BG2: Dob in a lardo, win $30k

Just as well we’re all working towards being healthier and living longer, not to mention that we will be less of a burden on our fellow tax payers.   Look what the obesity epidemic is causing in the UK right now:

Family doctors could be offered bonuses for weighing thousands of patients under NHS proposals to tackle obesity.

They would be given financial incentives for recording the weight of anyone with an underlying health problem triggered by being overweight.

Based on existing incentives, the payments could range from £1,500 to £15,000 a year per GP surgery depending on how effective they are deemed at helping the NHS.

The plans have been drawn up by health watchdog NICE in the hope of ultimately saving the NHS billions of pounds by treating complications caused by obesity. The news of the proposals comes amid increasing controversy over the cost of obesity to the state.

This month Channel 5 documentary, Benefits: Too Fat To Work featured couple Michelle and Stephen Beer, who say their weight prevents them from working. Between them they weigh 54 stone and receive around £1,700 a month in benefits.

The idea is that it will be cheaper to pay for  proactively getting these people healthier than to have to pay for their health problems from now until they die.  

A spokesman for British Medical Association said: ‘We would need to see the details of the proposals and ensure that they have real clinical value, rather than being a box ticking exercise that place yet another pointless administrative burden on overstretched GP services.’

But GP David Haslam, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, said the plans didn’t go far enough, as GPs should be focusing on weighing patients who don’t yet have a health problem – so it could be prevented.

He said: ‘It’s all in the wrong direction. It’s people without a diagnosis for one of these conditions who need to be screened.’

The QOF consists of targets covering a range of conditions including heart disease, dementia and cancer.

A maximum of 1,000 points is available for every practice per year, and each point is worth £157.

But experts have warned it has offered limited benefit to patients as it encourages doctors to focus on conditions which merit payments.

Perhaps there is another way:  court ordered dieting and exercise.   After all, if we walked into a bank and took other people’s money, nobody would think that acceptable.  Yet we have obese people constantly walking into tax payer funded health care without doing a single thing to mitigate ongoing costs on the rest of us.

For one, there should be a limit to the amount of money paid out to support someone who is obese.  Health care will no longer be covered by the taxpayer unless the patient is working towards improved health and making acceptable progress.

A bit like government funded “quit smoking” campaigns, I see benefit in government funded “lose weight and get healthy” campaigns.  Of course, it only works if these people make real progress.

Right now, apart from their bad decision making probably making their life shorter and more miserable, there are no repercussions on obese people that think nothing of being a huge burden of fellow tax payers.  Especially if they are so obese that their health problems have them unable to work as well.

All that seems eminently more sensible than taxing sugar and fat.

What do you think?  What would you suggest?


– Daily Mail


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  • It’s not that dissimilar to when the South African Government in 2006 started offering tax incentives if companies did HIV/AIDS testing with counselling for all staff. (i.e. not just offering it to staff, but making it something all staff had to do)

  • Davo42

    Tax is not the answer – we already pay consumption tax when we buy food, so the more you eat, the more you pay. The thing to do these days is to have a promotion month like Movember, maybe we should have Fatruary where the Govt. could sponsor personal trainers running free early morning outdoor Gym at you local school or park for the month. Some will get hooked and carry on to better health potentially saving the health system bazillions. On the other hand they might turn up and have hearties, pull Hammies and cost us way more in heathcare and ACC…

  • Wheninrome

    Make the hospital entrance doorways progressively narrower. (Over time)

  • Geoff

    If your medical condition is as a result of being a lardo, treatment should be refused. That’s the problem with a State funded health system, no incentive to look after your health. Abolish free health care, make insurance compulsory. If you can’t get insurance, you die. Simple really.

    • Wallace Westland

      Outstanding. I hope nothing bad ever happens to you and you suddenly find you have lost your fortune and your ability to earn a living and pay your insurance.
      Of course you could just curl up and die if you did.

      • Geoff

        You’re right, I was a little harsh. The point I was making was that anything ‘free’ is abused. It also results in those providing the free whatever to be able to dictate the terms and conditions. There has to be a better way.

    • Another Middleagedwhiteguy

      Not a lot of those who have had a long working and tax-paying life are obese, but I think you will find most obese have cost the State a fair bit of excess funding already on food alone.

      So what it it boils down to is that the State (that is, really, us taxpayers) having to spend a lot more because too much was spent already?

      I believe the concept of free health care was probably based on everybody working and therefore everybody contributing, and therefore the situation of a generational non-working class is anomalous even to the socialist. (if he/she/it cares to apply a little bit of logic)

  • caochladh

    If we are all going to live longer because we exercise and eat lentils, won’t that be a burden on the public purse via the pension, whereas all the lard asses will have died off many years prior.

  • James

    But lardos don’t actually cost us more money than the slim! Same with smokers, even before you add in the extreme amounts of tax raised from them. The reason is that they die younger and cheaper than healthy people (so they produce overall superannuation savings, don’t have expensive nursing care, and far fewer hip / knee replacements etc).

    Admittedly the figures here are for Holland, but I can’t see us being too dissimilar.

  • Benoni

    The morbidly obese could benefit from a wholesome jail-enforced diet control. I am sure nothing less than jail (or the threat of jail) would break them from their addiction to eating. Jail time costs the country 100K per person per year so the savings might not be as large as hoped for.

    • HR

      Nah, better to put them in a rest home. There is an argument that we should swap inmates to the rest homes and rest home residents to prison, cause they will get better looked after.

      BTW, I do think rest home carers are awesome, and I wish they were paid more.

    • Another Middleagedwhiteguy

      If that 100k per person per year were to be reduced to around 10k (including the costs of Corrections staff) not only could obesity be treated, but you would find that crime figures would go down as well.

      All that would be needed is 12m high smooth pre-cast concrete walls around concrete floors, spartan rooms with guest-provided (but thoroughly inspected) bedding and clothing, no radios for the first year, no TV or cellphones ever for violent and recidivist offenders.
      Useful work, including trade training and gardening for food, should be encouraged for lesser and younger criminals, but with limited access to any earnings prior to release.

  • Wheninrome

    A big statement to make, but most “Lardos” don’t necessarily have a large brain, or they would be able to put 2 and 2 together and come up with the right answer. “I won’t overeat and therefore I won’t become a lardo.”
    Probably not huge tax payers over their lifetime, so probably use a lot of that in health care needs, plus the extra provision from the Government for their family in assistance because they are not huge earners.
    I am trying to find a positive in this, I suppose the only one I can come up with is that their mother possibly still loves them.

  • Wallace Westland

    Aww yeah, but if you go down that road then the next step is monitoring peoples drinking, their exercise, regulating what’s allowed to be sold in the shops blah blah blah.
    This is just more pommie nanny statism.
    Ban this, do that, jump through this hoop, report in, weigh in, declare contents of fridge.
    Seriously if the left had their way they’d take our money off us completely and eliminate freedom of choice.
    They would provide your dietary needs via a weekly delivery (cos it’s not safe for you to drive) of the foodstuffs they deemed suitable for you and your family.
    They really need to off.

  • Shane M

    There is another way and it is easy. Do not pay for other people’s health care. It is because we do so that we believe we can tell others how to live their lives.

    • Exactly right. It’s because we have government funding of these things that suddenly we have ‘a say’. We have should have a say how much they eat, how fat they are, how much exercise they do, etc. It costs us through ACC, disability allowances, health care, etc. Instead of ‘lets tell people how to live’ how about we stop interfering in their lives through subsidies in the first place, then they can sort themselves out?

  • NeverMindTheBoll

    Hmm – these people need to invest in their health so that they can secure jobs & future income. Sounds a lot like tertiary students. Why not loan them the money for bariatric surgery, then apply mandatory health loan repayments from salary in the same way as the student loan scheme?