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Big Food vs. Big Insurance

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posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 01:01 PM

Big Food vs. Big Insurance

No one disputes that the $2.3 trillion we devote to the health care industry is often spent unwisely, but the fact that the United States spends twice as much per person as most European countries on health care can be substantially explained, as a study released last month says, by our being fatter. Even the most efficient health care system that the administration could hope to devise would still confront a rising tide of chronic disease linked to diet.
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 01:01 PM
It is nice to find an article on the subject that actually has something intelligent to say.

This is an issue that clearly does not get enough attention. Fast food is worse than smoking when it comes to public health.

What the article doesn't mention is that our lifestyles with two parents working, having to drive our kids all over town to any activity they have, essentially makes fast food a necessity.

We also have the problem that we can't let our kids go out on the streets because our legal system has a catch and release system when it comes to sexual predators. When we aren't worried about sex offenders we are worried about gangs and drugs and the rest of the paranoia that the media spoon feeds us daily.

What a surprise that our kids live on fast food and spend most of their time on the couch playing violent video games.
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 01:14 PM
Here are two other quotes from the article that I think are very important.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, three-quarters of health care spending now goes to treat “preventable chronic diseases.” Not all of these diseases are linked to diet — there’s smoking, for instance — but many, if not most, of them are.

Even under the weaker versions of health care reform now on offer, health insurers would be required to take everyone at the same rates, provide a standard level of coverage and keep people on their rolls regardless of their health. Terms like “pre-existing conditions” and “underwriting” would vanish from the health insurance rulebook — and, when they do, the relationship between the health insurance industry and the food industry will undergoa sea change.

This point I think needs to be emphasized.

health insurers would be required to take everyone at the same rates


When it comes to people with diseases that are not a result of bad choices in their life styles, yes, I agree, this should apply, but when it comes to people who get diseases like type 2 diabetes because they eat nothing but junk food and refuse to exercise, why shouldn't they have to pay more for their health care?

If we have to pay higher insurance rates for engaging in behavior for insurance that covers every other aspect of our lives, why not health insurance as well?

Why do those who live a healthy life style have to subsidize those who refuse to live a health life style?

Hitting people where it counts the most, their wallets, would be the most effective way of getting people to change their behavior.

posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 01:31 PM
reply to post by poet1b

The obesity in america is a serious issue.

I'm fat. Although I'm actively trying to lose weight with diet/exercise.. Everytime I go to a costco, target.. Or hell especially when I go to the medical centers around here (My provider covers about everything through their own hospitals)

I feel incredibly skinny. The size of people that I see is just astounding. I don't understand how anyone could live with themselves like that.

I think it is a very big sign of our "instant gratification" culture so to speak.

posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 01:37 PM
Here is another article that really digs into the dark secrets of fast food.

He claims that the salt-sugar-fat combination alters the chemistry of the brain so that instead of satisfying hunger, it stimulates the eater to want more. And the food industry, he says, has manipulated this neurological response to get diners to keep eating -- more than they should or even more than they want. (How many times have you finished a meal and said, Why did I eat all that?)

Those of us in the know, also know about how bad milk is that has been produced using growth hormones.

There is no telling what the results of genetically altered crops is going to produce.

Possible no other industry has more control of the legislation of their industry than the Ag industry, and what we put into our bodies is probably the most important thing we should desire to be protected.

posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 01:39 PM

Originally posted by poet1b
Hitting people where it counts the most, their wallets, would be the most effective way of getting people to change their behavior.

But we do already do that! It's called a "Sin Tax". Anything bad for you, such as Booze and Tobacco are heavily taxed to the Consumer. The manufacturers of such Sinful products are heavily taxed as well.

As I am a smoker, I am already paying more than the next person as I am paying $5.00 in Taxes on each pack of cigarettes I purchase. The manufacturer is paying another $16.6 Billion Taxes + $8 Billion Settlement a year to pay for State Health Care and Tobacco Prevention Programs.

Why should I be further penalized?

That is the logic behind placing a "Sin Tax" on Soda and Fast Food. They are as bad for you as Booze and Tobacco. They should be Taxed to help defray the added cost of Health Care and Prevention Programs.

As far as Health Care and Health Care Costs, if we go the route of Nationalized Health Care, then there should be no difference between a 500lb person and an 80lb person as according to our Constitution we are all created equal. However, Tax the living jeepers out of either one of them if they partake in any unhealthy "Sins". It's entirely their right and prerogative to do with their bodies as they see fit, but they are going to have to do such at a penalty each time they do.

posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 01:54 PM
reply to post by fraterormus

Sin taxes are like gas taxes that are supposed to pay for the roads. The money doesn't go where is supposed to go, and in the end we wind up paying for the roads over and over with toll taxes.

The sin tax money will be spent elsewhere, while we will still be forced to pay for subsidizing other peoples life styles in our insurance premiums.

I say get rid of the sin taxes, and start making people pay directly through health care, then we know the money is going to where it is supposed to go.

posted on Sep, 15 2009 @ 02:18 PM
It seems that the health issue is more complex that it seems. Apparently overall, people in America actually go the doctor less often, and take less prescription medications than other countries.

To Cut Healthcare Costs, Let's Start With the Secret Prices

Compared with people in other developed countries, Americans see doctors less often and take fewer medications. They also spend the same or fewer number of days in hospitals, and they already lead the world in expenditures per capita on prevention and public health. Yes, more high-tech care may be given to the sick in this country, and yes, that contributes to higher costs. But whether it's low- or high-tech care, what is achingly obvious is that total costs are a function of prices. Ours are the highest.

Look at a colonoscopy: When paid by Medicare, the fee is roughly $450. Insurance companies secretly negotiate a maze of different prices, generally two to five times that. But as the trade group America's Health Insurance Plans recently reported, patients who have to pay their own bill, because they are uninsured, are seeking care outside of their insurer's network, or their insurer has denied their claim, can face retail charges as shameless as $10,000. And how can it be that Medicare pays $40,000, prix fixe, for the same heart operation, by the same doctor, at the same hospital, that costs patients paying privately $80,000 to $120,000?

I have to wonder if most Americans see the doctor less, while a small percentage see the doctors often.

It is clear that the system intentionally takes advantage of people down on their luck and in desperate situations.

You can agree to pay, or die. Such a deal.

posted on Sep, 15 2009 @ 02:45 PM
Good point about Americans on average seeing doctors less and taking prescriptions less.

However, no one is average.

I see the doctor once every 13 years (or so the trend has been thus far). Of those times, I have never fulfilled my prescriptions for Painkillers or Antibiotics (as I would rather tough it out and go without either), although I did give in and fulfill my last prescription for an Inhaled Steroid as I was tired of alternating between Pneumonia and persistent Sinusitis for 6 months straight.

I see my dentist once every 13 years.

I see my optometrist every 4 years, but since my prescription hasn't changed, not even slightly, in the past 30 years I might stop doing that so frequently.

However, on the other hand, I know people who see their doctor 3-4 times every week for all of their lives...not because they have anything truly wrong with them other than psychosomatic symptoms. They are constantly taking handfuls of a dozen or so different prescription medications two to three times a day. If ever their doctor refused to see them, I honestly think they would commit suicide rather than suffer the thought of having to live a day without more prescription medication.

So, if Big Insurance loses, and Health Care Reform comes to the U.S., will the people who don't ever see their Health Care Professionals but in a Blue Moon come out of the woodwork all of a sudden and overwhelm the system? Or will the Co-Dependents who can't live a day without Meds and Doctors see their Health Care Professionals even more, further overwhelming the system?

The projected costs for Health Care Reform very well could be much higher than has been estimated thus far.

Great Catch poet1b!

posted on Sep, 15 2009 @ 03:11 PM
reply to post by fraterormus

Thanks, I thought this article had some very good points.

My observation of who uses the doctor is the same as yours. I also notice that the people who constantly go to the doctor are also seem to get worse, not better. Taking prescription drugs regularly is bad for your health.

My personal favorite choice would be to set up tax free medical savings accounts. If you company is willing to put up 5-10 grand to pay for medical insurance they should have to offer an equal amount for people who choose to put the money into a tax free medical savings account.

Set up a government catastrophic health insurance plan for those who get contract extremely serious, and so very costly, illnesses, through no fault of their own, and let people pay for their health care through their own medical savings plans. I think most people would have more than enough money in a few years to comfortably pay for their medical costs, and plenty to cover health degeneration in their senior years.

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