Later on in the thread mentioned here, another person started complaining about how much fat people cost him. His insurance premiums went up all the time because of all the injuries and diseases that fat people are getting, because of fat people’s “lifestyle choices”.
My answer to him (and yes, I’m block quoting myself):
So, what about all the athletes (weekend and amateur and professionals) who blow out their knees climbing mountains, get into biking accidents that cause well over $1 million in allowed payouts before it’s all over, and broken bones, twisted ankles, torn muscles and ligaments.
I mean, come on man, their lifestyle choices are making your health insurance premiums go up! Down with the athletes! They are just making it all harder on everybody else!
Do you see how silly this whole line of reasoning (fat people make my health insurance go up) is? The skinny cancer patient makes your health insurance go up. The person with anorexia and kidney problems makes your health insurance go up. My mother-in-law’s sister, who has kidney and liver problems from being on prescription pain relievers for too long, and who has been in the hospital 5 times since the beginning of the year, makes your health insurance go up.
Oh, wait, that last example I used, my MiL’s sister, is also overweight. So I guess her breast cancer (which she survived but only due to having both her breasts removed), and her other problems (which are not fat related) go to prove your assumption that OMG! THE FAT PEOPLEZ IZ DRAINING MY MONEY!
It’s not just fat people. It’s everybody who ever gets sick, or needs more than just going to the doctor for a physical and maybe because they get the flu.
Fat people are getting blamed for everything these days. We are blamed for causing global warming, for using all the resources of the planet, for making every body’s health insurance go up.
The reality is that it’s easy to scapegoat one segment of society than to try and actually fix the problems that are facing the planet as a whole.
To the claim that fat people are making insurance premiums rise: In an article in USA Today (in 2006) it was reported that 46.6 million people were without insurance. Having been a person without insurance for a very long time, I can tell you what that means, and how it effects your health premiums, or at least, your tax money. Because I didn’t have the money to go to a doctor when I wasn’t feeling right, I would wait until things were catastrophic. That bladder infection that could have been taken care of immediately ended up being an emergency room visit after I’d had a fever of 103+ for 7 days straight. The sinus infection became a reoccurring thing, and ended up in another ER visit. For both of those visits, I didn’t have the money to pay an expensive hospital bill, so the state had to step in and help out (costing the tax payers money).
Then there was my knee injury. If I’d been able to have insurance, when I mucked up my knee mountain hiking, I could have gone to a doctor and gotten it taken care of before it got as bad as it did. Yes, by the time it got to be so bad I had to take care of it, I finally had insurance again. Even still, the total the insurance allowed was $20,000 (surgeon, anesteseologist, hospital, physical therapy before and after the operation). Had I been able to go at the beginning, I doubt it would have resulted in such a high tab.
I didn’t have insurance because my husband’s work supplied his insurance (a generous benefit to be sure), but didn’t have the option for “employee and spouse”, having the only option available “employee and family” which cost over $300 a month. That was $300 a month we didn’t have to spare. So I did my best to not get sick, and only went to the ER when it was a true emergency (above mentioned UTI and sinus infection and the day I needed 8 stitches in my thumb because I’d cut it washing a glass).
Besides all the people who are uninsured, all the people who are normal sized who get cancer and need expensive treatments, who have heart attacks (even though they don’t deserve them), who have gallbladders that need to be removed, or whatever else may be wrong, and you have increased insurance premiums.
Then, there are the athletes who get injured while doing whatever athletic activity they are doing. Bicyclists have bad accidents, weight lifters tear ligaments and muscles so bad they can only be repaired by surgery. People who jump out of airplanes sometimes have their parachutes fail, and yet survive the fall and then have a humongous medical bill to get them as ambulatory as they can be again.
All of these instances affect both the doctors charges and the insurance premiums.
Global warming being blamed on fat people only works if you have statisticians doing mental masturbation with numbers. To assert that fat people use 18% more resources (food, energy, etc) just because fat people are 18% larger than normal sized people shows that they just don’t understand the complexity of the issue.
Let’s look at fuel consumption. One article I read last year stated that fat people used 1 tank more fuel a year in their cars than normal sized people because it took more energy to get all that extra weight in the car going. The article never addressed people in their Hummers and sports cars, which get 7 mpg city/12 mpg highway. It didn’t adress farmers and construction workers with trucks (whether economical or not) with the beds weighed down with equipment. It didn’t address the average workers commute to and from work. It didn’t address the difference of fuel consumption in economy cars and regular cars (not even luxury models).
For instance, to show how complicated this issue gets really fast: When Conall and I lived in North Carolina, we lived approximately 50 miles away from any of the three major cities near us. The nearest town that had a grocery store in it was 10 miles away, the next nearest town was 20 miles away (they actually had a theater, and restaurants that stayed open after 3 in the afternoon). Conall’s work was 30 miles away, and, when I was working for the evil insurance company as a phone slave, mine was 59 miles away (one way). When we were both working, it would take 5 tanks of gas to fill our cars per week, just to commute to work and back (two tanks for Conall’s car, three for mine).
Both of our cars were Escorts, ie, very economical cars. One car, the wagon, got 33 mpg highway, and the hatchback got 35 mpg highway (these are actual numbers, not factory numbers). The first year we had the wagon, we put over 50,000 miles on the car because of how far away from everything we lived.
Compare those stats to now. We have a new mini-van, which gets 22 mpg city and 26 mpg highway (again, actual stats we’ve calculated ourselves, not factory projections). We’ve had the vehicle for 18 months now, and have only put 22,000 miles on the vehicle. See, we live closer to town now (still on the outskirts, but the other side of town is only 20 miles away). Conall’s work is only 10 miles from the house, the nearest grocery store is only 2 miles away, the nearest movie theater 7 miles away. We have to fill up the tank about once every week and a half.
Even with using one more tank of fuel each year, I’ve cut my fuel consumption by 7/8 due to where we live now. Even using a less economical vehicle.
So, to say that my fat ass is causing the fuel shortages is pretty much admitting you don’t even begin to understand the complexity of the problem. I can categorically say I don’t even begin to understand the complexity of the problem, yet even I can see how there are many things to factor in before blaming one segment of the population for all the worlds woes.
Again, there is no logic to people’s assertions that fat people are to blame for all that’s going wrong. There is no logic behind the thought that fat people make insurance premiums increase, or that we collectively are fully responsible for the problems the world we live on is experiencing.
People like to say they are logical (it’s everybody else who’s illogical). Maybe faced with their own non-logic they will start to realize what they are being fed in the media, on TV, and elsewhere isn’t exactly correct. Or, maybe not.