Obesity: Is it the new health care reform buzz word?


A recently released study by the journal "Health Affairs" is making some large waves across the Internet.

The study outlines medical expenditure data related to the direct costs of obesity in this country. MSNBC quotes the study as stating "...medical spending averages $1,400 more a year for an obese person than someone who's normal weight."

Setting aside the fundamentals of the issue for the moment, one has to wonder how our legislators, who tend to write more documentation than they read, will take the fact that obesity now accounts for 9.1% of all medical spending, up from 6.5% in 1998, and translate that data into health reform pork for their fat lobbyist buddies.

Given that we now serve a government which is more closely tuned to policies of punitive sanction rather than policies of constructive assistance, how shall our legislators exploit the fact that obese Medicare recipients spend about $600 a year more on prescription medications than lighter Medicare recipients?