replacement now might be expensive, but it will help the person become more active and healthy (and less medically expensive), in the long run.

    Meanwhile, they’ll happily pay full coverage to re-attach some jerk’s penis, after he tried to force oral sex on a very unhappy horse. (Not making that one up, folks!) Sorry, but some people do not deserve to have sex, and will probably live much better lives without it.

    My take is, if you do something that foolish and dangerous, we’ll save your life, but don’t expect us to spend oodles of money re-attaching limbs and things that you can live without. But if you’re just bigger than an arbitrary number (and the BMI IS arbitrary – it’s been lowered twice, just for political reasons, and it doesn’t even take into account muscle mass or bone density, which DOES vary from person to person), then you deserve the same health care as anyone else who is not actively trying to cause mayhem.

    1. That’s because fat hate isn’t about health and never has been. Fat hate has existed in some form or another for as long as fat people have, but it’s only since the industrial revolution’s standardizaiton of bodies and pathologization of outlying types “urhelth” has been the go-to excuse to engage in it. That doesn’t mean it’s ABOUT health – health is just the magic word you say to turn yourself from a bully into a “champion of tough love.”

      1. Yeah, and for added irony, the fat-hatred thing really came into its own during the Victorian era, when fat was considered IMMORAL (in fact, for a woman to not wear a tight corset was considered immoral, or at least proof of her loose morals). And yet, at the same time, they encouraged women to take arsenic! Because it would give their skin that pallid, consumptive “glow,” that you get when your skin becomes translucent, and you can see your blood vessels through it.

        They actually romanticized consumption and early death (of young women), to the point that looking sickly was considered the ideal. But heaven forbid you should be fat, at the same time. I suppose fat people don’t get consumption?

        BWAHAHAHAA! Right. Tuberculosis never hits fat people, and thin people never get heart disease or diabetes. Everyone knows that!

        So, claims of caring about health… That’s actually a new thing. Once the public started saying, “You can’t dictate our morality!” and “freedom of religion means we can be free of religion, and be atheists or agnostic or even pagan earth-worshippers, if we want, and free love, and keep your restrictive, Victorian morals to yourselves!” they had to have some excuse to hate the fatties, so they went for “health.” Also, arsenic has been removed from cosmetics. Whee.

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