Poliquin Live

A Fit America - Health Care Debate

Tuesday, December 15, 2009 2:08 PM

In the U.S., there is considerable debate on health care reform. It is never about serving the population better, follow the money instead.  Just look at who is getting paid off to pass the bill. This is another financial scam like the bird flu and swine flu vaccination programs. Again, look at who is making money from the hysteria.

In my opinion, health care should remain privatized, but since 3 of the 4 major killing diseases can be prevented with exercise and proper nutrition, we could just surcharge and tax the obese to make it fair for all Americans. Yes you read right, impose a tax on obesity. The average American eats 60 dozen donuts per year, do you want me to believe it happens by accident? Lets face it, people eat and lazy their way to hypertension, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and heart disease. Even multiple forms of cancers such as prostate cancer have shown to be lower in exercising individuals.
Outside of health care, consider that the cost of obesity in our society can be found in a myriad of ways:

  • It costs more money to carry extra weight by bus, train, cabs, planes and elevators. The rampant obesity levels are increasing pollution just because it requires more fuel to carry.
  • Major cities have to constantly change seat position and upgrade the shock absorbers on their buses just to accommodate rampant obesity.
  • Cops even had to upgrade calibers on handguns to shoot obese felons. Most police forces dropped the 9 mm cartridge in favor of the 0.40 or the 0.45 so that the ammo could pierce through the  fat.
  • A study involving 359, 387 subjects (T. Pischon et al. New England of Journal of Medicine (2008) concludes that in men, a normal BMI, a 40 inch waist is twice as likely to die than a 34 inch waist. In women, a normal BMI, a 35 inch waist is 79% more likely to die than a 29 inch waist.
  • All the junk food eaten does not only raise health care insurance, but what do you think it does to the cost of dental insurance?

What about looking at it another way and encourage people to take charge of their own health. All the government agencies could not stop the hijackings of 9/11, but the heroes of United flight 93, by using a credit card to use an inflight cell phone to get information that was minutes old,  took charge and foiled the terrorists plan. America has a long history of individuals who took charge and made profound positive changes. It is time the government encourages individual responsibility.

If the Government were to tax the obese, the problem would lie in taxing the poorer elements of society and of course, there would be cries of discrimination.

To reduce the cost of health care, if I was in charge,  I would make sure that:

  • The government issues a fit and healthy license, the same way you get a drivers license. You submit to fitness tests and blood work. You need to get a minimum score to get the healthy and fit certification card.

The test can be done very cheaply with low cost excellent predictors of health. I will address the test in a future blog.
If you are a holder of the card, you automatically get these benefits:

  1. Automatic $5,000.00 tax deduction. Over a lifetime, a fit citizen is less likely to have extensive health care needs as they age
  2. You get to deduct gyms memberships, personal training fees and supplement costs. Not only are these proven health benefits, but they help stimulate the economy
  3. A premium rate on health insurance. The fitter you are, the greater the discount.
  4. Discounts on all means of transportation.
  5. Discounts on car insurance. Fit people have better reflexes, vision and so on.

Intermediate steps.

  • Parents who put their kids in sport programs should get a tax break. Fit kids don’t go to the doctor as much, have higher grades, and don’t have time to get involved in crime.
  • Triple the price of soda, and food items containing trans-fats. Want an apple pie with that? Sure $1.25 plus $3.75 in taxes. That will be 5 dollars EXTRA please. Take that tax money to clean up the American soil, so we can grow organic everywhere.
  • On line video game sites would charge a tax to the end user, the money would be used to get phys ed back into schools.
  • Tax video games A LOT. Kids would stop frying their testicles with radiation, make some testosterone and stop having the personality of a toilet bowl.

Author extraordinaire, Edward de Bono suggested we should vote by taxation. I fully agree with him.  In other words, when you submit your income tax report, you have a say to where the money goes. Every candidate running for election for the American presidency has presented themselves as the champion of education, yet money for education goes down every year. No one has EVER delivered once they got elected. I should be allowed to say that 75% of my money should go towards education, and let’s say 25% towards the Department of Agriculture. I don’t want to bail out inefficient automakers and to give bonuses to greedy financiers.
Maybe next election, they will platform under the President of A Fit America? They better deliver, though.
Paying taxes is like paying rent to be a citizen/resident of a country.  If you show you care about your health, thus reducing overall costs of the system, you should be rewarded for it.
Charles Poliquin





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