Home / Health / It’s Fat City for Doctors: “You’re Sick, Fatso. I’m Billing Your Insurance Company.”
Print Friendly and PDF

It’s Fat City for Doctors: “You’re Sick, Fatso. I’m Billing Your Insurance Company.”

Written by Gary North on June 19, 2013

Physicians are not paid by health insurance companies to treat people with behavior “problems.” They get paid only to treat diseases. So, understanding where their bread is buttered, and by whom, the American Medical Association has now identified obesity as a disease. The Los Angeles Times had spotted the economic nature of the re-definition.

Tuesday’s vote is certain to step up pressure on health insurance companies to reimburse physicians for the time-consuming task of discussing obesity’s health risks with patients whose body mass index exceeds 30. It should also encourage doctors to direct these patients to weight-loss programs and to monitor their often-fitful progress.

It turns out that Uncle Sam has already fallen in line.

The federally funded Medicare program, which insures an estimated 13 million obese Americans who are over 65 or disabled, already covers the costs of “intensive behavioral therapy” for obese patients, as well as bariatric surgery for those with additional health conditions. But coverage for such obesity treatments has been uneven among private insurers.

Now it will be a lot more “even.” Watch your health insurance premiums rise! (Not mine, of course. I’m on Medicare.)

Best of all, obesity is an incurable disease.

“As things stand now, primary care physicians tend to look at obesity as a behavior problem,” said Dr. Rexford Ahima of University of Pennsylvania’s Institute for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism. “This will force primary care physicians to address it, even if we don’t have a cure for it.”

You know what an incurable disease is, don’t you? A permanent stream of income. The patient does not die, so he keeps coming back for “treatment.” Treatment means billable procedures.

Think of this as lowering the bar. People who are over a BMI of 30 are now called fat.

The federal government pioneered this re-definition in 1998. A CNN article described this revision.

Using the old criteria, the average woman — with a height of 5 feet, 4 inches (1.6 meters) and weighing 155 pounds (70 kilograms) — was considered overweight.

Under the new definition, that weight drops to 145 pounds (66 kg). A person at the same height who weighs 175 pounds (79 kg) would be considered obese.

That fattened up the public in one shot.

Or, put another way, 25 million Americans who weren’t fat before, are now. Even under the previous standards, more than half of all adult Americans are overweight.

Think of this. Over half of Americans now have an incurable disease — a billable incurable disease. But the AMA hesitated to cash in on this bonanza until this week. Now it has.

It’s time for a feast. Bring out the fatted calf!

Continue Reading on www.latimes.com

Print Friendly and PDF

Posting Policy:
We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse. Read more.

18 thoughts on “It’s Fat City for Doctors: “You’re Sick, Fatso. I’m Billing Your Insurance Company.”

  1. Will doctors complain about government outlawing locally grown food (that is not filled with aspartame, monosodium glutamate, bovine growth hormone, high fructose corn syrup, wood pulp, fillers and artificial coloring) that doesn't have to be shipped across 3 time zones and pumped full of perservatives so it won't spoil while sitting in huge warehouses? Nope.

  2. When we actually take a look at the BMI tables it becomes readily apparent of the audacity of stupidity put into them. A male six feet tall weighing 225 pounds has a BMI of about 32… even if he's a professional athlete whose fat percentage is less than 5%. Think of Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime. Now THAT makes real sense, huh? My wife, who is 5'6" tall and weighs about 120 lbs (which is two pounds more than she weighed 35 years ago when I met her) is considered over weight according to BMI.

    BMI – Bet (its) Mental Instability.

  3. 5'6" and 120 lbs is a BMI of only 19.4–near the low end of "normal". And I get 30.5 for the 6-footer who weighs 225. Still high, but what BMI calculator are you using? I agree, there ARE athletes who might be considered "obese" according to BMI calculations, but what percentage of the population fits into that category? BTW, Arnold in his competition days was 6'2", 240. BMI, 30.8. But how many Arnolds are there out there?
    I'm not defending the BMI, necessarily. It's just a quick guideline. A lot depends on a person's frame size and condition. There are lots of small-boned people who really shouldn't have a BMI much higher than 22 for males and 20 for females. At the other end of the spectrum are the Ironhead Heywards (5'11", 265) and assorted Samoans with really massive frames. One size definitely doesn't fit all.

  4. hmmmm, when I was on my way to work this AM the radio announced that obesity was now a disease but that the AMA did NOT go along with that???

  5. I do my part and grow local and sell at 4 farmer's markets…O, and NO, I'm not organic…sorry…er/well, no I'm not!!!

  6. BTW, valid point, Gary, on the Gov's manipulation of BMI to redefine overweight and obese. Simple, just move the cutoff numbers! This is like their defining "poverty" by a certain per-capita income level, arbitrarily chosen. Or their defining "rich" for tax purposes at a certain level. Manipulative.

  7. So if obseity is a disease the government needs to take a good look at the illegals who are living here. The men are all thin but 90 per cent of the women are fat, fatter and fatest and the children take right after their mothers.

  8. Hey…Don't worry about Docs getting rich! When O'Care is fully implemented they will all be on the Government payroll….but only for a short while…..why? Because there won't be any! Who would put themselves through the rigors of Med School just to work for Uncle Sam or the local hospital? Don't believe me?…..Next time you visit your Doctor ask him….Or ask him if he is advising his kids to go into Medicine……and step back….Yessiree…We have killed the goose that laid the Golden Egg. The best Healthcare system the world has ever seen…..Gone with the wind….

  9. Wait, I discovered a cure for obesity! As soon as the US population implements my plan, health care spending will sink like a stone.

    And I will only charge $5 per person for the cure.

  10. the ruling elites often shift the boundary markers to tweak their desired system. Poverty is artificially defined as some percentage of some chosen median, then it MOVES UPWARD annually by a certain "corrective" percentage. Thus "poverty" now allows someone to drive a late model car, own a mobil phone and widescreen HDTV, and eat fast food at will…. with NO effort on their part as most of this is subsidised. Every year, the "poverty threshhold" is raised. They're doing it with "education" (lowering the requirements, standards, so more can "succeed"), and now they're trying to do it with "citizenship" as well, lowering that bar to almost zero for large masses. Words mean things….. even when you "change" their meanings by government fiat. Stupidity at large WILL bring collapse. Oh, wait.. that IS their goal, isn't it? Global warming, "clean air" car exhaust standards, acceptible fuel economy standards, acceptable "unemployment" numbers, it never ends until government is forced back into the lamp from which we've let it escape. They promise us everything, and deliver the opposite.

  11. awkingsley says:

    This is very interesting because Allopathic physicians have no cures for chronic disease. Since they cannot cure any chronic disease, Allopathic Physicians shouldn't be paid anything by insurance companies for treating chronic complaints. Refusal to pay for this quackery would make Allopathic Physicians begin using Natural and Alternative Medical Diagnostic Techniques, which would allow them to determine cures instead of continuing to gull the public with very expensive palliatives.

  12. william durham says:

    Let me try to understand what is going on. This afternoon I saw about 15 women and 8 men waddle into Golden Corral, all you can eat buffet, and proceed to eat unbelievable amounts of food like in fried chicken, french fries, mashed potatoes,corn bread and so on. Well stupid me, I thought that what I was seeing was gluttony by a fat person, but I guess I was really seeing a diseased person fighting the disease by eating enough food to feed 4 or 5 aver age weight people. What a horrible disease it is that requires a person to eat so much food topped off by great quantities of pie, ice cream, cake, and cookies. I guess in the search for a cure we must close these places that advance this disease by allowing these poor diseased people to over consume food. Fat chance of that. Money talks and fat people waddle and over eat. Disease my hind parts. Pure gluttony is not a disease but a personality fault and a complete lack of self control and self respect. And as long as the government subsidises it , it will never end. Fat mommy equals fat kids equals a sick, weak, and ill society period.

  13. Abigail Adams says:

    You are sooooo correct!!! thank you.

  14. The worst part is that it takes all the responsibility away from these beached whales and tells them it is not your fault. There is no incentive to watch ones weight, eat wisely and do more than use the remote to change channels on the TV. What ever happened to pride in one's appearance or one's health?

  15. Bob Marshall says:

    Fast foods, lack of exercise, will power, not reading the labels when shopping for groceries checking for saturated fat and trans fat content, pure gluttony, and not taking personal responsibility for our health all contribute to so many being over weight. I realize there are some people who do have a glandular problem. Just taking a walk each day is better than being parked in front of the boob tube all day.

  16. margaret jacobson says:

    I prefer fresh or frozen !! I try to buy local whenever possible !! I wish I could grow bananas ??

  17. SammysDad says:

    Really, the AMA represents approximately 17% of physicians. It has no control over the the doctors' use of his time or treatment of patients. With O-Care coming, there will less time to spend with any patient much less an "obese" one, so I suspect this is all a ruse for the top tier of physicians running the AMA. You can call obesity a disease, but the patient must want to fully commit himself to a life style change and with the economy, loss of employment, lower wages, part time jobs, people will eat the cheapest, not the most healthy. This progressive movement has clandestinely wiggled its tentacles into every part of our lives and obesity will continue until there is a time when America starts to listen to facts and stops allowing itself to be manipulated by the media, like the LA Times, and organizations seeking power from the party of destruction. Individual responsibility, understanding the issues of the day, thinking for ones' self rather than absorbing the male cattle excrement shoveled out daily by, specifically, this administration, will alter everyone's life style for the better.

  18. Insurance is a service that makes our life more secure and also you can live life without any tension. Insurance agency is the source from where you can get information about the insurance and also the services and commissions provided by the agencies and the insurance company. This blog provides very important information about the insurance sector and agencies also. Company insurance is a better way to save your company from many problems.
    Commercial Insurance CovinaCommercial Insurance Covina