We have begun to get glimpses at the U.S. Government-proposed “public option” in health care, and it is worse than I feared. And now ISAA is getting media requests to discuss the proposed “obesity taxes” associated with the same healthcare measures. The possibilities of the potential future are frightening.
Of course, we should be used to being made afraid. The medical and bariatric surgery industries try to make us afraid of fat, the U.S. Government tries to make us afraid of fat and just about any public figure who wants to stir up fear uses the Universal Term of Horror (UToH): Obesity. And it works.
Well now it’s our turn, except we’re not saying to be afraid of obesity. We’re saying fear those who would legislate obesity!
Health and Human Services Secretary Katherine Sebelius says “We are killing ourselves, and more importantly, we are killing our children” at a 3-day conference in Washington D.C. called “Weight of the Nation.” Wow, guys, how subtle. At the same time, a “new study” came out claiming “obese Americans — those who are 30 or more pounds over a healthy weight — cost the country an estimated $147 billion in weight-related medical bills in 2008.” (Source: USA Today)
Was that study made by the same people who said 200,000 people die of obesity each year and it really turned out to be closer to 28,000 or less? Regardless, people in the medical industry and more importantly, people in the legislative and executive branches take these studies-passed-off-as-facts very seriously! And these are the people who will determine whether or not the healthcare initiative gets passed and if so, what will become law.
Now, in all fairness, Sibelius and others did make recommendations for encouraging healthy food choices and more physical activities on the local level. There’s nothing wrong with that, so long as that doesn’t translate into forcing people to eat specific things in specific quantities based on their Body Mass Index (BMI) or weight on a scale. Because we have another name for that: a DIET! And even the weight loss industry finally conceded that diets don’t work (just ask Weight Watchers, it’s their mantra now).
It doesn’t matter what those of us in the Size Acceptance Movement have been saying for years — that you can be fat and fit, that it takes a healthy self-esteem to make for a better person, that weight-based discrimination leads to eating disordered and other self-destructive behaviors (including suicide), that the medical industry has a built-in bias against fat people that begins in medical school, that weight loss surgery kills thousands and maims thousands more each year. None of that matters! The law of the land is not ours to dictate…that is in the hands of elected officials in Washington D.C. who have their own opinions, their own biases and unfortunately, their own agendas.
A few weeks ago, I literally sounded the alarm! There is a threat to every fat person in America. The threat is not healthcare you don’t have to pay for (except you do, through your taxes), it’s the control the U.S. Government would have to deny you healthcare at all! Some people have scoffed at that and told me “Allen, it’s like that now! I can’t get approved for this or for that already!” And sadly, for some people, that is absolutely true.
But you ain’t seen nothin’ yet! This bill opens the door for the Government to have unlimited control of healthcare, which can literally mean they control your quality of life! And by tying it to insurance and ultimately, wrestling management from the private sector, all kinds of scenarios become possible:
1. Want a job? Get weight loss surgery. Hey, the government will pay for it!
2. Need lifesaving cancer treatment? Your BMI is too high, raising your risk factor. Coverage denied.
3. Need some credit to buy a house, buy a bed, medical equipment, a car? Will that be gastric bypass or lapband?
Shall I go on? There is a genuine threat building. And the only answer is to unite and fight for the term “size (weight and height)” to be added to Federal anti-discrimination laws before the drastic healthcare initiatives become the law of the land.
Do we need to have “hospices for fat people” and mandatory weight loss surgery before people will have had enough? The proposed legislation has proven to me that the people who drafted the legislation do not have human life as the priority, only the bottom line.
Seriously…what will it take?