Sunday, August 02, 2009

The Aether Asks

Surgeon General Koop looks for a new war for the Public Health warriors. Chooses Fat People. Lots of trees die. Electrons are splatted against high tech antennas near you. New twenty seven color presses are sold to Glossy Magazines. Etc. Etc. Etc. and so on ad infinitum.
So Meagan McArdle interviews Paul Campos for the Atlantic. A world of bloggers famous, infamous and nebbish wade in (even Dum Luks) with every ceivable (con and incon) position, pov, and measured incendiarical remark.
One remark that flies by is the notion that Insurance companies -- as a matter of business survival -- measure the cost of risk factors to a nicety of accuracy lest they lose money. Therefore, since they charge a high premium to fat people, it is obvious, despite the most credible scientific studies to the contrary (See the Obesity Paradox series for chapter and verse), that fat people cost a lot of health care.
Mull that one.
Consider that insurance companies, like other casinos, expect to take in more money than they pay out. So of course they would charge a high premium to someone they knew was terminally ill. But... they want to be your pal so you continue to send in your premium. So rather than be seen to turn the oldster with terminal gaffufleitis out into the cold they look around. Who is an easy mark? Somebody who everybody knows is a health risk but who statistically has less illness than other people? Why fat people! So you raise their premiums to pad the P&L, just in case your cousin's kid didn't didn't do as well on that actuarial course as claimed.

Wha... I'M being cynical?
No way. Cynical would be if I claimed they paid for the marketing that supports the war on obesity.




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