Why do I blather on so?
I didn’t have to share my weight loss journal with you. I do these weight drops routinely. It’s very trendy these days to cry “narcissism” at
anyone sharing anything personal on social media, but that’s cheap. At this point, this blog is only read by a percentage of my Facebook friends, so I really am writing to friends and I want to help people understand my alarmist view. Stuff is going to get expensive really soon and if I can convince you of the urgency you need getting out from under it, maybe I can help you accomplish getting out from under it as well.
As I have stated, I have an interest in the science, but I also have civic-mindedness that grows from this; from inner city food deserts to helpless children who can’t yet read but need insulin shots owing to no other reason than diet. What a world we’ve created, where 3rd world countries that formerly called pathogen-carrying insects its biggest killer now succumb mostly to metabolic diseases. We’re exporting the sickness.
Ask the World Health Organization
Hopefully by now I have given you the impression that my concern with the obesity epidemic is not “looksist”. I don’t care what you look like naked (we have alcohol for that, baby) and all of the information I give you is to get you healthy, not make you look like an underwear model.
Obesity is a normal part of the human condition. But jump from ~12% to ~33% in one generation is not in our genetics. This is indicative of exposure-the effect of an outside influence, not nature. Our workforce is sluggish and useless at a public a cost of millions. Our military is in a panic. Every industry has been re-tooling for morbidly obese clients, from giant wheelchairs to plane, car and theater seats (with costs passed on to you). All occupancy signs must be changed. A boat sank because it was loaded to occupancy but everyone on it was as big as two people. Most of us just laugh at this.
OK, we enjoy the misery of our fellow man and our own in a cynical way. If you warned me of the dangers of fat when I were a 19-year-old, I would have said, “Good, I hope I’m dead before I’m 30.” or “Well, something’s going to kill me.” We’re all just too cool. But what about the epidemic of obese and Type-2 diabetic two-year-olds? They aren’t on the diet & exercise program. We don’t know how to feed our children. There are those out there who are of the politic that says children should be taken away from parents for child abuse like that. Sound ridiculous? Have you never seen Governments do ridiculous things?
Complications from metabolic syndrome account for a large percentage of healthcare costs. Think it doesn’t affect you? Most bankruptcies are attributed to healthcare bills. When someone has to give up their home in your neighborhood, it lowers your property value. Every company you interact with passes along the cost of its productivity losses to its customers. And these sick people are chewing through healthcare costs at an unbelievable clip. No one can afford it. We expect the other guy to pay because “it’s our right”. That’s a Faustian bargain, my friend. And you’ve already signed with blood.
Obesity compounds almost every disease out there and every disease research entity has had to add a new wing called “Our Disease + Morbid Obesity”. In fact, Big Pharma has moved is resources away from investigating drugs that can knock out a disease in one treatment or drugs that have small population targets, Orphan Drug Act be damned. They are much more interested in drugs like statins that they can keep large populations on for decades. I wonder why. We have not increased our lifespans, we have increased our dying spans. You can now founder along for decades as a diabetic with chronic liver dysfunction who can have heart surgery every 7 years. Hooray!
As Doug McGuff says, “Nature is a hanging judge.” There is no room for this in nature. And the baby boomers set up a Government Ponzi Scheme and fully expect all 37 of us Gen Xers to pay for their entire boom generation to go through this. And everyone younger than us expects us to pay for college tuition. Prepare for clock tower snipers.
Now lets talk about this menace of a healthcare system. My right-winger and libertarian friends need to understand that the Libertarian Dream is dead. Also, The personal responsibility argument has scattered to the four winds as will be explained over several posts. We all live in the same healthcare bubble all of a sudden.
You didn’t stop Obamacare (not that you had a chance, you would have had to start the fight 90 years ago). The horse is out of the barn and we’re headed for a single-payer health system faster than Rosie headed for the pie table. Gub’mint regulations and compliance orders have already effectively destroyed private practice. Those doctors begged to become hospital employees because they couldn’t afford the regulatory burden. The next step is for small and local hospitals to beg to be bought up by Mega Hospitals. Begin the count-down to Lake Hospital System becoming the Cleveland Clinic now.
The same will happen with insurance. You will eventually drop your private insurance and employer plans and pay the relatively smaller price or tax penalty through the exchanges. That or your employer will do it for you. Then when private healthcare collapses (if the medical loss ratio provision doesn’t do it first ) and it’s just you and the government looking at each other, the sky will be the limit on cost. There are thousands of pages out there explaining how and why this will happen. If you haven’t dug it up by now, you won’t. And you’re likely one of the ones who think you have a nice free ride coming. Just in case you would like to review current supposedly non-partisan projections, here’s the Congressional Budget Office Outlook for 2015 that claims this will cost $50,000 per person (NOT counting your premiums or out-of-pocket spending) and Trillions (a figure to which you’re numb) in taxes.
Just keep in mind that the United Kingdom’s NHS is one of the top 5 largest employers on the planet. Like, world-wide Walmart-sized. The UK has the population of California + Texas and land mass a bit smaller than Texas. The cost of something like this on a scale the size of America’s is insurmountable. And we plan oversight and enforcement and data mining and regulatory costs at unprecedented levels (for taxes, silly, not for quality).
What is “insurance”?
You are insuring against unforeseen future events. This is why people say “no one buys insurance for a house that is already on fire”. This is meant to define “pre-existing conditions”. Pre-existing conditions are the difference between insurance and charity. If you were born with Phenylketoneuria and suffer life-long cripplingly-expensive complications, there is nothing to insure against. They knew it was there at birth. You need charity, not insurance. If you are indigent, you need charity. But our modern “healthcare system” rolls them together. Add to that the ability for larger groups of people to have greater buying power for supplies and services. Your insurance group is a buying group, which replaces our old-time systems of Fraternal Orders (Eagles, Oddfellows, Etc.).
Add to that the use of premiums to pay for low-level office visits, exams and procedures so you have the comfort of no out-of pocket expense all trying to ride in the front seat of a massive technology curve which makes this a multi-headed hydra of money-suck with no accounting, accountability and vague or hidden prices all removed from your paycheck before you have a chance to review. And politicians love to conflate these functions and dance around their definitions and re-characterize the goals of healthcare to achieve political ends.
And now buy-in is law. Criticize and beg for accountability of your money all you want, sucker!
What does this have to do with being overweight? As we head toward single-payerdom, obesity, dietarily-induced metabolic dysfunction, tobacco use and maybe alcohol consumption will head toward heavy penalization in the name of personal responsibility. And they don’t care if BMI is not an accurate marker for health. They don’t care if subcutaneous fat has a different health profile from visceral fat. And they don’t care if inner city children are being fed sugar water called “Juice” on the WIC program because the USDA thinks that’s health food. They don’t care if inner city children have insanely high blood glucose levels 20 hours a day because they are fed nothing but boxed food. We’ll just give them all gastric by-pass surgery and guess what – you’re going to pay for that, too! Then they’ll be old enough to move to Gatorade.
What do you expect to happen when the government runs the healthcare system? Your ill health is costing everyone else money. And right now, societies believe that it is the fault and personal responsibility of the obese person to correct this. Yep, hold those 2-year-old diabetics responsible for their gluttony! Where could this all go? To what could it lead?
Japan has a state-prescribed waistline measurement. The Japanese who do not comport are given guidelines for health. If improvement isn’t shown within 90 days, they are sent for “re-education”, whatever that means.
Now this conjures expeditionary enforcement of citizen behavior by its Government but things don’t work like that in America. We were founded by people who don’t like being told what to do. But it’s just not very hard to outwit us, especially if Football is on or if we have a sparkly gadget. Or a cheeseburger (guilty).
The government knows that all they have to do is bungle things up until you just beg them to take the whole thing over and make life easier for you. This is why law enforcement is shrugging their shoulders over gun crime. They are waiting for you to beg them to take them all away after you see enough senseless death. This is a lesson in all collectivism.
First off, keep in mind incrementalism and “mission creep”. That 50-employee cut-off will eventually become 35, then 10, then 2, then 1.
What you see up top is coming your way.
If you work for a large entity (say, CWRU or Progessive)- you may have available to you a Wellness Program.
Perhaps you work for a smaller company and a “wellness consultant” has mysteriously shown up in the past year.
This is a nice perk if you need it.
The next step is “incentivizement”. Whole Foods will give you a better employee discount based on your blood pressure, cholesterol and BMI.
Here is an Email that went out 16 days ago from CWRU:
Dear CWRU employee,Welcome to the first wellness newsletter of the new year! The 54% of benefits eligible employees who completed the three wellness activities last fall will receive this newsletter and the $25 monthly Wellness Premium Incentive this year. If you are a new wellness participant, welcome. Please look for the $25 in the “earnings” section of each paycheck.A full schedule of programs has been planned for 2015. Each of these will be offered throughout the year so that as many people as possible may participate. New stress management programs will be offered. In addition, a new program to support Healthy Backs & Bodies will occur.A Weight Watchers Subsidy Program began on January 1st for all benefits-eligible faculty and staff. Details of this new offering are below.Finally, 121 Fitness Center is launching new versions of the popular Get Fit series. Registration is now available for all of the programs below.
Great! More crap to keep track of in your paycheck and uses of your time that may or may not be beneficial, but covers your employer’s ass.
The “programs” you are coerced to take part in are things like “Stress Management & Resilience Training (S.M.A.R.T.)”, “Meditation”, “Mindfulness” and “Smoking Cessation”.
The next step is: Participate in these programs, or pay higher insurance
The step after that is: Participate in these programs, or pay insanely higher insurance.
The next step after that may be: Participate in these programs in order to have a job.
And the Employer or the Insurance company gets to look like the bad guy. Remember when CVS forced employees to report weight, glucose levels, and body fat to their insurer, or pay a penalty of $600? They were called everything but white women, but this is the same situation. They just brought in WebMD Health Services Group to provide health management programs as coerced by federal guidelines.
Here is the kick in the ass: It’s almost all because of what you eat and the Government is making sure (with your tax money) you get garbage at a discount. But we’ll get into that later. For now we need to keep discussing the urgency with which you need to lose weight and probably quit smoking unless you make a lot of money.
In a 2012 Talk entitled Fitness, Health, and Liberty at the 21Convention, Doug McGuff, an Emergency Room MD from South Carolina explains exactly how this is already irrevocably around your neck and only going to tighten by giving a history of our healthcare system over the past 100 years. There is something in it for the liberals because he’s going to beat up on the Big Business. There is something in it for the conservatives because he is going to indict the Government. He will undeniably show how everyone involved, including 100 years worth of stupid voters are at fault for this mess and why you really only have one job now which is to
Which I have painstakingly transcribed for you for review of and comment upon.
Please follow the link in the large text just above in order to watch or read it.