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Paying for Obesity but Not Its Treatment

Some health officials are so busy paying for obesity — in the form of diseases it causes — that they have no money to pay for treating obesity. Here’s how one put it in a recent interview on National Public Radio:

Most of the discussion in our state is how do we provide the kind of care for things like high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. So we have a lot of needs to be covered other than obesity itself.

That was Therese Hanna, Executive Director of the Center for Mississippi Health Policy, explaining why the new health exchanges under Obamacare in her state will not cover the cost of obesity surgery. The surgery most often stops or reverses the diseases that are gobbling up healthcare budgets in Mississippi. The state has one of the highest rates of obesity in the nation. And with those high rates come high rates of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, joint disease, liver disease, and cancers associated with obesity.

This situation sounds like an unintentional joke by William Shatner: “If saving money is wrong, I don’t want to be right.”

Click here to read more from NPR, and here to read more from Medical Daily.

Pay All Your Bills Here, photograph © krapow / flickr

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