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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Too Mean To Publish

I wrote this article for my school newspaper, but I decided not to submit it. Mostly because it would just piss people off and I really don't need an extra source of stress in my life. Another reason is that the more I think about the entire subject I'm not even sure I agree with what I wrote. Red flags started popping up when I wrote "This is as Republican as I get, folks."

Of course, if we had universal healthcare this wouldn't be a problem...

It looks like the hospitals in this country are following the lead of the airline industry and charging obese people more for their services. Instead of charging them for an extra seat, hospitals are charging more for an ambulance ride. This really shouldn’t surprise anyone, considering an ambulance ride for an obese person is often double the cost of what the Associated Press calls “normal-weight” people.

I felt the need to quote the Associated Press on normal-weight because I am not sure it is fair to classify people with a healthy BMI as “normal,” knowing the fact that over 60 percent of this nation is overweight, according to the CDC. Actually, if someone described me as “normal American weight,” I would be offended.

The reason costs are so high to get obese people to the hospital is that many stretchers and ambulances just cannot hold the weight, and special equipment must be used. Equipment such as forklifts, flatbed trucks, and Sawzalls to cut open the obese person’s house because they just can’t squeeze out a normal doorway.

These are extreme, although real, examples, but the cost to purchase new stretchers and ambulances that can support an obese person will double in the coming years, which will contribute to the total cost of health care. We all know that the cost of health care really hasn’t been a big issue lately, but we should still address this issue as soon as possible. I bet Congress will get around to it in a couple years.

Of course, the obese of this nation think that charging more to haul their extra weight is a form of discrimination. Joseph Nadglowski, president of the Obesity Action Coalition, stated that "Ambulance services are a critical public service and should accommodate the needs of all of those who require them at a fair cost.”

I know what you are thinking: “There’s an Obesity Action Coalition?” I am here to tell you that yes, yes there is. Obese people have become so prevalent that they need a coalition to speak for them, presumably because they are too busy using their mouths for breathing instead of speaking.

The coalition states on their website that one of their proudest moments was when they organized 3,000 people on a “Walk From Obesity” march on the Capitol. According to my calculations, that is about .029 percent of all obese people in this nation. I’ll let you decide where the rest of them were. My guess is on the couch.

And here I was, thinking it was funny when my friend made fun of the Greek community for only getting 200 people to their pep rally. My calculations indicate that that is about 1.4 percent of the entire campus, so if his estimation was correct, Greek life is way better at organizing events than obese people. Now that is what I call an accomplishment.

I do agree with Nadglowski though; I believe we should accommodate the obese at a fair price. It would be fair to charge them more, right? If I need to get my car towed, and I have a strange model that requires a different, more expensive hitch, I should have to pay more to get my car towed. If I need to send a heavy package, I should have to pay more to cover the extra cost to transport it.

I would not be saying these things if people could not control their weight, but they can. An obese person has essential chosen their lifestyle by not staying fit, and they should have to pay for the costs that are directly increased by their choice. I don’t see how that is discrimination. I just see it as fair.

This is as Republican as I get, folks.

I understand that some people cannot control their weight. Genetic defects and certain medications can cause weight gain, and these irregularities should always be taken into consideration.

If someone does not want to put in the effort to overcome obesity, I do not have a problem with it. However, I think it is completely fair that they pay for the increased health care costs based on their decision.

If an obese person wants to roll up to the drive-thru pharmacy for their Lipitor, Benicar and NovoLog prescriptions, I honestly do not have a problem with that, just as long as they don’t complain about the co-pays.

So yeah, that's my article that decided not to publish in the newspaper. I figure the relative anonymity that blogger provides protects me from getting flamed by my campus.

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