Friday, September 5, 2008

My Monthly Gift/friend./Aunt has arrived….

What euphemism are Alabamans (Alabamanians?) going to use when they have to pay $25 dollars a month to their insurance companies for having a BMI over 35? I personally would call it “The bill that insults my person and my civil liberties.”

I read about this on MSN, again not a bastion of journalism,this mornign and now I can't find the link. The State of Alabama has decided that because obese people’s health care costs more than non obese people, Employees of the State will have to start paying a monthly fee of $25 until their BMI “shows improvement” or goes below 35.


Are there words for this? How is this different than charging someone $25 dollars a month for being gay? I chose gay as an example, because some people see being gay as a choice, just as some people see being fat as a choice. I am not gay, nor do I believe that people chose to be gay. For the record. Oh, Here is a better one…why don’t we charge people $25 dollars month during pregnancy? Cause lord knows that is expensive, and is a choice.

I am obese, according to the BMI chart. I’ve harangued on this enough.( see previous posts) I don’t need to expound again on my exercise habits and eating habits. So… in this Alabama deal, according to the article, a person who is 5’6” who weigh 220 pounds will have a BMI of 35. Damn! 220 is the weight I am when I am at my fittest!

According to this “study” which they conveniently don’t link to, Obese Americans spend, 1700 dollars more per year on health care. Or maybe that was the extra amount Insurance companies spend on obese people. I haven’t spent that much this year, or last year, or the year before. Or any year of my adult life. And all of those years I was obese.

This makes me so mad, that I can’t even write a coherent, thoughtful, witty post on it. Which was my intent. I guess one of the things that frustrates me the most, is that this is the State, not a private entity that can get away with this crap.

I suppose, I should say, in the states “defense” they do plan on giving regular, free, health care and wellness help to those individuals whose BMI’s are too high.

I guess I should mention that they also charge $25 dollars a month to smokers.

I’m pretty sure there is this document in the United States called oh I don’t know… THE CONSTITUTION, under which we have certain inalienable rights.
One of which is the pursuit of happiness. What if what makes me happy is smoking a cigarette and being fat.
Huh? What then.


Jess (ModelBehavior) said...

Sorry, but I have to respectfully disagree.

Just to clarify, you think that everyone should pay the same rates of insurance despite the fact that some people cost more? It is a fact that obese people have more health problems due to their weight then non obese people. Keeping in mind that 35 is not just chubby, this is a serious health risk, why should everyone pay the price for their health concerns? Do you also think that people who smoke should have the same rates as people who don't? I guess I can't see the logic.

Don't mean to come off as mean here, I linked to your blog from the weighting game post and just had to voice my opinion on this one.

p.s. you most certainly are not "fat" as you stated on the weighting game site, you are adorable!

WeightingGame said...

honestly, I don't know how they could possibly enforce this. It's like charging people who are bigger for two airplane seats. There are peeps on both sides but like you said, they'd need to start charging smokers, or heavy drinkers, or people who eat meat. Where will the 'vices' end? That said, I do think insurance rates should, in some way, reflect a person's health status. Like drivers with good records getting lower rates on their car insurance. People who workout regularly,m for example, should be rewarded. But you know what? You can workout a LOT and still have a high BMI (the whole fat-and-fit thing.) Or how about my husband, who works out, has a lean, solid bod, but high family cholesterol? Should he be penalized? Murky waters, indeed.

Allison said...

Hello! Thanks for stopping by. I agree this issue has lots of gray areas.

Here is the clarification, I don't think it is right for an employer to charge employees $25 dollars a month, more than other employees, for having a certain BMI, because it "costs more" to insure them. I don't think that is right, and is discriminatory.
My issue is using the BMI as the only indicator of health, and I didn't explain that very well in my post.

I have a BMI of 37( so according to the current trend of using the BMI as an indicator of fatness, I am, most decidedly fat), but I work out seven days a week, eat healthy 90 percent of the time, have low cholesterol and low blood pressure.
Why is it ok, then for my employer to decide that I owe them $25 dollars a month, because I potentially could cost more money to insure?
I think that if an employer offers a certain benefits package, the base package should be the same for everyone. That is what it really comes down to.

Also, couldn't one argue that there are millions of things in the world that cause one to have a higher cost of health care than others?
If we are going to chargea monthly fee to people who smoke, and have BMI's of over 35, why not charge people over 50, pregnant people, alcoholics, and people with chronic diseases?
All of those people cost more than your average "healthy" person.

My post stemmed from the fact that if I lived in Alabama, and was an employee of the state (As I am in the state I live in) that i would be charged for something that I feel, I ultimately can't control.
At my very "skinniest" in my adult life I still had a a BMI of around 33-35.

I don't know if this clarifies my position at all....

and thanks for thinking I am adorable!

Allison said...

Weighting Game,
First, Excellent Post yesterday.
Second: You pretty much said in your comment what I was trying to say in my post!

littlecalder said...

that's outrageous. like others have said, a high bmi does not necessarily equal health issues! yes, at times they do coincide, but there are plenty of people out there with low bmi with just as many if not more issues than people with high ones. what matters is for a person to take care of him/herself, not some number on a chart that doesn't take into account lifestyle choices at all.