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FATTIES NEED NOT APPLY: GOP Senate candidate wants the obese to PAY MORE for insurance

FATTIES NEED NOT APPLY: GOP Senate candidate wants the obese to PAY MORE for insurance

A Republican Senate candidate in a key battleground state has found himself in the middle of a controversy over how insurance premiums should be set, and the wealthy, tall, and lithe wanna-be Senator favors people like himself in his plan.

First, like all good Republicans, Eric Hovde, the 2024 opponent of Democrat Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), is adamantly opposed to the ACA (“Obamacare”). His campaign website lists ridding this country of the ACA as one of its four most important issues.

Yes, a lot of Republicans want to see the ACA replaced.

But a recently surfaced 2012 videotape demonstrates that Hovde’s ideas are unusually cruel when it comes to charging for health insurance in the future.

He not only wants preconditions back into calculating one’s insurance premiums but also wants people who “personally choose” to be obese (his words) to pay more due to poorer health outcomes.

According to Yahoo News, Hovde stated, “You become obese, your health care is going to cost more.” Report continues under video:

After discussing the “explosion” in obesity, calling it a personal choice that results in Type II diabetes, Hovde finishes his diatribe by stating:

“If they all of a sudden started to realize that they’re going to pay more for their health care by consuming, you know, by consuming massive amounts of soda every day or fatty foods and not exercising, maybe they would change their behavioral patterns.”

Well, the behavior patterns that Hovde cites might be abated if the minimum wage was increased to $20 an hour. At that rate, people would at least have a better choice by being able to afford the healthier food available. Of course, the problem hardly ends there.

As everyone understands, some people are just heavier, and they can eat and exercise like an Olympic athlete, and that person will be considered “bigger.” It is a genetic issue with which these people are burdened, no more a choice than being left-handed.

And yes, for some, it is a choice — but notice that Hovde doesn’t bring up other behavioral habits that are far more debilitating to one’s health.

Havde’s plan excludes people who drink alcohol or smoke, true choices that can devastate a person’s physical and mental health. And, again, some of that behavioral abuse is tied to self-medicating over anxiety about money.

Perhaps Hovde would have a different view of pre-existing conditions if he weren’t wealthy enough to cover his own healthcare. Hovde is not a normal candidate when it comes to health considerations. His website states:

“Eric and his wife Sharon have also been long-time partners in the fight to cure Multiple Sclerosis (MS) – a chronic autoimmune disease that Eric himself was diagnosed with at age 27.”

Ironic to the extreme that a person with a pre-existing condition — one that isn’t a choice, much like many who are obese — is arguing that premiums be raised based on what Hovde has declared to universally be a personal choice.

He has the money to cover his healthcare without insurance. His website is silent as to that benefit.

But there is a positive irony to go with the candidate’s position. From the Yahoo report, we learn that Hovde’s statement” also arrives as Democrats eye healthcare as a major issue in the 2024 presidential election, with President Biden celebrating the ACA’s 14th anniversary this weekend with an ad blitz and events spotlighting his record on the legislation.”

Yes, there are those who eat their way to obesity. But even in many of those cases, people are too poor to buy fresh food — food not loaded with filler calories — that might help them bring their weight down.

Similarly, too many poor are working two jobs to get by. A second job leaves precious little time for even moderate exercise to combat obesity.

Last, and this should be obvious, a person with two jobs would have fewer opportunities to visit a healthcare provider that might offer medical and behavioral counseling that would help someone with excess weight.

Perhaps Eric Hovde would have a more successful campaign if he switched his position to the federal funding of Ozempic prescriptions for every American who might want one.

As one might expect, Democrat Sen. Tammy Baldwin, a strong supporter of the ACA, faces a Republican who is comfortable pounding on the poor.

The fact that it comes from a wealthy, tall, naturally thin man with a pre-existing condition symbolizes the shamelessness with which they argue.

Vote for Sen. Baldwin – it’s good for your health.

This article is based on original reporting by Kate Briquelete of Yahoo News.

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Editor’s Note: This is an opinion piece reflecting the opinion of the author alone.

Jason Miciak
Jason Miciak is an associate editor and opinion writer for Occupy Democrats. He's a Canadian-American who grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He is a trained attorney, but for the last five years, he's devoted his time to writing political news and analysis. He enjoys life on the Gulf Coast as a single dad to a 15-year-old daughter. Hobbies include flower pots, cooking, and doing what his daughter tells him they're doing. Sign up to get all of my posts by email right here:

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