Administration Finds Deficit Reduction in Obesity
The Obama Administration, in response to Republican alarmists worried that Social Security is insolvent and the increasing US deficit, has found that the rising tide of obesity in America will likely reduce the overall burden on the retirement system as obese Americans are likely to die 12 years earlier than the national average.
As the life expectancy of Americans decreases, so too will demands for pensions, which will not only save Social Security but nearly eliminate the government’s future debt obligations.
“This is a mega-boon for the White House,” said Martin Findgold, budgetary analyst for the Center of Applied Obamanomics. “All we have to do is make sure that the Affordable Healthcare Act applies a conditional treatment program for Americans who abuse their bodies, and life expectancies will plunge. A 12-year decrease in pension and benefits obligations will balance the budget without any type of program cuts, just as the President has been insisting on.”
Actual measures to control lifestyle modification have failed miserably in polling, and so White House strategists are looking at the problem in an entirely new way. Rather than trying to get citizens to abandon their unhealthy lifestyles, the government may start encouraging citizens to do what they want in exchange for waiving their rights to medical treatment under Obamacare.
Following the newly-proposed Federal guidelines, cigarettes and food will carry new warnings not only about content, but also about the possibilities that consuming the particular item will result in an automatic disqualification from medical coverage under the Affordable Healthcare Act. Labels may also be used if the Administration decides that other risky behaviors, like extreme sports or firearms accidents, are also not covered.
“All of our polling suggests Americans want universal healthcare coverage for everyone, except those who don’t deserve it,” said Findgold. “By using focus groups, the Department of Health and Human Services is pretty certain they can find out who the public doesn’t want covered, and so the White House can reinterpret the Act in such a way that those undeserving people won’t be treated.”
By withholding treatment, Findgold sees that public attitudes can help reduce the deficit alone, without the need for further legislation. He emphasized that it is all the more important to implement Obamacare as a cost-saving plan.
“We can see that by the President and the American people working together, without interference from Congress, the US deficit will be greatly reduced over the next 20 years,” Findgold said. “If we can get the lifespan of Americans down to the same rates as Haiti or Eritrea, we may actually see a budget surplus.”
First Lady Michelle Obama is reappraising her campaign for healthier food choices for Americans, and is looking at starting a new dietary campaign featuring high-fat foods and use of tobacco products. Findgold said he expects President Obama to be in full favor of such changes.
The Costs Of Obesity
Reuters | Posted: 04/30/2012
By Sharon Begley
April 30 (Reuters) – The incidence of obesity in the United States has soared from 13 percent to 34 percent over the last 50 years, while the percentage of Americans who are extremely or “morbidly” obese has rocketed from 0.9 percent to 6 percent.
Although the epidemic of obesity is well-known, the costs are not — and in many cases are significantly greater than estimated even a few years ago. Some examples of obesity’s economic impact:
* $190 billion in annual medical costs due to obesity, double earlier estimates.
* $1,850 more per year in medical costs for an overweight person than for someone of healthy weight, among employees at the Mayo Clinic and their adult dependents. $3,086 more per year in medical costs for a Mayo worker with a body mass index (BMI) of 35 to 40.
* $5,530 more per year in medical costs for a Mayo worker with a BMI above 40. By comparison, smokers’ medical costs were only $1,274 a year higher than nonsmokers’, who generally die earlier.
* $5 billion annually for additional jet fuel needed to fly heavier Americans, compared to fuel needed at 1960 weights.
* $4 billion annually for additional gasoline as cars carry heavier passengers.
* $1,026: annual cost of absenteeism per very obese male worker (BMI > 40). $1,262: Annual cost of absenteeism per very obese female worker.
* $277: annual cost of absenteeism per mildly obese (BMI 25 to 29.9) male worker.
* $407: annual cost of absenteeism per mildly obese female worker.
* $1,056: cost of a “bariatric chair,” able to hold 500 pounds.
* $1,049: cost of a bariatric toilet rated at 700 pounds.