brief article recently appeared in the Connect section of Employee
Benefits News, Feb. 12, 2002 regarding legislation mandating
coverage of gastric bypass surgery.
of course look at this as a good thing.
One of the worst parts about going through weight loss
surgery is the very real concern whether your insurance will cover
the surgery. We want to
see all States requiring coverage for the surgery.
However, not everyone feels that way including those who
manage benefits. These are the Human Resources/ Employee Benefits
managers where you or your spouse works. Some see this as a growing
trend of government mandates that make benefits more and more
costly. The reaction
was initially very negative and was reported in the article,
“Getting In Touch With Resentments.” Employee Benefits News,
comments were very hurtful such as “Coddling a bunch of soft,
overstuffed couch potatoes is the way to ruin.
If you want to suck fat out of health care, suck it out of
people’s diets.” Other
comments just showed a total lack of understanding that morbid
obesity is a disease such as this comment, “Isn’t just eating
less a more reasonable and cost-effective therapy?”
the credit of the human resources profession, this was followed in
the next issue with counter-comments such as this “Obviously those
who replied to the obesity issues do not know much about why people
become overweight. They
are not a bunch of couch potatoes.
Many have very serious reasons that weight becomes a problem.
Before someone judges an obese person, they must first know
that the problem is real, and many times [obesity] is caused by
I regard this controversy as an important one.
Resentments on the part of some in the benefits profession
were aired and those defending coverage of the surgery provided some
well-needed education regarding the causes of morbid obesity.
This is obviously a group of people many of whom are in need
of some enlightenment about our disease. Hopefully when you are
arranging your insurance coverage, if you have to deal with an
employee benefits person where you or your spouse works, you will
deal with one from the enlightened group.