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Have You Drawn The Wrong Conclusion Today?

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imageThe Wall Street Journal, in its eternal attempts to prove to the rest of us that the only proper way to go through life is rich and dumb, has a piece up today which makes the contention that health insurance makes us fat.

Americans who have health insurance, either private or public, are more likely to gain weight or become obese, wrote authors Jay Bhattacharya and Kate Bundorf from Stanford University, Noemi Pace from University College London and Neeraj Sood from the RAND Corporation. According to the paper, which estimates weight gain in terms of body mass index, a measure of weight related to height, “private insurance increases BMI by 1.3 points and public insurance increases BMI by 2.1 points.”

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Besides the fact that BMI is stupid to begin with (an issue we won’t go into here), the study itself seems to show that people are overall just getting fatter – which is unsurprising as our worst food options keep getting cheaper.

Could there be a reason that people on public health insurance are getting heavier more quickly than people with private healthcare? Well, sure – people on public healthcare are likely to either be poorer or older, which means they’re either driven towards cheap, high-calorie food or more sedentary than the average person. The other problem, as far as I can tell, is that they don’t seem to measure the uninsured, which would seem to be pretty vital in terms of figuring out whether or not health insurance causes fucking weight gain.

This creates a truly bizarre set of arguments. The first is that people are somehow making the conscious decision to get fat because insurance just makes it a happy-go-lucky time of free heart tests and cheap blood pressure medication years down the line…or something. The second is that being overweight is something that everyone seemingly wants to do so long as they have any safety net which will allow them to do it (and, presumably, catch the falling bits of fried goodness for later consumption). The third is that we somehow have people getting larger at a time when health care costs are skyrocketing, people are losing health insurance and the insurance people do have is covering less.

If this made any sense, wouldn’t our rate of auto accidents be going up, particularly as states required car insurance and more people got health insurance? By this standard, people should be crashing through McDonalds like the Kool-Aid Man because Aetna lowered their deductible $250.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Pandagon

Ch-ch-changes…..

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After many years and many server changes and finally landing here at Raw Story, which has taken very good care of us, it's time to say goodbye to Pandagon. I've been blogging under this banner for ten years, after Jesse Taylor asked me to join. He, in turn, had been running this joint since he was in college. A lot has changed since then. I became a journalist, moved from Austin to New York and learned to play Dungeons & Dragons. Jesse became a lawyer and, just this past weekend, a married man.

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Pandagon

Carly Fiorina defends her lie with a whole bunch of lies

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I do like it when Republican candidates sport a resume full of corporate executive work, because it really shows the public how many fools and idiots coast into that position not on merit but on their bullshitting abilities. Donald Trump, Herman Cain, and now we have Carly Fiorina, who just can't understand why her perceived underlings (voters, journalists) won't scurry away, pretending to accept her bullshit like former employees of hers had to do, lest they lost their jobs.

And so it goes that Fiorina, who could make this entire Planned Parenthood controversy go away by saying something like, "I may have misremembered the video, but I still think abortion is wrong," instead is doubling and tripling down. And every time she does, she lies more and more. She was on Meet the Press and, so enamored of the idea that she is perfect and could never do anything wrong, just went to town with the defensive posturing.

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Pandagon

Marco Rubio has an astoundingly low opinion of women’s intelligence

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At RH Reality Check, I covered this story that I wish was getting more press, about how Marco Rubio goes back and forth between suggesting that women who get abortions are greedy monsters who get pregnant for cash:

I just think you’ve created an industry now … a situation where very much, you’ve created an incentive for people not just to look forward to having more abortions, but being able to sell that fetal tissue for purposes—these centers—for purposes of making a profit off it, as you’ve seen in some of these Planned Parenthood affiliates.

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