Shape Up OR Pay Up – The One-Size-Fits-All Mentality

Things are getting pretty nasty when ONLY certain lifestyle choices are singled out for punishment. Regardless of your personal feelings, this is a really dangerous path we are now on. We don’t have to like everything others do, but we have NO right to tell them they can’t do what they enjoy as long as they are NOT harming others.

It began with smokers. Insurance companies starting charging smokers higher premiums for life insurance (I haven’t faced this yet with health insurance…..though the key word there is “yet”). Now we have employers charging smokers a surcharge ON TOP OF higher premiums for health insurance. We’ll just ignore the exorbitant (I call it extortion since it targets a minority of the population and the majority always approves it to keep their own taxes from going up) taxes smokers pay on each pack of cigarettes. Worse, there are employers forcing their employees to quit smoking or be fired and have open policies stating that they will NOT even consider a smoker, no matter if the smoker is the best qualified and experienced person for the job. And some are going so far as to extend their work smoking ban to private lives by forbidding the spouse/partner of the employee from smoking.

Now you might think all these ideas are good…………after all it’s all for our own good or for the children, right? But where do you stop? What about alcoholics? I don’t hear about them being denied the right to support themselves or being blackmailed into paying higher premiums and surcharges. Or being told that their spouse/partner can’t drink either.

I don’t hear about skiers being bullied, and they engage in risky behavior that could result in broken bones or worse, paralysis.

I don’t hear about joggers being forced to pay higher insurance premiums or surcharges to help cover the costs of any joint damage they will suffer as they age from all their jogging.

Or is it really just a matter of time until they get to these people too? I think this is the case.

This week I read that Alabama will charging fat people $25/month if they don’t lose weight and get ‘fit’. Of course ‘fit’ is in the perception of the beholder I think.

Heavy people to feel lighter wallets with Alabama surcharge

MONTGOMERY, Alabama (AP) — Alabama, pushed to second in national obesity rankings by deep-fried Southern favorites, is cracking down on state workers who are too fat.

The state has given its 37,527 employees a year to start getting fit — or they’ll pay $25 a month for insurance that otherwise is free.

Alabama will be the first U.S. state to impose a surcharge on overweight state workers who do not work on slimming down. A handful of other states reward employees who adopt healthy behaviors.

Alabama already charges workers who smoke — and has seen some success in getting them to quit — but now has turned its attention to a problem that plagues many in the U.S. South: obesity.

The State Employees’ Insurance Board this week approved a plan to charge state workers starting in January 2010 if they don’t have free health screenings.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press

Read the FULL STORY here.

And look, you don’t even have to be fat to be forced to pay this monthly surcharge, all you have to do is NOT have their free health screening. Now that’s what I call equal-opportunity discrimination/extortion.

They state openly here that they started with smokers and are now moving on to those with girth. What IF the person is genetically predisposed to a large body? Even if they are in good health and no matter what, their BMI get can’t below what someone else claims it has to be? This is nothing more than discrimination AND it is also a form of blackmail (do what I say or else)!! It may only be State employees right now, but what’s to stop them from insisting that all employers utilize the same ideology?

Then they’ll go after alcoholics again. Then maybe they’ll get to the skiers and joggers. Who knows where they’ll stop. If they can find a way to steal more money from you they will. <sarc>AND you will thank them for it, after all “it’s for your own good”. </sarc>

Junkfood Science takes a look at this too, from a professional point of view and points out my feelings here, quite nicely:

Taking a step back and thinking about the real story

Compulsory medication and monitoring of diets and lifestyles by the State is now a reality for workers in Alabama who are older or have certain genetic physical characteristics.

Despite efforts to paint this in rosy euphemisms, under a new plan just approved by Alabama’s State Employees’ Insurance Board, if workers don’t agree to be subjected to lifestyle and health screening and blood tests for specific hereditary characteristics, they will be penalized $25 a month or be denied health insurance coverage.


To think this is just about fat people, and not also those who are aging, minority, disadvantaged, or with undesirable hereditary characteristics, is to miss the full story. As long as people are convinced that certain physical measurements define desirable characteristics, while other measures earmark those seen as too costly, there seems little hope in helping to direct healthcare resources most effectively.

© 2008 Sandy Szwarc

Read the FULL STORY here (yes Sandy, I know, I used one too many paragraphs but that last needed to be added – please forgive me).

THIS is what happens when you start thinking that government and legislation are a better solution than self-responsibility, courtesy and plain old common sense. When you start expecting government to handle every little thing, instead of the big things they are supposed to handle, you end up losing your right to live your life, your liberty, and your pursuit of happiness……….because now you will need nanny -big brother – government to tell you what you can and cannot do, eat, think, say, read.

All I can say is that when they started the war against smokers, we tried to tell you this was a slippery slope, and you laughed at us, and told us we deserved this. We tried to tell you it wouldn’t stop with smokers, and you laughed at us, and told us we had this coming. We tried to warn you that this was coming down the pipe and you laughed at us, and told us it was our own fault.

Some still laugh at us.

The difference is while us smokers might be sat here smiling and saying “We told you so”, we are also up in arms ready to help you fight against this discriminatory and nazi-like practice. Unlike you who sat there saying we deserved it and did nothing until they knocked on your door.

Have you reached the point yet where you can admit we were right and feel bad that you did nothing to help us fight our fight?

Are you ready to wake up yet?

Are you ready to take this country back and make it the Republic it was set up as?

Are you ready to take back control of your own life?


~ by swfreedomlover on August 26, 2008.

5 Responses to “Shape Up OR Pay Up – The One-Size-Fits-All Mentality”

  1. “The difference is while us smokers might sit here smiling and saying “We told you so”, we are also up in arms ready to help you fight against this discriminatory and nazi-like practice. Unlike you who sat there saying we deserved it and did nothing until they knocked on your door.”

    Wonderful post! Forces is light years ahead of the fat community in getting it and could be valuable allies. I wish the fat community realized that the so-called science especially surrounding SHS is just as bad as that being used against fat. It’s so hard to help people look critically at things they think they know to be true. But the real issues, biases and special interests [there’s those 4 letters again] behind them are one in the same.

  2. What’s amazing is that no one else seems to notice that all the new “health” issues coming up today are being dealt with using the same exact template that the anti-smoker movement has used and is still using. You just change the words a bit for the appropriate target group, maybe play with the numbers a bit, add or delete a disease or two, and voila you have the plan along with the solution.

    Even funnier is that even fat people will deny the similarity, and think this is all new and different.

    I’m starting to believe that my smoking is preventing whatever it is that they put in the air and water from affecting my ability to think freely and clearly………….LOL

  3. You could be right about the last sentence. 🙂
    Remember that incredible thread at Michael’s with hundreds of studies looking at the health benefits of smoking? Some startling questions and critical looks at the science, only possible without presuming that smoking is deadly.
    I can’t believe more people don’t realize that they’re following the exact script from the tobacco stuff. It sure is clear to me! And more incredibly, their own literature even admits they’re doing that!

  4. What’s more shocking is that very few realize that the tobacco control nuts are using the same script that Hitler and the Nazi’s used in Germany in the 1930’s. Right down to the “for the children” and “healthy nation” ideologies.

    Talk about forgetting your history!!!

    That people are so against discrimination and yet don’t see any of this as discriminating is mind boggling to me!

    I would love to just drop off the face of this earth because it is truly becoming harder and harder to live with all this “nanny knows best” crap.

    There are so very few of us who actually understand what is happening. We should find ourselves some vacant land and homestead it and be discriminating about who we allow in (can’t have any “brainwashed” folks sneaking in now LOL).

  5. I know! I’ve gathered historical stuff on eugenics and history of Nazi healthism for more than a decade and yet, even mentioning the parallels guarantees crucifiction. I don’t dare reveal that the U.S. eugenics movement never died but quietly repackaged itself and is behind much of what’s going on today. After witnessing the young fat community and the medical community for the past 10 years, I totally see how it happened, beginning with dummying down education long ago and controlling information/media. I’m terrified for us all, as there seems to be no way to reach people today and help them see what’s happening. Truth and power are total opposites.

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