Obamacare

Obamacare Apologies to the Whole Foods Crowd

If I'd have known ahead of time that you'd be paying for my health care, I would have taken up jogging or something.

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On behalf of everyone who's ever put Doritos on their sandwich for extra crunch or drunken copious amounts of beer out of a lawn ornament while tailgating, I'd like to say, "I'm sorry." With no chance of repeal or reform of Obamacare anytime soon, our personal health and finances are more closely intertwined than ever. Many of us are simply not up for this massive responsibility.

You can't see me right now—unless you're the NSA and you're looking through my laptop cam—but I'm overweight. The federal government claims $147 billion in annual medical spending is attributable to obesity. To give you an idea of how much money that is, the gross domestic product of Bangladesh is $140 billion, meaning that America is detrimentally fatter than the people of Bangladesh (pop. 154 million) are productive.

I'm part of the problem. While I'm eating breakfast I think about lunch. I consume foods that should come with warning labels. I strongly believe that running is something you should only do from explosions. No one has ever looked at my body, stroked their chin and said, "I have an Italian sculptor I'd like you to meet."

Under the Affordable Care Act, my weight seems unfair to the super-healthy. People who shop at Whole Foods and buy free-range meatballs and have mixed feelings about fair trade gluten help pay for my healthcare, and that's not right. They're the heroes. With their high incomes and long lifespans they'll be supporting guys like me who can remember the most hot wings they've eaten in one sitting (48!) for the rest of their lives.

Hot dogs
Picatinny Arsenal / Foter

There will come a point when these good healthy people who did everything right will want to take a zip-line vacation in Costa Rica, and they won't be able afford it, and that's on me and everyone else in this Shakey's Pizza where I'm writing these words.

Then there's the guilt. I now have the fate of a nation hanging on my every decision. Do I need another slice of pizza? I don't know. Do I? How will it affect everyone else on my plan? Is another fried chicken leg worth potentially leaving our grandchildren with insurmountable debt? Yes, it is, but now I dip it into my mashed potatoes with great sadness. The guilt makes me sad. The sad makes me eat. Chalk up another unintended consequence of major legislation.

As a younger man I didn't think my lack of qualms about wearing elastic-waistband shorts in public would affect all of America. If I'd have known ahead of time I would have taken up jogging or learned what Pilates was.

Yes, I can hear some of you now. "You can still change. We all can live healthier. I have a kale smoothie recipe I can text you."

Can we really live healthier, though?

The First Lady spoke about failing to feed her own children healthy food, saying, "If a Princeton- and Harvard-educated professional woman doesn't know how to adequately feed her kids, then what are other parents going through who don't have access to the information I have?"

Like most Americans, I didn't go to Princeton or Harvard. I went to a state university where the cafeteria's vegetable option was tater-tots. I'm not confident I will ever be qualified to adequately feed myself anything that can't be dipped in ranch.

I'm not alone.

To get a snapshot on how the rest of my fellow Americans are living, I reached out to the Hot Dog and Sausage Council, which is an actual thing that exists and whose president is Janet "The Queen of Wien" Riley. Yes, that is her actual nickname. A council spokesman said that Americans consume an estimated 20 billion hot dogs a year, which averages out to about 70 hot dogs per American.

This is not a knock against hot dogs. I am firmly pro hot dog and always have been. They're among my favorite tubed meets. Consumed in moderation, hot dogs are a tasty source of protein and a trusty way to get your damn kids to eat something.

The key word is moderation.

Let's say you eat 10 hot dogs per year, and let's say your partner eats about 10 and the other adults in your community are in the 10-20 hot dog range. Plus there are probably some folks in your life who do not eat hot dogs—vegetarians and health nuts and other people who hate America. If everyone you know is in the 0-20 range, then in order to hit that 70-per-person average some Americans are consuming hundreds if not thousands of hot dogs per year.

The longer it's on the books, the clearer it becomes that Obamacare is better suited for one of those Nordic countries where hot blonde people ski joyfully to work, not for a nation whose citizens partake in bizarre Se7en-style hot dog eating rituals.

The midterm congressional elections are coming up this fall, which means the politicians and talking heads and our fellow citizens soon will debate the merits and faults of Obamacare again. We will hear plenty of complaints from people who say it's not at all fair that we're stuck with Obamacare. Possibly more hazardous to its long-term prospects, though, is that Obamacare is stuck with us.

NEXT: Senate Sex Trafficking Bill Criminalizes Online Publishers and Creates State-Accessible Sex Worker Registries

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  1. “If I’d have known ahead of time that you’d be paying for my health care, I would have taken up jogging or something.”

    You should have A) been wiser and never consented to permitting Obama and the Democrats take over your health and B) taken up jogging regardless.

    The mindset of these people never ceases to astound.

    1. I took the article as tongue-in-cheek.

      I feel sorry for you if you didn’t.

      1. If they put their tongue on their cheek in Canada it will freeze there.

        1. Make your jokes funny guys.

          If satire, my bad. But you have to admit they do think this way.

          1. True, its getting harder everyday to tell true prog from prog satire.

            1. True, its getting harder everyday to tell true prog from prog satire.

              Any hazard to guess what happens in a prog/prog satire singularity?

              1. It’s Poe’z all the way down….

              2. what Patrick said I’m shocked that a mom able to get paid $5552 in four weeks on the internet. did you read this site link works33.com
                (Go to site and open “Home” for details)

            2. Poe’s law in action.

  2. The overweight guy is likely to die before requiring those years of thousands of dollars per month care for lean and fit nonogenarians propped up in geri chairs drooling in front of televisions tuned to The Price is Right.

    He’s a net financial gain to society.

    1. Yes, but a huge net loss to the buffalo chicken wing industrial complex. Thing big picture here.

      1. Joe, Thank you for this great piece of writing, it made me chuckle.
        My favorite insight: it’s not Obamacare letting us down, we’re just not good enough for Obamacare! Heh

    2. I know there was a study of Danish smokers that came to this conclusion using national health care data.

      1. Ditto US some time back; it’s ignored since it’s inconvenient.
        Similarly, the claim “Reagan shut down the looney bins in CA!” is a lie, has been debunked, and keeps getting repeated as gospel on the left.

        1. That’s why the States sued the tobacco companies rather than the Feds. Tobacco related illness is a net cost to the States’ share of Medicare and Medicaid. Due to the savings on social security from the early demise of smokers, the Feds actually benefit from smoking.

        2. Ignored??!!!

          Try roundly condemned.

          On 17 July 2001, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein called the report “appalling” and wrote to CEO Geoffry Bible that “by including a cost-benefit analysis of human lives in its calculations, Phillip Morris has stepped well-past the lines of decency and demonstrated, once again, that it conducts business in a manner completely disconnected from any sense of right and wrong

          They did everything possible to make sure no one ever heard about that study.

      2. The reaction to the study was predictable. “Don’t you care people are dying? It’s not about money!!!!”.
        Never mind that the cost of caring for smokers has been the main justification for intervention. The reaction to the study shows they don’t actually think they need any justification to micromanage the lives of other adults.

    3. They should subsidize eating and smoking. I’ll be rich!

    4. ^THIS^

      Free smokes in every house and a suicide booth on every corner!

  3. If everyone you know is in the 0-20 range, then in order to hit that 70-per-person average some Americans are consuming hundreds if not thousands of hot dogs per year.

    And, somehow, we allow them to do so without a law banning the inclusion of ketchup!

    1. I couldn’t survive in France. Ketchup is my favorite vegetable.

      1. Ketchup – or pureed tomatoes – is very good for you. Helps prevent prostate cancer. Also full of vitamin c.

        1. Healthy condiment or the healthiest condiment?

        2. Helps prevent prostate cancer.

          This is a misguided myth on a couple levels.

          There are only two preventative measures to prostate cancer; Removal and death (three if you count being born without a prostate). Barring those two preventative measures, you *will* develop prostate cancer.

          Second, there’s no association between any of the nutrients in ketchup other than people who may or may not get prostate cancer have probably eaten ketchup.

          1. Barring death, I am not terribly concerned about cancer.

          2. Yes it’s obviously a myth that certain chemical like vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants might aid the body in fighting cancer.

            1. If it doesn’t come out of a patented FDA approved bag of brown poison, it’s not real medicine.

          3. Cancer is caused by denied self-hatred.

          4. Lycopene, present in tomatoes, has been linked to a reduction of prostate cancer incidence. Don’t know if there’s enough lycopene in ketchup to make any difference though.

        3. I suppose that’s true about catsup.

          But is anything you put it on good for you?

          I’m trying to think of anything good for you that we put ketchup on, and I’m coming up blank.

          1. I’m trying to think of anything good for you that we put ketchup on, and I’m coming up blank.

            your mom

            1. My mom’s out of your league.

              1. My mom’s out of your league budget.

                1. Yeah, you’re probably right. …there’s no way he could afford to take care of her…in the manner to which she’s become accustomed.

                  I’m just sayin’.

          2. French fries? They are god. And good for you.

          3. Baked fries are all right for you, especially with olive oil. I like them more than the deep fried.

            Ketchup is all right, but curry ketchup is awesome.

            1. Lap83 is correct. You won the internet! Happy Independence Day!

          4. I reject the premise.

            There are psychological benefits to Doritos, Scotch, or peanut butter and chocolate ice cream. As long as eating these things doesn’t actively inhibit the absorption of needed vitamins or calories, or otherwise directly cause physical harm, they’re not bad for you.

            If you plant your 500lb ass on a sectional and eat a gallon of rocky road in a sitting, the problem isn’t the ice cream, champ, it’s you. Personal case in point: in my teens, I would eat an entire large pizza in a sitting, and I hovered around 5-6 BMI because I skateboarded for three hours a day. Today, not so much the case, as my job is sedentary and I’m much less active than I was in my youth, I’m sorry to say.

            Point being, “good for you” should be understood to include things that taste good, too, and, short of actual poisons, “bad for you” shouldn’t simply mean foods that are relatively inefficient from a body-fuel standpoint. Unless you want to live a joyless, grey, utilitarian existence.

  4. “People who shop at Whole Foods and buy free-range meatballs and have mixed feelings about fair trade gluten help pay for my healthcare, and that’s not right. They’re the heroes.”

    Well, ultimately, we’re talking about selfishness.

    I really don’t think these fat people appreciate that they really only exist for my benefit–for society’s. How selfish of them to cost me money! How selfish of them to conduct their lives in ways that aren’t beneficial to me.

  5. Wow. So if the government got out of the insurance business, the insurance companies can adjust his premiums to meet his risk profile and this gross injustice will be corrected. He’s so close. He’s just got to take that last step.

    1. You mean you want korporashuns to profit based on the bad choices of their kustomerz?

      You are, indeed, evil.

      Only government is fair, bekuz profits.

  6. cease your sacrcasm! The proles must conduct their lives in ways that benefit the community.

    the community must be led by an elite ruling class

    the ruling class must be helmed by a benevolent master…

    the master needs a private jet and golf course and French chef because he loves us

    1. Yeah, from each according to his ability–to me according to my need.

      It’s funny how quickly it all becomes a control mechanism.

      The left is so absorbed with freedom of religion now–but they can’t see themselves the way they are. Using the government to try to force people not to be so fat isn’t fundamentally different from using the government to force religion on other people.

      In both cases, they’re using the government to force their values on other people.

      1. Statism is their religion and government is their god..

        1. Statism is the kidnapper you’ve got a Stockholm syndrome boner for.

          1. I almost choked laughing so hard from that one.

        2. Scienfoology Song? GAWD = Government Almighty’s Wrath Delivers

          Government loves me, This I know,
          For the Government tells me so,
          Little ones to GAWD belong,
          We are weak, but GAWD is strong!
          Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
          Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
          Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
          My Nannies tell me so!

          GAWD does love me, yes indeed,
          Keeps me safe, and gives me feed,
          Shelters me from bad drugs and weed,
          And gives me all that I might need!
          Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
          Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
          Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
          My Nannies tell me so!

          DEA, CIA, KGB,
          Our protectors, they will be,
          FBI, TSA, and FDA,
          With us, astride us, in every way!
          Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
          Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
          Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
          My Nannies tell me so!

  7. OT: American Apparel company wants to get in the spirit of the 4th of July by posting a fireworks photo.

    So they find a photo of the *Challenger* disaster.

    http://www.latimes.com/enterta…..story.html

    1. the company said it was an honest mistake by the social media manager, who was born after the 1986 explosion

      Oh, FFS! I was born after the Hiroshima explosion, and I wouldn’t use *that* “fireworks” photo.

      1. Indeed. Being a social media manager isn’t like rocket science.

        1. * golf clap *

        2. Nice one, HM.

      2. it should say, “it was an honest mistake by the social media manager, who got her job because getting “likes” on Facebook is the only thing she’s good at”

        1. Or because she was the only one to stick around after seeing the former CEO’s cock. Apparently he’s pretty fond of showing it off:

          http://www.usatoday.com/story/…../10849697/

          1. Is the word cock used as a euphemism for dick anywhere outside of the porn industry ?

            Using cock in place of dick in one’s speech is a dead giveaway for a porn addict.

            Just remember to stop before you go blind.

      3. We watched the Challenger launch and subsequent explosion live in my geometry class in 10th grade. It made for an interesting afternoon.

        1. Wasn’t that Reagan’s fault too?

          1. Probably so since Clinton was in office when it happened. IIRC

            But Obama saved the Nation from anymore such shuttle disasters.

            The man just doesn’t get fair credit for the good he does for we little people.

            1. Probably so since Clinton was in office when it happened. IIRC

              If by “in office” you mean “governor of Arkansas” then sure…

              (Hint: It happened in 1986.)

    2. “So they find a photo of the *Challenger* disaster.”

      I’m saying the LAT got that from Onion!

    3. Why didn’t Christa McAuliffe take a shower on the morning of the launch?

      She said she’d wash up on shore.

      1. What does NASA stand for?
        Need Another Seven Astronauts.

        I heard this joke the day after the disaster. We’re a sick people.

        1. How many people can you fit in a VW Beetle?

          11. Four in the seats, and seven Challenger astronauts in the ashtray.

        2. How did we find out the astronauts had dandruff?

          There head and shoulders washed up on the beach.

          1. Their. Talk about karma.

            1. What did Christa McCauliff’s husband do during the summer after the Challenger explosion?
              Look for a piece of ass on the beaches of Florida.

              1. Did he find one…or have to settle for some head instead?

  8. “The federal government claims $147 billion in annual medical spending is attributable to obesity. To give you an idea of how much money that is, the gross domestic product of Bangladesh is $140 billion, meaning that America is detrimentally fatter than the people of Bangladesh (pop. 154 million) are productive.”

    Funny that you should mention Bangladesh. That’s a really poor country! If I remember correctly, Peter Singer initially formulated his arguments about transferring wealth in response to mass starvation in Bangladesh.

    Here in the U.S., we supposedly have a “problem” with poor people being too fat! We live in a society that is so wealthy that not only are the poor disproportionately fat, but also, our government can spend $147 billion a year on the health problems of the lard ass class. Historians will one day look back at this as an amazing triumph.

    When I listen to Michelle Obama, or somebody, complain about the problem of obesity–specifically among the poor–it make me sick to my stomach. Living in a society so rich that the poor people are fat is living in the fulfillment of a utopian dream.

    1. Now you know why 1 in 4 children in this country go to bed hungry. BECAUSE THEY ARE FAT! THEY ARE ALWAYS HUNGRY!

  9. On behalf of everyone who’s ever put Doritos on their sandwich for extra crunch or drunken copious amounts of beer out of a lawn ornament while tailgating, …

    Sounds like someone was a little drunken when he wrote this.

  10. “”””On behalf of everyone who’s ever put Doritos on their sandwich for extra crunch “””

    But can’t you look at this in another way, the person who eats up all the Doritos in the house is saving others from eating them. Its like falling on a grenade, they are taking one for the team.

  11. OT: Posted yesterday, this article is a reminder of why Americans should value their own freedoms –

    “Nigerian atheist faces death threats after release from psychiatric ward

    “Mubarak Bala, who was forcibly committed for renouncing Islam, goes into hiding in region where sharia law holds…

    “Bala said he wants to leave northern Nigeria but first is trying to reconcile with his family, especially the father, two uncles and older brother who beat him up, drugged him and committed him to the psychiatric ward of Kano city’s Aminu Kano teaching hospital….

    “Businessman Bamidele Adeneye, who had been corresponding with Bala about humanism through social media before he was committed, saw one of his desperate SOS messages and mobilised help through the #FreeMubarak Twitter campaign and the London-based International Humanist and Ethical Union.

    “Adeneye said he has also been getting death threats. “I’m getting calls from people who say ‘Where do you live, we are coming to get you.'”

    “He helped organise assistance from Kano lawyer Muhammad Bello Shehu, who said he had been preparing to take Bala’s case to court when the doctors discharged all patients because of a strike.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/wor…..bala-islam

    1. It’s only a matter of time before climate deniers are jailed in this country.

    2. Nothing says serious like admitting that you need the potential victim to give you their address so they can come kill you.

  12. You can have my fries when you pry them out of my cold dead hands. Unless the fries are cold, in which case go ahead and take them.

  13. OT:

    Caught on camera: Trooper filmed ‘brutally beating woman on side of California highway’ but authorities say it was for her own ‘protection’

    Motorist filmed a California Highway Patrol officer chasing a woman and then beating her at least 11 times in the head on Tuesday
    She puts up her hands to protect herself but does not appear to resist
    The CHP later said that the officer had asked the woman to stop but she did not – so he stopped her for her own safety
    The motorist, David Diaz, said it was ‘obviously excessive force’

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..ghway.html
    That’s our heroes in blue. Beating unresisting women. *swoon*

    1. On the video uploaded to YouTube, the woman can be seen trying to protect herself by putting up her hands but she does not appear to resist the trooper.

      This video has been removed as a violation of YouTube’s policy prohibiting content designed to harass, bully or threaten.

      Really.

    2. I have a fishing buddy who is a cop. One of his favorite stories is he and his cop roommate once had two cop groupies naked and handcuffed to the shower head. The girls got scared of the hi jinks and threaten to call the cops when unhandcuffed.

      He poses his conundrum. What do we do ? Let them go and get in trouble ? Give them our phone number so they can call us to protect them from ourselves /

      They solved the problem by calling a buddy on duty who knocked on the door because of a made up noise complaint who then listened to the girls story, then drove them home and then nothing else happened.

      1. I’ve listened to drunk cops talk amongst themselves, and I found it all to be disgusting. Excitedly talking about how much fun it is to choke people. Bragging about holding a gun to a woman’s head until she peed her pants. The sickest part was when one complained that he’d never had a chance to kill anyone, and his buddies consoling him that he’d get his chance. That’s the people who serve and protect. Animals who take great pleasure from choking people, who get off on terrorizing women until their bowels release, and who want nothing more than to get away with murder. I don’t consider them to be human. They’re animals.

        1. Are you familiar with neorealism? It’s a theory of international relations. There’s a bit more to it, but, in short, it says that, within the framework of states the nature or internal workings of the states themselves means absolutely nothing. States behave in predictable ways based on the structure of the system itself, doing everything they’re able to do, limited only by the constraints of other states, resources, etc. The character of the states doesn’t matter; they all do the same shit. If you look at the foreign policies of the British Empire, the US, the Soviet Union, etc., they all look pretty similar. The stated motivations are different, sure, but the outcomes are pretty much the same.

          I think something similar happens with the state, and probably with jobs anywhere. If you make a “cop-shaped box”, for instance, the people who take that position will fill it. Obviously people who are attracted to power and likely to do bad things with it will gravitate to the position, but even the most civic-minded, kind, Superman-type candidates will produce the same results. Because it’s like Chekhov’s rifle; if you give a power or ability to a person, it will be used, and used in the least desirable context. You cannot rely on human restraint when you give one person authority over another. Police brutality and corruption is a feature, not a bug. The only way around it is to limit the authority institutionally, or, my preference, to not give any in the first place.

  14. “If I’d have known ahead of time that you’d be paying for my health care, I would have taken up jogging or something.”

    I sure as help wouldn’t. If there’s no consequences for me why should I take care of my body. Hell, I weigh 330lbs, but I bet I could get up to 400 with the right diet and non-exercise plan. Then I can send some vegan the bill. That’s a win-win. Suck it vegan, suck it like a bacon smoothie.

    1. help = hell. God damn autocorrect.

    2. The vast majority of vegans that I know are obese to morbidly obese.

      1. Most of the vegans I have known looked like AIDS patients.

        1. We need to introduce our vegan acquaintances. Maybe they’ll even out.

          1. *introduce to one another

  15. Mmmmmmm – bacon.

    1. I had bacon for breakfast along with eggs, toast, and milk. Like a real American. Cook extra bacon to put on a hamburger later. Yeah bacon

      1. “extra bacon to put on a hamburger later”

        You are, indeed, a man after my own heart.

        *bows respectfully*

  16. A council spokesman said that Americans consume an estimated 20 billion hot dogs a year, which averages out to about 70 hot dogs per American.

    However, the NHDSC website suggests that the number is closer to 10 billion:

    According to data for the year 2013, more than 1 billion packages of hot dogs were sold at retail stores.

    Earlier in the article, the NHDSC suggests that the average hot dog package contains ten hot dogs. Perhaps the 20 billion figure includes sausage as well as hot dogs.

    1. I might have half a dozen chili dogs a year if that so somebodys eating my share. Wonder what percentage gets consumed at sporting events?

    2. I buy lots of hot dogs.

      Most of them get fed to my dogs.

  17. Seemd like you could easily make Obamacare work if you just outlawed fat, carbs, protein, and alcohol.

  18. “70 hotdogs per American” But can they eat them in 10 minutes? http://nesn.com/2014/07/joey-c…..est-title/

    1. Training tips. http://www.foodbeast.com/2014/…..his-pants/

  19. The author will be relocated to Scotland so that he can be assigned a “personal representative/named person” to take care of him, and make sure that he lives his life properly. His own personal Scottish nanny.

  20. I guess that settles it. John Mackey says Obamacare is fascism. It must be so.

  21. $1.50 for a hot dog and drink, with all the free refills and condiments you want at CostCo. Why wouldn’t you eat thousands of them ever year?

    I consider obesity just desserts for the Fed pushing junk science via the food pyramid and subsidizing food producers. They wanted mass consumption of certain foods, now they can suck it.

  22. I went to a hot dog vendor outside a Home Depot in Phoenix the other day.

    I asked for raw onions and ketchup on my dog. He said he didn’t have ketchup as he only served “real food”. As he doled out the hot dogs, and, as I noticed, bags of Doritos.

  23. Another great benefit of Obamacare! First we have the GDP actually shrink because health care is costing LESS (this is a good thing unless you believe in the right to rip people off). Now we have another claimed benefit coming TRUE – Job Portability. This will result in an amazing increase in innovation and happiness!

    “In the darkest days of the last recession, few among those who had jobs were able, willing or bold enough to quit them.

    That is changing, however, according to a statistic called the national “quit rate,” which some might call the “Take this job and shove it” index. The figure shows that the percentage of Americans who are jumping ship voluntarily is hovering at its highest levels in the four-year recovery.

    Many see the shift as a sign of optimism for an economy that has sputtered its way through an on-again, off-again rebound from the demoralizing downturn of 2008-’09.

    “The quit rate is a useful measure of how much confidence workers feel and how many opportunities they have to switch to a more attractive job,” said Steven Davis, a professor who specializes in labor economics and worker mobility at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.”

  24. “Then there’s the guilt. I now have the fate of a nation hanging on my every decision. Do I need another slice of pizza? I don’t know. Do I? How will it affect everyone else on my plan? Is another fried chicken leg worth potentially leaving our grandchildren with insurmountable debt? Yes, it is, but now I dip it into my mashed potatoes with great sadness. The guilt makes me sad. The sad makes me eat. Chalk up another unintended consequence of major legislation.”

    Ok, that’s either masterful irony or damn sad.

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