New Zealand, who has a national healthcare system with financial health that has varied from moderate to questionable for the past 5-10 years, has the idea that allowing people who are obese to live in their country is bad for the budget. In this country, explicit acts like that would be unacceptable. However, implicitly we see biases against people who are overweight all of the time. The article made me think about the considerations we might have to make with a national healthcare system. For example, how do we address people with health habits that consistently lead to large expenditures? Do we tell them to shape up or get cut off or pay out of pocket? In an election year with candidates big on health care for all, there are a lot of questions to ask.
New Zealand Bans Woman for Being Too Fat
Posted Nov 20th 2007 10:08AM by Cenk Uygur
Filed under: World News, Young Turks, Strange
A British couple wanted to move to New Zealand after their wedding. They ran into one small problem, or actually it was one large problem. New Zealand told them they are too fat to immigrate to their country.
Robyn Toomath, a spokesman for New Zealand's Fight the Obesity Epidemic, said, "The immigration department can't afford to import people who are going to be a significant drain on our health resources ... You can see the logic in assessing if there is a significant health cost associated with this individual and that would be a reason for them not coming in."
No, I can't see that logic. Because under that rationale you would also ban people who smoke and sky dive and have unprotected sex. Are they going to be checking to see if people are using condoms during intercourse before they let them move to New Zealand? And how would they do that check exactly?
In the case of weight, they actually use Body Mass Index that compares your weight to your height and sees if you are within the prescribed limits or not. So, they physically weigh these people and tell them if they're too fat to live in the country. That's sick.
Meddling in people's private lives started with messing with smokers. I worried at the time that it would spread to other areas of our private lives where we made decisions that our companies or governments or insurers disapproved of. And now it has. This is a terrible trend and we have to make sure it's contained. So, I propose banning New Zealanders from coming here and spreading their discriminatory policies to us.
Finally, there is good news and bad news from the British couple trying to move to New Zealand. The groom lost two inches off his waistline and he has passed the health requirements. But unfortunately, his wife still hasn't made it. So she is stuck in England, still dieting.