Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I DID Spend 15 years in DC - Health Care Reform

Has anyone been noticing the subtle (not!) fat hatred going on in the debate about health care reform? Over and over again, by both the right and the left, we hear the same message - you fatties are costing us money! Over and over again we hear how obesity is costing the country trillions of dollars. Yes folks, you fat ass and my fat ass is more costly than the fricking Iraq War. And if only we did more to shrink our fat asses our health care system would be magically fixed. You know the irony of this thinking? It's LAZY. The very thing that society accuses us fatties of. This research doesn't dig deeper to see about co-morbidity factors like lack of exercise. It doesn't look beyond what's on the scale. Because it would actually take EFFORT to look at measures of health like A1C, cholesterol, and incidence of stroke and heart disease.

Real health care reform isn't about numbers on a scale. It's about access. Because when you have access, the other stuff comes together. I spent a study abroad year in England under their "socialist" National Health Service. Because I didn't have to pay a goddamned dime to see the doctor, I went to the doctor every month. I got my teeth cleaned twice during that year and got a pair of contact lenses AND glasses. My doctor spent at least a half an hour talking to me about my health. It was EASY to stay healthy.

For real health care reform to take root, stop telling people to do more. STOP IT. Especially to us fatties. Because are you READING THIS FUCKING BLOG? Or Onyah's blog? Or Laure P's blog? We are working our asses off. We are thinking about this stuff every day. We're cooking healthier. We're getting up early to exercise. Don't tell me or anyone else that we need to work harder.

You want to spend less money on health care? Make this stuff easy. Make cooking easier. Instead of subsidizing Monsanto, why not subsidize CSA programs? Why not allow poor folks to get a box of organic produce the same why Onyah does? Why not spend a couple of million dollars (compared to the $300 million Monsanto gets) to start Farmer's Markets in Anacostia and West Oakland? Why not subsidize programs that get corner stores to replace cigarettes with fresh produce? By the way, this proposal IS BUDGET NEUTRAL. You aren't spending a dime more if you divert a teeny weeny portion of industrial agriculture subsidies to community food access programs.

Make going to the doctor cheap and easy. That means making sure we are guaranteed health insurance and it won't go away because we lose our jobs or because our jobs can't pay for them because the insurance company decided to jack up the premiums. You know what that means? The public option. Let me buy into Medicare. And make sure the insurance covers COST SAVING THINGS like gym membership and nutritionists. The thing is, these things aren't just luxuries for the young and affluent - they can be the determining factor between inexpensive prevention ($100 for a nutritionist appointment) and costly medical procedures ($100,000 surgery).

I find it hilarious that fatties are somehow the scourge of the earth and responsible for the health care crisis. As if the insurance companies don't spend $7 billion a year DENYING coverage. As if those same companies aren't spending hundreds of millions of dollars LOBBYING AGAINST the public option. That's pretty damn wasteful to me.


Stef said...

And find some way to give rebates on insurance to companies who provide employees with gym memberships or Weight Watchers meetings or whatever else companies can do to support their employees' health.

Pushing through anything with less than the public option will be a travesty.

Faye said...