Saturday, October 17, 2009

You Have no Right to Live, Sicko!

In an article in the Washington Post, "Wellness Incentives Could Create Health-Care Loophole" there is a dire threat. Live by Our standards, or else. The health care "reform" package under consideration would allow employers to increase employee premiums by 50%. That's around $200 per month for a single person, $500 per month for a family. That is a HUGE penalty for being fat!!

Some fraction of those being penalized will drop their insurance, which may be in violation of the new law, resulting in a HUGE penalty for being fat.

Failing to be insured may also result in refusal of care, shortening the lives, productivity, comfort, and contribution to society by the despicable smokers, fatties, and poor lifestylers. "I shouldn't have to pay for porkers' health care!" people will scream. Some already do. "If you smoke, you deserve to die!" some cry. "I don't want gang members/gays/punks/alternative lifestylers/goths (or whatever group with some hypothetical health issue) taking up MY healthcare resources!"

People can come up with good reasons to hate the overweight, the smokers, and the other with health issues. Drug addicts, alcoholics, substance abusers will be given a bandaid and shown to the door at emergency rooms. There will be no compassion. It was a choice YOU made to be unhealthy! Only the wealthy will be able to get care. Poverty, likewise, is a lifestyle choice.

And then there's the issue of religious influence on health care. Jehovah's Witnesses believe, wisely or not, that the Biblical injunction against taking blood doesn't mean only drinking it, but accepting transfusions as well. This can be argued to mean they are at greater risk, require specialized (i.e., more expensive) treatment, and are more likely to die anyway, so why waste public health care resources on them? "Let 'em pray for health!" There are those who believe God can literally heal them when He chooses to. They are already under attack in the courts. I don't know who's right. Maybe they should be imprisoned for letting children die. Maybe they should be free. Maybe the state should take away their children for their protection. Maybe there should be some marriage license "do you believe in using doctors and hospitals" test to allow marriage. There's no easy answer here, other than perhaps the Reader's opinion. Are You a "Jail 'em!" or "Free 'em!" type?

This scares the crap out of me. I'm obese. And I, contrary to the supercilious opinion of 200 million non-obese people, can't stop being obese tomorrow! If I made a sincere effort with reasonable support (nutritional guidance, physical trainers, medical advice) I might be able to get off the obese list in a year. More likely two. But as the Washington Post article points out, there won't be any support. Health care will be reserved for the healthy. And as soon as an argument can be made that any particular health condition can be blamed on lifestyle, you'll be targeted too. Or perhaps just a family member, loved one, or friend.

What will you do when your mother tells you she's been denied medicare because she's "too active, and at risk for injury"? Say your goodbyes? Council her to stay home and be silent? Go through nursing home brochures for your entirely healthy mother, effectively ending her life because of a lifestyle choice? How about when you receive a "believed to be currently using tobacco products" letter, with an invitation to pee in a cup? Don't believe in "false positives"? "These tests are reliable, smoker! Get ready for a big cut in your pay!" Thinking you can sue? Yeah, see how that works for ya.

I know I'm obese. I know I need to change that, and I will, in my own time and my own way, with the best expert advice I can find, and without forcing my wife and children to make sacrifices, too. If this healthcare "reform" travesty passes, the right to make those decisions will be taken away from me, or I and my family will be penalized into submission.

It is extremely troubling when the government can dictate personal, private, and lawful behavior, and that day is coming when a bunch of misguided ivory tower politicians who won't be subjected to their own stupidity take over that ubiquitous industry, health care, and run roughshod over our rights. Think you won't be affected? If so, I Humbly think you're a fool.

My prediction is, people will be suiciding to spare their families. We'll read horror stories about the grandpa who was kicked out of the hospital after being caught smoking, and died soon after. We'll read about women who decided to abort rather than quit smoking cold turkey. The health, finances, families, and very lives of American citizens will be held hostage to the benevolent despots of the healthcare industry. And some politicians will hand them the power of life and death.

They're lining up the votes in D.C. right now.