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Letter to the Editor

Ryberg: Bill wants Obese Employees to pay more for Insurance

web posted January 14, 2009
Dear Editor,
State Hourly workers have already had to bare the majority of the burden of salary cuts; far more than the department heads and specialty groups, why add another burden to the already underpaid hourly employees, you can bet the over weight “salaried” employees will never pay a dime extra for insurance benefits, which includes the Governor and his department heads. 

Your insurance card is immediately confiscated the moment you walk into any medical office or “facility” the type of insurance your company has purchased, determines the QUALITY of care you receive, as well as the respect level you endure through out the process; unless of course you are one of those high ranking notables and/or families who are on every hospitals VIP list in every state across this nation.

As a matter of fact; Obesity is like many other diseases – causes vary from everything from medications, to a any number of items which cause such.  My husband weighed over 400 pounds at his death – the cause: the result of a group of multiple medical errors and hospital acquired staph infections; for which he was forced to take “Steroids” to survive, from Thursday, January 31st, 2002 until July 5th 2007 when he passed away.

While I think of it; by whose definition of Obesity are we measuring such? Frankly, as long as an employee is meeting the working standards/requirements of the job by his immediate  supervisor; I can’t see where weight; good looks; disability, missing limbs or indigestion should either interfere, or cause any change in something so utterly dumb as insurance coverage. The insurance companies are allowed to force rate increases often enough without wasting the time of our legislature. Prevention seems a much better solution to me.

Insurance companies for many years have been allowed to Practice Medicine from behind their glorified desk. They are allowed to cut benefits on an annual basis, conspire with the medical community (drug companies, professionals and facilities as well) as to what they will and will not cover; how many actual tests or types of testing or drugs they will pay for – yet at the same time these same entities “decide” who will and will not be able to have such tests; whether the “Dr.,” in charge thinks it necessary or not – even in emergency situations. AGAIN, please remember, your insurance card is confiscated the moment you walk into any medical office or “facility” that one card is what determines the QUALITY of care as well as the respect level you receive; unless of course you are one of those high profile/ranking families who are on every hospitals VIP list in every state across this nation. I personally think it is time that WE as Patients receive safer medical care and the respect we deserve; just because we are the source of their income; No patient deserves to be harmed from seeking medical care, ever. Being OBESE as you say, is no reason to allow another kind of ABUSE within the medical arena.

Dianne Parker
Aiken SC


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