Humor Magazine

Emaciation - Big Brother Style

By Dmroughton
A few days ago I had to re-enroll in my health insurance plan. If I chose not to do so, I would automatically be assigned to a 70/30 plan instead of the 80/20 plan; this would, of course, result in higher deductibles and less coverage. To qualify for the 80/20 plan, I had to avow that I was not a smoker or that I was signing up for a smoking cessation class. No problem. I had to do the same thing last year, and I don't smoke anyway.
However, this year, the insurance company also requires enrollees to avow that their Body Mass Index (BMI) is at a certain level, arbitrarily dictated by the insurance company. The idea is that obese people inherently have more medical costs, and the insurance company wants to maximize its profits by (not) paying out better insurance for members less likely to actually need that insurance and force those who would need it to either lose weight or have poorer coverage.
It's all marketed under the guise of improving the health of NC residents, but really it boils down to government/companies forcing us to make healthier choices, not for our own well being, but to make a greater profit for insurance corporations.
Emaciation - Big Brother StyleI don't know about you, but if I wanted to take a bath in an ice cream sundae and eat my way out of it, I feel I should be able to without Big Brother looking over my shoulder. If I wanted to eat Cool Whip and maraschino cherries until my eyes bulged out like a bull frog's and then chase it with great handfuls of Crisco, whose damn business should it be?
The other thing that bugged me about the BMI calculator is that it does not take anything into consideration except height and weight. Not skeletal frame size. Not muscle mass. Nada.
Now I admit, two months ago, I was overweight. However, since that time I have undertaken a purposeful body transformation. I eat a strict diet, and I go the gym daily. In those two months, I have dropped 37 pounds - not for the damn insurance company, but for me, for me and my son.
I am actually in good shape now. One of my co-workers says my "back pockets meet in the middle," which is her way of saying that I lost any ass I had and that I shouldn't lose anymore weight.
However, according to the generic BMI calculator, I am still overweight and will remain so unless I lose an additional 23 pounds to get to 210 or below. I'm sorry, but at 6'5", with broad shoulders, I would have to get rid of muscle mass, and not just fat, to ever have a prayer of hitting 210, and I would look like a walking Halloween costume. That or a Jolly Green Giant bobble head doll.
Either way, I am not even close to being over the BMI cut off they have listed, so really it's not about that. I was even under the cut off before I got myself back in decent shape. It's just the principal of the thing - the idea that a company or the state is able to dictate a person's lifestyle choices when no laws are even being broken. (I guess the rest of us are now getting a taste of what gay marriage activists have faced for years.)
I bet next year Big Brother will be asking you to count up the amount of alcohol you had this year: the champagne at your sister's wedding, the 6 pack you drank during the SuperBowl, the mini-cups of Nyquil you had during flu season, and the baskets of beer battered french fries you had at Applebee's or where the hell ever they serve those.
Luckily, my cruise at the end of the month takes place in international waters, beyond the reach of "The Man," so I still intend to have a veritable orgy of pasta and alcohol and might gain 5 or 10 pounds in a week. So stick that it your BMI calculator, and choke on it.

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