Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tax the fat

Health care reform seems to be the cause de jour among the Democrats. And of course, this means finding ways of paying for it (i.e. more taxes). Senator John Kerry has proposed taxing “gold plated” (his words) insurance plans. These are the ones most of us cannot afford, but pay for most of medical costs. My thought? Does that mean Kerry is proposing that federal employees, including the President and Congressmen, are going to be taxed for their health care plans? They have one of the best in the country called the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. Talk about “gold plated”! According to the website, the program offers “...the widest selection of health plans in the country.” This plan is just what we need, if we are going to reform health care insurance. Let all of us use that plan, and no one would be complaining, except perhaps the Socialists of Congress who want more control over the masses.

Neal Boortz, radio talk show host (yes, I listen to a variety of different view points), proposed the Fat Accumulation Tax (FAT). The more you weigh, the more you pay. It makes some sense to me, since caring for the problems of obesity cost $147 billion last year (Wall Street Journal online). That's nearly 10% of health related costs! Now, many of the overweight in this country are poor, so Uncle Sam would probably step in and not make them pay. But why not make them pay part of their costs, since they are part of the problem of Medicare not having enough money? That would be a sure way of getting them to lose weight!

I like the concept Boortz has proposed, but I believe a better way would be to tax us based on our body-mass index (BMI- a number based on both height and weight). This would be fairer, because I, at 5'11+" and 190lb, am not much overweight. (Using this BMI calculator shows that my BMI is 26.5, which is 1.5 points into the overweight category). However, someone 5'5" and 190 is obese (BMI=31.6-- 1.6 over the obese line). So, make that person pay a higher health care tax to encourage him/her to do something about the weight problem.

However, knowing the current Democratic leadership, they will do everything to make sure no one can fully comprehend whatever plan comes out of Congress.

1 comment:

Steve said...

Peter, my BMI came up overweight, which is correct. But it was dangerously close to obese.

I blame that on the fact that the calculator is hosted at a .gov site, and they want to run our lives, so I'm not worried about it.

'scuse me while I go drown my sorrows in a bag of M&Ms. The big bags - they're cheaper per ounce, so I'm helping the economy.