Alabama "Obesity Penalty" Stirs Debate

Merc

Certified Shitlord
V.I.P.
#1
Aug. 25, 2008 -- Obese Alabama state workers may soon pay a health insurance penalty for their excess pounds.

Beginning in January 2009, state employees will be required to receive medical screenings for several conditions, including body mass index (BMI). Those who are considered obese -- along with exhibiting other negative health factors -- will have a year to get in shape.
The penalty for failure? A $25 increase in their monthly insurance costs.

Although critics view the penalty as a "fat tax," Alabama officials believe the new policies will result in fitter, healthier, and happier employees -- as well as help reduce the state's mounting health care costs.

"Our goal was to make our members aware of those risk factors," Deborah Unger, RN, clinical director for the Alabama State Employees Insurance Board in Montgomery, tells WebMD. "As long as you are aware and are doing something to correct it, there won't be a fee. We either do something to control claims costs or you pay the premium anyway."

Alabama now ranks as the second most obese state in the U.S., according to the CDC -- perhaps a clear sign that change is needed. In addition to BMI, the state will screen three additional criteria: cholesterol, blood pressure, and glucose levels. These four risk factors have consistently resulted in costly treatments for the state.
Personally, I don't see why people are so pissed about this. They claim it's "fatism" when all it is is truth. Fatter the person, the more health problems they will most likely have. Why not make someone with higher health risks pay more? First off, it's only $25. Secondly, where are you getting "fatism" from? This is how business works. People who are health hazards have to pay more, simple as that.

The big problem is that this is not going to motivate people to lose weight. It's only going to piss people off. Getting people to lose weight is a lot tougher.

What do you think?
 

Mirage

Administrator
Staff member
V.I.P.
#2
Come on it's not their fault they are fat. It's McDonald's.

I smell a lawsuit coming, right after a trip to Dunkin Donuts.

Seriously though I agree 100% with what you said Cons. Well said.
 

padd

Registered Member
#3
I think Alabama just needs or wants the money . Personally where I'm from the province uses all kinds of tactics to get money and human labour. Whether it'd be police ticket quotas or encouraging immigration.

I'm not to sure, so I'll ask; is health insurance monopolized by the government in Alabama? Because it is over here. Sureley if Alabama has alot of fat people, they are trying to pull out some extra pocket money.
 

Hiei

The Hierophant
#4
Or maybe, Padd, they just don't want to be called the fattest state in America? I agree with what they're doing. And like it's been said, the higher the health risk, the higher the insurance.
 

Blueyes

Registered Member
#5
Why not, our insurance just imposed a "surcharge" for smokers and anybody who is on the policy with the person getting the insurance.
 

Nightsurfer

~Lucky 13 strikes again~
#6
I don't see what all the fuss is about. Sure it cost them an extra $25 but it also gives them good incentive to get on the tread mill and put down the Twinkie.

Look another future frivolous law suit is waiting in the winds.
 

Duke1985

EatsApplePieShitsFreedom
#7
I don't see the fuss really myself.
As a smoker I'd understand if I had to pay extra for insurance, I'm a health risk, thats fine.
Same goes for obese people.

Chances our good they're going to have to pay out on these people so they charge them, my only qualm would be insurance companies are over-paid anyway (but that applies more to car insurance) and is my opinion anyway.

I think Alabama just needs or wants the money . Personally where I'm from the province uses all kinds of tactics to get money and human labour. Whether it'd be police ticket quotas or encouraging immigration.

I'm not to sure, so I'll ask; is health insurance monopolized by the government in Alabama? Because it is over here. Sureley if Alabama has alot of fat people, they are trying to pull out some extra pocket money.
I don't know if health insurance is monopolized, but my guess would be state employees health benefits are provided by a third party company which was probably charging the state of Alabama more for its services, more than likely based on where Alabama ranks in obesity and to cut this cost to the state Alabama decided to charge their employees.

But thats all guess work.
 

Kazmarov

For a Free Scotland
#8
In a detached, market view of the problem, this makes perfect sense.

Whether there are other factors that contribute to obesity (such as the pervasive use of high fructose corn syrup in pretty much all processed foods) that don't have anything directly to do with the people in question, that's a separate issue. If America is going to reverse their issues with obesity, as Finland did thirty years ago, it's going to involve quite a lot of direct government effort.
 
#10
Come on it's not their fault they are fat. It's McDonald's.

I smell a lawsuit coming, right after a trip to Dunkin Donuts.

Seriously though I agree 100% with what you said Cons. Well said.
I was so confused after the first line...good thing I read the whole post.

Yeah...fat people need to suck it up. OP said it the best...you cost more, you pay more.

Just like how they need to buy 2 plane tickets. If you need two seats to accommodate your ass, then your ass is going to pay for two tickets.