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Gov't funds for the obese

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Old 11-22-2009, 12:25 PM   #1
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Default Gov't funds for the obese

Check out this article in a british newspaper.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage...e-grandad.html

It reports on a house especially designed for a morbidly obese man being built with government money. How do you weigh in on the issue of public funds being spent on someone that some people would consider to have a controllable self-inflicted illness?
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Old 11-22-2009, 12:36 PM   #2
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I like how they found his proximity to another obese man a relevant fact to include. really?
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Old 11-22-2009, 12:44 PM   #3
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First of all, the SUN is a notorious tabloid.

Second of all, would you say this man is disabled or not? In my view he is disabled and therefore qualifies for disability benefits. If those benefits legally include a house in which he can live, then there is not a problem. The same might be true for any other person who cannot walk or move around on their own.

Self-inflicted? There are motorcyclists who rode without a helmet, had a crash, and suffered brain injury that has led to their being disabled. We could say that their condition is self-inflicted. But that doesn't alter the fact that they are disabled.

I think that what's unfair is to discriminate against the morbidly superobese in terms of their being disabled--that is, disallowing their claims. I think what's unfair is that virtually every other chronic disease has treatment options, but with morbid obesity it is somehow brushed off as "their problem because they did it."

Yes, perhaps they did, but that doesn't alter the current situation.

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Old 11-22-2009, 01:07 PM   #4
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More detail would be needed- like was he just overweight- or did he have a bad accident or surgery or something that caused him to be this way? Then did he ever get the help he needed to lose weight? Counseling? Nutrition programs? Etc?

It's hard to make a judgement because to me obesity is almost like a disease I fight all the time- mental and physical. I have to mentaly fight now and then to not overeat and I have to physically fight too when it comes to working out and not being able to from fatigue due to my condition.
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Old 11-22-2009, 01:52 PM   #5
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I've been morbidly obese the vast majority of my life. Since age 5, I've dieted more days than I have not. I learned very early that one "off" day can MORE than undo all of the progress of 6 "on" days. I've struggled and continue to struggle with preventing those off days.

I'm also on disability, for multiple health issues. Some are correlated with obesity, some appear to be unrelated (as far as doctor's know today). I certainly can understand why someone would consider my disability partially or entirely self-inflicted (whether they knew the specifics of my disability or not). I don't know how much of my disability is self-inflicted. I also don't know to what degree I can fix it (or ever could).

But people can point to me and say "she doesn't deserve disability, she's fat and did this to herself," they can't tell by looking (despite some people's opinion that they can) if a person's disability was caused by untreated depression, mental illness, alcoholism, drug abuse, poor diet, thrill-seeking, carelessness, childhood abuse or neglect... NOR how much of the "preventable" portion of any person's disability was caused by the person not wanting or seeking help or because of other conscious choices they made.
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Old 11-22-2009, 01:58 PM   #6
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I do wonder what the initial impression and reactions had been if the thread title had mentioned the man's disability rather than the suspected cause of it - that is not his obesity (which may or may not have been the primary cause of the disability), but the disabilities itself (the kidney failure, the lack of mobility, for example).

Govt funds for the disabled (to make their homes more accessible to them)

Govt funds for the wheel-chair bound or less mobile (to make their homes more accessible).
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Old 11-22-2009, 02:05 PM   #7
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A great deal of chronic or expensive or disabling disease can be self-inflicted by lifestyle, with or without obesity. Heart disease, hypertension and kidney failure, some cancers, lung cancer and emphysema, osteoporosis and broken bones, chronic venous insufficiency, diabetes, etc, etc, etc.

If we're going to withhold funds from some, I suppose we should be figuring out what percent of benefits every individual should have withheld. Sounds fun.
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Old 11-22-2009, 02:38 PM   #8
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Pretty much agree with Julie above - health care can't be worked out on a 'deserts' basis. Too much of a slippery slope. Also, as a British person: The Sun is literally the lowest of the low. It's what you'd suggest someone read if you wanted to insult their intelligence.
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Old 11-22-2009, 03:13 PM   #9
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On the topic of funding for making housing accessible to the disabled, it's ridiculous how expensive it is to make a home handicapped accessible - even though the cost of materials isn't always any greater. It's in the details, like making sure hallways and doorways are wide enough...

There is no way to adapt a house to every disability, but what passes for handicapped housing in the US, is ridiculous.

When hubby and I were apartment hunting, we were looking for housing that would fit our current and future disabilities (hubby's inherited joint disease is progressive, he will eventually be in a wheel chair).

We found that the housing just didn't exist (at least not in anything we would be able to afford or otherwise access). There are quite a few apartments that would meet our needs, but the minimum age for entry is 55, and we're both under 45.

We went to one apartment complex that was advertising handicapped accessibility, and found that the only accomodation that had been made was wider doors and all of the counters had been lowered to wheelchair height (the tub/shower hadn't even been modified - so a person in a wheelchair could cook dinner, but couldn't take an unassisted shower).

Our current apartment is perfect for us except for the bathroom. If we stay long-term, the apartment management has promised to work with us, and make modifications as needed.

You wouldn't believe the number of people who are house-bound handicapped, simply because mobility-assistance isn't available. Mobility is an expensive commodity. There are some grants available, but they're exhausted early (you need a graduate degree in grant-writing to navigate the application process, and need to know where to look for them. Most eligible people don't apply, because they don't know the help exists).
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Old 11-22-2009, 03:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Me23 View Post
Also, as a British person: The Sun is literally the lowest of the low. It's what you'd suggest someone read if you wanted to insult their intelligence.
Evidenced by the fact that they are suggesting that it will cost US$600,000 to build a two bedroom, one bathroom single storey dwelling on an already established community of houses. What are they going to make it out of, gold?

Is the idea of giving a disabled man a place to live that meets his mobility needs really that outrageous?
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Old 11-22-2009, 05:57 PM   #11
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I feel like this article really lives up to "Sun" standards. LOL. People want to think of obesity as this self inflicted/controllable thing and offer no help because we did or to ourselves or something. HA! I don't think so. One might consider lung cancer brought on by years of smoking 2 packs a day controllable/self inflicted, I don't see them being turned down for 10's of thousands of dollars of chemo and radiation because they "did it to theirself". Healthcare is for treating health problems, all of them!
On another note, I really like how my health insurance will pay 100% for a few diabetic medications (I have insulin resistance) but won't help me a dime on dietician counseling or gym memberships. I get fired up every month when I receive my Diabetes Prevention newsletter from them! What a crock...
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaCee J View Post
On another note, I really like how my health insurance will pay 100% for a few diabetic medications (I have insulin resistance) but won't help me a dime on dietician counseling or gym memberships. I get fired up every month when I receive my Diabetes Prevention newsletter from them! What a crock...
PREACH ON... I totally agree with this- my insurance sends me stuff about weight loss and so on, but when I finally find a medication that helps me through the day to where I have the energy to work out and I eat less because I'm not fatigued anymore they decide "nah, it's too expensive, you go ahead and suffer." and it's like wtf?! It's a medication FOR my condition, it helps me out, and it doesn't cost as much as other medications... you want me to lose weight well I'm telling you THIS will help me out (no it's not a diet pill)! But no no no what do I know? I'm just some dumb fatty...
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Old 11-23-2009, 04:06 PM   #13
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I've never been obese, but it makes me sick that people are outraged about the obese being classified as disabled because of their "lack of willpower", yet nobody complains about drug addicts, prostitutes, or people who are skinny yet in poor health because of poor eating.

I work in law enforcement, and believe me, I've met maybe one or 2 drug addicts that were forced a heroin injection at the age of 10 or so. The rest of them made a lot of poor choices at an adult age and didn't take any responsibility, ending up as drug addicts. YET - they are disabled, can't work, because of a drug addiction!

I'm not saying we shouldn't support those people to change either - but how can their "bad choices" in life earn them heartfelt support (homeless shelters, soup kitchens), yet someone who has a real food addiction is ... lazy? Whatever. I don't buy it at all. People pick and choose who to pity and who "deserve" sympathy, and that is sad.
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Old 11-23-2009, 04:51 PM   #14
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I agree that the story is in a tabloid, but I think it brings up a very valid form of discrimination being practiced all over the world. Unfortunately it's the only legal form of discrimination known.
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Old 11-23-2009, 07:08 PM   #15
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Quote:
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I agree that the story is in a tabloid, but I think it brings up a very valid form of discrimination being practiced all over the world. Unfortunately it's the only legal form of discrimination known.
As much as I agree that obesity discrimination is common, and often legal, it is far from the "only legal form of discrimination known." Many forms of discrimination are legal and socially accepted, not only in the United States, but throughout the world.

There are a few states where weight discrimination is illegal, and there are many other forms of discrimination that are perfectly legal (or even if not legal, are still accepted and almost impossible to prosecute).

It's perfectly legal for example in most (if not all) of the USA to discriminate against "ugly" people. It's perfectly legal to discriminate against dirty, smelly people (unless perhaps the person can prove that a disability is responsible for the odor, and the employer cannot prove that the odor would hurt his business). It's perfectly legal to discriminate against people perceived to be "rude" or socially unskilled.

It may be illegal to discriminate against a person with the "disability" of Asperger's syndrome (a high-functioning autism), but try to prove that it occured. Because it's generally perfectly legal for an employer to pass over an interviewee because the person's personality "just didn't feel right for the work environment" that is they just didn't "click" with the interviewee.

A person with Asperger's would be able to fight the decision, if they argued that their Asperger's constituted a "disability." A person without a quantifiable disability however cannot fight the "personality-based" discrimination.

We all discriminate on a daily basis - and mostly we don't even know we do it. We make false assumptions about people based on their appearance, lifestyle, personality, and every true and false rumor we've heard about them.

Yes obesity descrimination is more acceptable than many, but it's by far not the last remaining prejudice (if that were only true).
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