Tuesday, June 13, 2006

BloomingtonGirl Takes a Stand

Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
I wrote a letter to the editor of our local newspaper this evening. There was an article on the looming health care crisis for uninsured Hoosiers. The writer chose as his "poster patient" a four-hundred pound man who had lost his medicaid and thus his $215 a month in meds to keep his heart going. He is 41 and has been unable to work for two years so needs the public assistance. (Geez, could it be he can't work because he is so FAT?) My feeling is that anyone has a right to eat himself to a diseased state, but not at my expense. Obesity is going to break the health care bank in this country and it just doesn't have to happen. In my opinion, cigarette smoking is down not only because it is unhealthy but because it became socially unacceptable to smoke. It would help us as a country if it became socially unacceptable to eat like a pig. Only then, might people consider losing some weight. Think of all the health care dollars that could be saved. We could use it for something worthwhile like education.

I am not talking about a little excess weight. Even as much as twenty or thirty pounds, although that isn't the greatest thing for a person. I am talking about fifty, a hundred or even more. In this country, we are in danger of that kind of obesity becoming the norm.

Well, I am off to bed now that I have finished my rant. I know I risk sounding judgemental and uncaring but someone has to start saying these things. And tonight, I am that someone.

In closing, here is the letter to the editor that I sent earlier tonight.

The HT article, "Health-care crisis looming for Hoosiers" (June 11) notes that Indiana Senate Democrats have called for universal health coverage for all Hoosiers. I agree that there should be some kind of health care coverage for all Hoosiers and indeed all Americans. But, I think that it must be tied to personal responsibility, especially in the case of obesity related diseases. Why should our tax dollars (or even private sector dollars) pay for the treatment of an adult patient who is unwilling to modify his or her eating habits and lose the excessive weight that is causing his or her health problems? To some this might sound harsh, but it is simply a matter of financial practicality. We are quickly becoming a nation of unnaturally fat people who simply eat way too much and exercise far too little. And, Indiana is one of the fattest states in the union. Obesity related diseases are costly. We cannot afford to write a blank check to treat these preventable conditions. To “focus on prevention and healthier lifestyles” is not enough. We must demand personal responsibility.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bloomington girl...did your letter make it to print? did you sign it as the adoring spouse of a wildly successful Bloomington physician, together with your steet address, phone number and email particulars? Yikes.