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senate Bill S. 830

Should Medicare Cover More Obesity Treatments?

Argument in favor

Obesity has significant negative effects on a person’s physical and mental state, and having Medicare cover more treatments would help beneficiaries.

Laura's Opinion
···
08/26/2017
Yes, sometimes it's not always about food consumption, but hormones and endocrine issues. Insurance companies need to get educated and stop dictating what doctors prescribe.
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Kodiwodi's Opinion
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08/26/2017
I know everyone believes obesity is as simple as putting down the fork, but that's not true. Autoimmune diseases, Thyroid diseases and tumors, sleep apnea, long term prednisone use, smoking cessation and mental illnesses can all cause obesity. So these are medical conditions which should be covered by Medicare or Medicaid. Obesity costs this country far more in future problems than treatment ever would in the strokes, heart attacks, Diabetes care, mobility care and rehabilitation required down the road. How can you treat these causes of obesity (A 2006 review identified ten other possible contributors to the recent increase of obesity: (1) insufficient sleep, (2) endocrine disruptors (environmental pollutants that interfere with lipid metabolism), (3) decreased variability in ambient temperature, (4) decreased rates of smoking, because smoking suppresses appetite, (5) increased use of medications that can cause weight gain (e.g., atypical antipsychotics), (6) proportional increases in ethnic and age groups that tend to be heavier, (7) pregnancy at a later age (which may cause susceptibility to obesity in children), (8) epigenetic risk factors passed on generationally, (9) natural selection for higher BMI, and (10) assortative mating leading to increased concentration of obesity risk factors) but not others. Treatment will reduce future costs.
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08/26/2017
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than one-third of adults in the United States are obese. A 2012 study published by the Journal of Health Economics found that the economic costs of obesity are tremendous, with Americans spending over $190 billion each year on obesity-related medical expenses. These costs go far beyond direct healthcare spending, as obesity contributes to short-term work absences, long-term disability, and premature death. As Congress seeks to reduce the cost of healthcare spending, increasing access to medications that will help halt one of the most costly chronic health conditions just makes good economic and public health sense.
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Argument opposed

This is a personal issue and there are already questions about Medicare’s long-term solvency, covering more obesity treatments would only worsen that outlook.

Justin's Opinion
···
08/26/2017
Money should be going into nutritional education and we should end subsidies and tax cuts for garbage food that makes those in the US sick. No more favors to the animal agriculture industry and junk food. The science already exists. Prevention before treatment. Stop the spread of calorie dense food with little nutritional value and high cholesterol and saturated fat, it will save money and lives more than whatever bandaid they come up with.
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Erik's Opinion
···
08/26/2017
Attention should be paid more to the underlying cause of obesity, which is a result of the processed foods available in grocery stores with high sugar options often the cheaper choice, and misconceptions that low-fat diets and aerobic activity is all that is lacking in obese individuals. We need a reshaping of our food industry and updated education about what truly is healthy eating.
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Mark's Opinion
···
08/26/2017
Obesity is not a disease. It should not be treated as such. Obesity is failure to be intelligent about how you eat. If they want treatment for their unintelligent actions they can pay for it themselves.
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Bill Details

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Title

Treat and Reduce Obesity Act of 2017

Official Title

A bill to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for the coordination of programs to prevent and treat obesity, and for other purposes.

Summary

Treat and Reduce Obesity Act of 2017 This bill allows coverage, under Medicare, of intensive behavioral therapy for obesity furnished by providers other than primary care physicians and practitioners. Additionally, it allows coverage under Medicare's prescription drug benefit of drugs used for the treatment of obesity or for weight loss management for individuals who are overweight.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Finance
    IntroducedApril 5th, 2017
    Yes, sometimes it's not always about food consumption, but hormones and endocrine issues. Insurance companies need to get educated and stop dictating what doctors prescribe.
    Like (99)
    Follow
    Share
    Money should be going into nutritional education and we should end subsidies and tax cuts for garbage food that makes those in the US sick. No more favors to the animal agriculture industry and junk food. The science already exists. Prevention before treatment. Stop the spread of calorie dense food with little nutritional value and high cholesterol and saturated fat, it will save money and lives more than whatever bandaid they come up with.
    Like (176)
    Follow
    Share
    I know everyone believes obesity is as simple as putting down the fork, but that's not true. Autoimmune diseases, Thyroid diseases and tumors, sleep apnea, long term prednisone use, smoking cessation and mental illnesses can all cause obesity. So these are medical conditions which should be covered by Medicare or Medicaid. Obesity costs this country far more in future problems than treatment ever would in the strokes, heart attacks, Diabetes care, mobility care and rehabilitation required down the road. How can you treat these causes of obesity (A 2006 review identified ten other possible contributors to the recent increase of obesity: (1) insufficient sleep, (2) endocrine disruptors (environmental pollutants that interfere with lipid metabolism), (3) decreased variability in ambient temperature, (4) decreased rates of smoking, because smoking suppresses appetite, (5) increased use of medications that can cause weight gain (e.g., atypical antipsychotics), (6) proportional increases in ethnic and age groups that tend to be heavier, (7) pregnancy at a later age (which may cause susceptibility to obesity in children), (8) epigenetic risk factors passed on generationally, (9) natural selection for higher BMI, and (10) assortative mating leading to increased concentration of obesity risk factors) but not others. Treatment will reduce future costs.
    Like (94)
    Follow
    Share
    Attention should be paid more to the underlying cause of obesity, which is a result of the processed foods available in grocery stores with high sugar options often the cheaper choice, and misconceptions that low-fat diets and aerobic activity is all that is lacking in obese individuals. We need a reshaping of our food industry and updated education about what truly is healthy eating.
    Like (74)
    Follow
    Share
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than one-third of adults in the United States are obese. A 2012 study published by the Journal of Health Economics found that the economic costs of obesity are tremendous, with Americans spending over $190 billion each year on obesity-related medical expenses. These costs go far beyond direct healthcare spending, as obesity contributes to short-term work absences, long-term disability, and premature death. As Congress seeks to reduce the cost of healthcare spending, increasing access to medications that will help halt one of the most costly chronic health conditions just makes good economic and public health sense.
    Like (71)
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    Medicare should be expanded to include treatment for obesity to lower rates of diabetes, heart disease , strokes and cancers; all related. Preventative measures would save money in the long run.
    Like (57)
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    It should also cover eyecare, hearing and dental These are essential to the elderly All effect health and quality of life
    Like (49)
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    If we aren't going to do enough to help people eat healthy, be healthy, be well...and help them on the front end of life, then we have to help them on the back end. And yes, this all stems from the concept that we should help our fellow man.
    Like (38)
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    Obesity is a serious health condition and we should be treating it as such. Plus, if we can help reduce the prevalence of obesity, this also reduces rates and costs of more serious health issues that obesity can lead to, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
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    The most recent research suggests that obesity is far more complicated than a lack of willpower or motivation to exercise. Obesity also through its relationship to other costly ills contributes to the cost of health care over all. Compassion and economics point to support for this Bill, in my opinion.
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    Obesity is not a disease. It should not be treated as such. Obesity is failure to be intelligent about how you eat. If they want treatment for their unintelligent actions they can pay for it themselves.
    Like (30)
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    Obesity is a serious problem that's been affecting the American public for decades now. If we want a healthier society we should absolutely allow patients to get treatment for it through Medicare. However, we need to go further and expand Medicare to cover all Americans!
    Like (20)
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    Broadening the medical options available gives citizens more choice and more freedom to control their medical decisions. Obesity is a complex issue, but statistically has a greater negative impact on poorer populations- populations likely to be using Medicare.
    Like (17)
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    It's an epidemic. Obesity is one of those diseases that gets worse because the patient can feel at fault, depressed and have a harder time getting fit. add in the fact that society is judgmental, American health care is insanely high priced, and you got a condition that won't get better. People with out healthcare insurance often fall prey to individuals who are either not mentally sound, or well trained enough to give medical advice so yes Medicare should cover obesity treatments.
    Like (16)
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    If this would save lives, and save money on chronic health issues related to obesity why would you not cover them.
    Like (14)
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    Obesity is a health issue and all treatment for this condition should be covered by Medicare. This coverage may prevent other, more costly, health expenses caused by obesity down the road.
    Like (14)
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    Obesity is a medical condition. By treating it, many more serious diseases (heart problems, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis in knee and hip joints, strokes, etc) can be minimized or avoided.
    Like (13)
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    What kind of crap is this! Tell me why the tax payers should pay for someone who apparently doesn't know when to back away from the dinner table?
    Like (13)
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    Obesity is a worldwide (no pun intended) epidemic of staggering proportions (again, no pun intended). Obesity should be addressed as a problem that plagues our country, and the overindulgence that is our lifestyle. We eat foods all year round that would otherwise be out of season, merely because they are available from somewhere on the earth.
    Like (10)
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    Taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for the poor life choices of others.
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