Washington Journal – Highlighting “costs” of obese existence

My husband and I like to watch C-SPAN’s Washington Journal on weekend mornings (yep, we’re nerds).

The moderator this Sunday morning decided to highlight a Pittsburgh paper’s front page story on the so-called extra costs of obesity: Obesity’s costs emerge as major concern

Of course, we all know that the obeses are merely being scapegoated as the reason the cost of healthcare has been on the rise for so long, and that nearly every major chronic disease is unfairly attributed to the scourge of the obeses. Age-related diseases especially (like heart disease, stroke, some cancers, and Type II diabetes, arthritis), which have been on the rise due to an aging population, have each been nearly fully attributed to the frothing, contagious, dangerous, zombie-like, obeses.

No one has really spoken about it yet — or taken the bait, if you will — though one caller had something to say about the provisions of the healthcare bill:

“I think the first mandate coming out of Congress would include the fact that members of the Congress would have to be insured by policies that those members make.”

I completely agree. If the Congresspeople want to scapegoat the obeses and the olds, then they themselves (some who are obese and/or old) should have to comply with every provision in standard policy they want for the rest of us. That is, if they’re looking to convert the sickness-care based healthcare system we have currently to a wellness-care based system, then they should have to be monitored, weighed, tested, poked, prodded, demeaned, death-marched, starved, etc with the rest of us.

(As an aside: though a wellness-based system might seem on its face a way to save money, in fact, it costs much, much more than a sickness-based system. While there are some diseases that can be prevented — smoking-related, sun-bathing-related, dysentery from bad water, spreading viruses from lack of basic hygiene, etc — the diseases and accidents in our modern age that cost the most money to treat aren’t a result of behavior/hygiene/and so forth, and hence can’t be prevented, even by the most fascist regime (unless we were just all chained to our beds…even then!). So switching to a wellness-based system won’t save much money off the bat, and then add the very high cost of many of these so-called “preventative programs” — the weight loss industry, as an example, rakes in $6 billion a year. Imagine that, plus inflated costs due to extra bureaucracy, plus extra since all those people who before chose not to take part in the industry would now be compelled to, coming out of our tax dollars instead. The mind boggles!)

Oh yes, and if you want to take a stab at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article in the comments here, please, be my guest! I think all the points have been neatly rebutted in different places all over the Fatosphere (and most eloquently, in my opinion, on Sandy’s Junkfood Science blog), but it’s always good to practice using one’s rational faculty.

5 comments on “Washington Journal – Highlighting “costs” of obese existence

  1. rottweiler2 says:

    Well…I’m simply disgusted…”Medical Prison Without Walls”, anyone?

    “Mr. Altmire … favors an approach to pay incentives to physicians based on the health of their patients, which he thinks would encourage them to tell patients about needed lifestyle changes …. The system would take into account the types of patients a doctor sees since those in poorer neighborhoods tend to have more health problems…”

    Translation: Make doctors lose money unless they…reject patients based on age, disability, weight, sex or race. And nag the ones to death that have to keep seeing them because they are too sick to say “Take this medical care and…”

    “[H]e added a provision to the House bill that would withhold 2 percent of Medicare payments to hospitals that they could earn back if they improve patient outcomes”

    Mr. Altmire? How much research, exactly, have you done into this topic?

    I suspect your research has been bought and paid for by people who will profit from Government-issued/approved health insurance plans and wellness” nonsense (really socialist control in disguise).

    C’mon now…Medicare pays squat right now. Guess what subset of patients those hospitals will do all in their power to avoid admitting if you get your way? That’s right: The people who really NEED hospital care and have no choice in the matter since those are the ones that don’t exactly have those “improved” outcomes.

    Which will include the poor old.

    The broke chronically ill.

    The disabled with no money.

    Women, especially poor women.

    The destitute fat.

    Racial minorities who are without funds…

    …”I think if the physician reimbursement was based on how healthy their patients are, we’d see healthier patients.”

    No, Mr. Altmire. What we will see is “cherry-picking” patient rolls by doctors to favor the young, healthy, skinny (usually white) athlete…and if they have money, all the better if the insurance does not pay the costs of treatment. (Hint: It won’t and doesn’t even now.)

    The people who are old, female, minorities, disabled, chronically ill? Well…Donald Trump summarizes what will happen to those patients…

    “YOU’RE FIRED!”

    Unless there is a miracle, we are doomed. :(

  2. bigliberty says:

    @rottweiler2 —

    No, Mr. Altmire. What we will see is “cherry-picking” patient rolls by doctors to favor the young, healthy, skinny (usually white) athlete…and if they have money, all the better if the insurance does not pay the costs of treatment. (Hint: It won’t and doesn’t even now.)

    Great point.

    The wellness care model of healthcare = caring for the well, and only the well.

    In other words, in an absolute sense what you’re going to see is the opposite of improved outcomes in a wellness care model. As the sick go underground (and get worse, and die), and the well are made sick via poor science (healthy fats mutilated, starved, tortured, and unnecessarily medicated because of the unpopularity of their fat), average outcomes are going to be far, far worse than under our current model.

    The point is, good change is good. Bad change is bad. Change for change’s sake can either be good or bad, depending on the consequences of the change. Changing out of a model one considers bad can go either way: to a better model, or a worse model.

    The healthcare plan in Congress as it is formulated today is a bad change from what we have currently: a much, much worse model. While it may cover the uninsured on paper, how many of those uninsured will be receiving the care they need under this model? Just putting people on the rolls is no healthcare model. You need to *care* for them.

    And kicking already-covered people out of plans they like (by messing with the price system), into plans where they may or may not receive care? —Doesn’t help.

  3. goodbyemyboy says:

    If the Congresspeople want to scapegoat the obeses and the olds, then they themselves (some who are obese and/or old) should have to comply with every provision in standard policy they want for the rest of us.

    The problem is that even if members of Congress are forced to accept inadequate health care, they will have extra money for medical costs that aren’t covered by the insurance that most other people won’t have. For the rich this is an inconvenience, not a failure of the government to protect its weakest.

  4. bigliberty says:

    @goodbyemyboy—

    Oh, absolutely. It’s like in Soviet Russia, when the elite (not the rich necessarily, but the ones with pull and power in the Party) would have all the good food, clothes, etc., while the ordinary proletariat would go without.

    I’m definitely not advocating any kind of government-run healthcare, as a note, I just wanted to make the point that, as usual, the people who are making the decisions for the rest of us are themselves largely insulated from the consequences of those decisions. And the more extreme that difference gets – the more insulated the ones in power become from the laws, regulations, coercive suggestions, market white noise, etc they foist on the rest of us, the scarier a place our country becomes for the average citizen.

  5. doomgloom says:

    It’s worse than Soviet Russia. The Obama plan would reduce the already inadequate budget for Medicare/Medicaid, and establish an “independent board” appointed by him to establish what care is “cost-efficient”. The decisions of this independent board would be binding upon the disbursement of Medicare/Medicaid funds AND become the legal standard by which private HMOs may deny care in order to cut their costs. And Obama has had several shindigs with the leaders of the HMOs, as well as drug companies and health-care providers, to get them to agree to cut costs. Because Obama’s plan for those not covered by Medicare/Medicaid is for the government to buy coverage for them from private HMOs! Obama rejects all proposals for single-payer health insurance, or Medicare/Medicaid for all.

    Obama’s plan is not socialism or communism. It’s Nazi! It’s corporatist fascism, robbing money from the government to give to trans-national, trans-sexual private cartels. I.G. Farben, a private cartel, ran the labor camp at Auschwitz, and made money by working the captives to death. The Nazi government funded itself by killing and robbing people, while denying health care and other services. Private cartels made huge profits from war materials contracts and ultra-cheap labor. Under the Obama regime, banks get multi-trillions in bailouts and HMOs get government contracts to deny health care! Obama also protects the drug companies’ super-profits by forbidding the Medicare/Medicaid program to negotiate for lower drug prices, continuing yet another of G.W. Bush’s evil policies.

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