Here in the United States, we just celebrated Independence Day, the 4th of July. And yet, we are in uncertain times – financially, politically and most of all, in terms of our civil liberties. There is a growing feeling in America that our liberties are expendable in the pursuit of solutions to problems like the economic crisis and providing health care just as they were (and are) concerning the war on terror.
But something’s changed. Whereas past administrations were content to keep the status quo on health care and just create bloated budgets to pay for pet projects for lobbyists, we now have a government that seizes businesses and appoints czars that are not elected and are only accountable to the government that created them.
What I have just written is not new. It has been voiced by others…independents, conservatives, libertarians and others.
So what does any of this have to do with size acceptance, you might ask?
What if our government decides to create a Weight Loss Czar? Oh, they’d probably make the title sound less overbearing, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility. Or if/when they create socialized medicine, what if people who are above a certain BMI aren’t allowed certain treatments unless they lose weight? If you think it can’t happen, ask someone who lives in the United Kingdom or elsewhere. They’ll set you straight on that, and quickly.
[07-31-09 Update: Please stop sending comments like "Life is so great under NHS here in the UK, what's wrong with you Americans?" I have already stated this is not an "us vs. them" blog entry. I'm no longer accepting those comments, so don't try.
Please read the entire entry! This is about alerting people of all sizes to what is going on and being planned for the UNITED STATES and making preparations for those matters in advance. If you're happy with what you're getting in the UK, that's great!]
Right now, fat people are mostly not protected under U.S. law, and as a result, we know the discrimination that happens every day. As bad as that is, it could get infinitely worse in the very near future.
We need to wake up, and we need to re-claim our voice. We need to get laws passed that add “size (weight and height)” to the current protections. It will take a lot of effort and it won’t happen immediately, so we need to get started.
And if you don’t live in the U.S., don’t think you’re excluded. What happens in the U.S. tends to find its way to other parts of the world, sometimes very quickly…
Some people will accuse me of being alarmist. Some people will say I’m being judgmental of a new President, that I’m one of those bitter, conservative Republicans who won’t find anything right with President Obama.
To that, I answer: I’m not a Republican (or a Democrat), and I voted for President Obama.
But the change he has unleashed is not what I was led to believe it would be — and the same could well be true of health care. This has the potential to lead to many deaths through malpractice/incompetence and denial of service. If so, it would be based on fear and an inherent prejudice that exists in the current medical establishment, fear and discrimination taught in medical school. Where “Do No Harm” takes a back seat to “do whatever we can to get rid of fat and line our pockets at the same time.”
And in fairness, not all doctors feel like that. But doctors have to follow the rules, and the rules could change…radically. And that’s what concerns me, and I think it concerns many doctors as well.
So call me alarmist, but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong. We’re in uncertain times, and it’s time to get ready.
This whole blog entry is about a “call to arms” to be prepared. There are some warning signs in what President Obama has already said concerning “obesity” in his presidential campaign. And should some of those concerns translate into restrictive/harmful anti-obesity rules or even legislation in what appear to be the coming changes to the healthcare system, then we — the so-called Size Acceptance Movement — would do well to have preparations made and plans in place.
The best defense we have is to plan now — a good offense, if you will. If we wait till the changes have been made, we will have lost opportunity to do anything about it. Right now in the U.S., we continue to enjoy the freedom to organize, peacefully dissent and voice our concerns to our elected officials. We need to avail ourselves of these freedoms and work to change the anti-discrimination laws to include “size (weight and height).” That is one step. The other step is to communicate with our representative officials concerning existing discrimination problems in healthcare.
I have spent the last 12 years working and fighting, alongside many brave and wonderful people of all sizes and all political, religious and sexual persuasions. We have fought and continue to fight the common foes of ignorance and those who would profit from others’ ignorance or fear to act.
This is not some lame “I hate socialized medicine and all countries that practice it suck” blog entry. This is me, Allen Steadham, the Founder and Director of ISAA, and based upon my experience and what I see happening on multiple fronts, I see cause for concern.
I hope I have made things clear. I will write more in the weeks and months to come. Thanks.