Alabama fines "fat" workers
#1
Government tells employees to slim down or pay monthly fee

Posted: August 28, 2008
12:29 am Eastern

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#2
Will they similarly penalize underweight workers?  Being underweight can cause significant health problems (just ask my daughter's anorexic friend who is more than 30 pounds under weight).

I am so sick of the nanny state. 

Edited to add - from an article in an Alabama newspaper:

Quote:The board has not yet determined how much progress a person would have to show and is uncertain how many people might be affected because everyone could avoid the charge by working to lose weight.

This is the scary thing - They can set ridiculously stringent (unattainable or unhealthy) standards for what constitutes "progress." 

For instance a person who has to lose 125 pounds to be below their threshold and who is following a sensible, healthy diet and exercise routine should lose between 1- 2 pounds per week for a healthy and sustainable weight loss.  At that rate it could take between  62 and 125 weeks to lose the weight.  If they aren't losing at 2 pounds per week and it takes them more than a year to lose the weight will they be considered non-compliant?

And what about people with a genetic predisposition toward high cholesterol? They can be a healthy weight, eat very healthfully and exercise regularly and still be in the high range.  Would they be penalized for not taking medications that might cause other health problems later?  How much of a reduction in cholesterol would be enough to be considered "compliant" and what if they eat well, exercise, maintain a healthy weight, take medications and still don't get into the "normal" range?

This is too open ended and vague.  It's a bad bad idea.



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#3
Sorry, I really don't have much sympathy for government (or private) workers who get FREE health care.  My employer (private) pays 80% of my health insurance premiums.  That still leaves me to pay 20% which comes to $118.30 per month.  Believe me, I don't have a top of the line policy either - just a regular basic plan.   Asking any worker to pay $25  is nothing especially if they're costing the government (or a private company) extra $$ in premiums.  Sorry, when an employee starts paying the same amount as I do and then is required to shell out more $$ then I'll listen.
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#4
mike6240 Wrote:Sorry, I really don't have much sympathy for government (or private) workers who get FREE health care.  My employer (private) pays 80% of my health insurance premiums.  That still leaves me to pay 20% which comes to $118.30 per month.  Believe me, I don't have a top of the line policy either - just a regular basic plan.   Asking any worker to pay $25  is nothing especially if they're costing the government (or a private company) extra $$ in premiums.  Sorry, when an employee starts paying the same amount as I do and then is required to shell out more $$ then I'll listen.
Sorry, Mike, but you pay all of your health insurance. And that pesky second half of Social Security, too. It just lowers what your employer is able to put in your envelope. Basically, it's just the paperwork that says the employer pays this part and you pay that. A switcheroo to make you feel warm and fuzzy.

edited to add: I'm not discounting your premise, however.
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#5
So because someone works for the State of Alabama, the State owns them now? What if they started fining women for not taking contraceptives or for having "too many" children? Where will it end? [Image: shrug.gif]
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#6
mike6240 Wrote:Sorry, I really don't have much sympathy for government (or private) workers who get FREE health care.  My employer (private) pays 80% of my health insurance premiums.  That still leaves me to pay 20% which comes to $118.30 per month.  Believe me, I don't have a top of the line policy either - just a regular basic plan.   Asking any worker to pay $25  is nothing especially if they're costing the government (or a private company) extra $$ in premiums.  Sorry, when an employee starts paying the same amount as I do and then is required to shell out more $$ then I'll listen.

It's not the amount that it bothersome.  It is the purpose behind the "fee."  If they said, 'Insurance is costing the state too much money.  We're now going to ask all employees to pay 25% of their premium.' I would have no problem with that at all.

What I object to is a penalty for "non-compliance."  Particularly when non-compliance is not defined.

As Spooky pointed out - what if the issue is birth control?  Your wife won't take contraceptives so your employer selectively charges you more for coverage?  Would that be okay?
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#7
The problem is that fat people eventually cost the insurance companies and us tax payers hundreds of thousands of dollars. Woman who have a lot of children should support them, they are not a drain on the state. The problem with this country is that our entire support structure is the middle class. The middle class gets taxed to death to pay for welfare/social security/medicaid, whatever. The people who work their butts off all day are forced to pay for someone else to get disability just b/c they are "too fat" to work. Oh boohoo. We are taxed to death for government grants so the state can send "the underprivileged" to college for free while we cannot afford to send our own kids. This whole country has gone to the dogs. I think private insurance shouldn't charge extra for fat people, but I wouldn 't mind if the government did. It is only fair for them to contribute extra to the system since they will most likely suck extra out of it. Believe me, if this country didn't pay for overweight people to sit home on their butts for free, their would be a lot less fat people. It is just like welfare, if it didn't exist, those people would just get jobs like everyone else...oh yes, and they wouldn't hang out at the mall every weekend.
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#8
HappyWife Wrote:The middle class gets taxed to death to pay for welfare/social security/medicaid, whatever. The people who work their butts off all day are forced to pay for someone else to get disability just b/c they are "too fat" to work. Oh boohoo. We are taxed to death for government grants so the state can send "the underprivileged" to college for free while we cannot afford to send our own kids. This whole country has gone to the dogs. I think private insurance shouldn't charge extra for fat people, but I wouldn 't mind if the government did. It is only fair for them to contribute extra to the system since they will most likely suck extra out of it. Believe me, if this country didn't pay for overweight people to sit home on their butts for free, their would be a lot less fat people. It is just like welfare, if it didn't exist, those people would just get jobs like everyone else.

I love this--  the typical conservative idea that people who get government assistance of some kind don't work or don't work hard enough.  I know people who get government help with medical care and food, and they work like dogs.  They work more than full time, and yet are just scraping by.

The idea that if you're poor it's because you're lazy and don't work hard is 100% Protestant.  As Catholics, we are supposed to help those who are in need.
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#9
ErinIsNotNice Wrote:
HappyWife Wrote:The middle class gets taxed to death to pay for welfare/social security/medicaid, whatever. The people who work their butts off all day are forced to pay for someone else to get disability just b/c they are "too fat" to work. Oh boohoo. We are taxed to death for government grants so the state can send "the underprivileged" to college for free while we cannot afford to send our own kids. This whole country has gone to the dogs. I think private insurance shouldn't charge extra for fat people, but I wouldn 't mind if the government did. It is only fair for them to contribute extra to the system since they will most likely suck extra out of it. Believe me, if this country didn't pay for overweight people to sit home on their butts for free, their would be a lot less fat people. It is just like welfare, if it didn't exist, those people would just get jobs like everyone else.

I love this--  the typical conservative idea that people who get government assistance of some kind don't work or don't work hard enough.  I know people who get government help with medical care and food, and they work like dogs.  They work more than full time, and yet are just scraping by.

The idea that if you're poor it's because you're lazy and don't work hard is 100% Protestant.  As Catholics, we are supposed to help those who are in need.
I could not agree more ErinIsNotNice but I understand where HappyWife is coming from.

I have seen this issue from both sides. First as a taxed middle class worker and second as someone who became disabled and had his entire life savings drained by medical expenses and who was then left to depend on social security disability and medicare.

The trouble is weeding out those who are in true need from those who are bums.
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#10
Ok, I will admit I sometimes get carried away. I do believe 100% that if you work your butt off and are generous with God in giving life to babies, etc, and you need help fine. However:

a) I have known tons of social security workers and they ALL say that most people trooping into their office are unmarried, have tons of kids from different husbands (the more kids you have the more money you get), and they are covered in gold jewelry, expensive clothes, etc. Welfare fraud is rampant, and people all over who are perfectly able to work are on it.

b) as a catholic I too believe we should help the needy too. I do think it should be a personal choice though. I don't think the government should take so much of a man's paycheck and then do with it as they like. This is how we end up paying for abortion and free birth control.

The welfare system is out of hand. We encourage unhealthy lifestyles by supporting people who do not actually need it. We have girls all over the place who stay unmarried so they can continue to collect more money (b/c having a man in the house cuts your money down since he should work). We have girls who are doing drugs and driving around in cadillacs collecting welfare b/c thei other income is "under the table." You ahve whole illegal families living in an aparment that their daughter got b/c of her anchor baby, etc. If helping the poor went back to being an ecclesistiacl job than we would be much better off. The numbers of people in this country who are in "poverty" is higher than ever poor for two reasons.

a) welfare obviously doesn't solve anything or it would help people get back on their feet, not get chained to governemtn help for life.
b)the government keeps creating this ridiculous "standard of living" which they feel obligated to provide for the masses. The problem is that the taxpayers don't have many of the luxeries they consider necessary for people on welfare, how is that right?
 For instance, a normal mom who can't afford all new clothes for back-to-school goes to the thrift store to buy most of her kids stuff. Meanwhile, the woman on welfare has a voucher to buy her kid's stuff brand new from JCPenny.
 

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