An economic report released earlier this year states that having health insurance increases your chances of gaining weight and becoming obese. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, having private insurance increases Body Mass Index (BMI) by 1.3 points. The same report states that having public insurance increases BMI 2.1 points.
Adding to this, a different journal report released this year by Health Affairs shows that health care spending due to obesity has doubled in the last decade to $147 billion. Obesity rates also went up 37% during the past decade.
These reports will provide ammunition to those who oppose a public insurance being proposed by President Obama and Congress. Even if a public option is turned down, mandatory insurance (requiring the purchase of insurance or paying a fine) will also face scrutiny.
This is just another reason why the government needs to stay out of the market. Obesity rates have increased exponentially since Medicare has been implemented. Health care costs have risen to levels unseen prior to government-mandated HMO’s. While those in Washington often push these policies with good intentions, the results are often less than good.