Monday, June 24, 2013

Obesity and Congress

There is a letter today in the NY Times from Congressional members applauding the AMA panel decision on obesity and then recommending expanding Medicare coverage for drugs and therapy. They state:

We recently introduced a bipartisan, bicameral bill to lift the ban on obesity drug reimbursement under Medicare and encourage intensive behavioral counseling. This would open doors to examine different approaches to obesity treatment. 

If the costs of obesity drugs and new treatments are covered, large research studies can examine what treatments have the most effective patient outcomes. Better understanding these outcomes would foster a healthier population and lead to significant health cost savings. 

Now try and follow the logic here. 

First, this is Medicare, those over 65, with a lifetime of obesity in almost all cases. 

Second, the damage is already done; diabetes, kidney damage, atherosclerosis, retinal damage, nerve damage, etc. Most likely they are already on chronic care regimens. 

Third, research, research on what? They are fat, they ate too much. And now at 65+ we want to add this to Medicare? For what benefit? 

This is one of the dumbest statements I have ever read! And two are Republicans! No wonder we are collapsing as a nation.