I’ve written before in this blog about how the War on Obesity is conducted in a way that lets us know that they want us thin or dead and they don’t much care which. One of my many concerns with the horrific new US President is that he has promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare)
This is a big deal because before the ACA was passed, insurance companies were allowed to deny insurance to fat people. I went fourteen years without insurance because insurance companies were allowed to consider my body size a “pre-existing condition” and deny me insurance in a country where medical care costs are predatory, profit-driven, and expensive far beyond all reason.
This is significant because those who don’t have insurance are often charged up to ten times the amount for the same procedure or medication as the insurance companies are charged (In this instance a two-day hospital stay would have been over $21,000 for a person without insurance, but the insurance company pays just over $2,000 for the exact same service. A good friend of mine is on a medication for which he has a co-pay of $6 and his insurance pays another $68 for a 30 day supply. Without insurance the same medication is $1,200.)
Some fat people in the UK are facing this situation in the face of funding shortages. Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has decided that patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above will be barred from most surgery for up to a year.
Let’s be clear, they are not suggesting that the surgeries are less necessary for fat people, and they are not suggesting that waiting a year will be good for these populations. They are simply saying that they’ve decided that, in order to save money, if your weight in pounds times 703, divided by your height in inches squared, is greater than 30, you are less deserving of routine medical care.
Don’t fool yourself, this isn’t about health, or “healthy behaviors” by any definition – this is about money, and it’s about the people in charge deciding whose blatant oppression the general citizenry will tolerate. Years of campaigns suggesting that it’s fine for people to stereotype fat people and blame us for their problems have led to a situation where people are comfortable with us being denied the same medical care that they receive.
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