Should Obamacare Be Denied to Overweight People?
If you don't want help, that's fine. Refuse the life vest and tread water as best you can. Turn away the firefighters and blow at the flames with all the lung power you can muster. Do not allow your children to be vaccinated against controlled diseases and keep your fingers crossed. All that is your perogative. But if you are among the many still harping about the imagined terrors hidden in the Affordable Care Act, will you please stop? There were never any death squads.
If you are among the many still pontificating that making health care accessible to as many people as possible is some how enabling an "underclass" will you also please stop? Those who need are not substandard and weak willed. Even if that were the case, what of it? Is it not part of the purpose of a humanistic society to improve the lot of its "lesser" members, or should we pry the death squads from rhetoric and make them real?
Sandy Pukel and ACA
Sandy Pukel, a Florida nutritionist has some sound advice for newcomers to the Affordable Care Act. She recommends that they put down those donuts. She goes on to state that if a person chooses to eat donuts along with other "crap" and wash them down with a Coke, then that person will eventually wind up sick.
If you are among the 2.4 million who are getting insurance via the taxpayers' expense, then Pukel feels that the donuts, Coke, and all that other "crap" you consume while receiving government-funded insurance is just another indicator that personal responsilbility is eroding in America. We'll have to overlook the points that the majority of Americans are overweight or obese regardless of how they are insured and that one of the primary purposes of insurance is to help sick people.
Furthermore, Pukel can't see why additional government paid health insurance should be offered to those who smoke, drink, overeat, and avoid exercise. She feels these people should try harder. Pukel is not alone in her opinion.
Daniel Callahan, a medical ethicist at the Hastings Center, advocates fat-shaming as a method for helping the obese address their problem. Callahan believes that public postings asking questions like "Are you pleased with the way you look if you are overweight or obese?" is a pretty good idea.
To borrow a word from Sandy Pukel, behind all this "crap" is a legitimate point. Many people do not take as good care of themselves as they probably should. About one-third to one-half of patients with chronic illnesses fail to take their medications as suggested. Medical expenses and lost productivity associated with obesity carries an annual price tag of almost $150 billion dollars.
So yes, there are definitely problems. I find it impossible to accept that the solution to those problems is denying people access to health insurance or concocting schemes for public humiliation. We're better than that.
Living life well-fed,
My Bariatric Life
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