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.

Advertisements