Govenor Pushes to Fine Diabetics and others with health problems.

1cookie :)
By 1cookie :) Latest Reply 2011-04-08 12:06:11 -0500
Started 2011-04-02 17:09:44 -0500

A featured story on ABC News with Diane Sawyer aired on 4/1/2011.

Arizona Govenor Jan Brewer has proposed a new way to reduce the cost of healthcare by imposing a fee for medicaid recipiants. This population makes less than $9,000/year, but the govenor wants to fine them $50.

People who are overweight, diabetic or smoke may have to pay a fee if they fail to follow the program outlined by their doctors. The state said they pay over $2,600/year for men and over $5,000/ year for women who are overweight/obese. Similar cost are also associated with smokers. She also proposed similar fines for people who fail to vaccinate their children or get pregnant later in life because these actions can lead to costly complications.

Those against the fees say that it is not as simple as following the doctors advice; there is a lot of interplay with chronic diseases and self management for that disease. Allowing this to happen can open the door for fees on other health problems; allowing them to be targeted in the future.

The bill has to be passed by the legislature and be approved by the federal government before it can become law. If it does pass this may become the wave of the future.

93 replies

julie33 2011-04-07 18:40:23 -0500 Report

This is crazy thank god I don't live in AZ. I can barely afford my supplies now and be able to live and I even have health insurance (it's not that great tho) I hope the people of I hope for the people of AZ this doesn't pass and they get a chance to vote this nut job out of office soon.

1cookie :)
1cookie :) 2011-04-08 12:03:15 -0500 Report

If it is allowed in this state it will spread like a hungry locus. It will go to the private sector also.

pkwillhoite 2011-04-07 16:18:15 -0500 Report

You giving the information is great but I am so not happy with Arizona Govenor Jan Brewer. I think she needs to be voted out of office and fast before Arizona is ruined…

david comeau
david comeau 2011-04-06 09:47:12 -0500 Report

THIS IS AN OUTRAGE! THESE PEOPLE CAN NOT EVEN AFFORD TO LIVE ON THE INCOME THEY HAVE! Also a lot of the issues that they don't follow the docs orders i bet at least 98% will be not following a diet plan set by the doctor but do you realize how much money it would cost them to follow any diet plan! unfortunatley food that is good for us is also much more costly! i klnow i would love to eat better but can not afford it!i barely make it through the month with food and i am on a fixed low income for disability! so i knwo! i am not overweight though well not obese slightly overweight but would definetley benifit from being able to afford to eat healthier! i tell yah if that bill passes there will be more homeless people, morepeople doing illegal things like robberies , more deaths (mostly suicides) ! It would make our society even worst of than it is!!!

1cookie :)
1cookie :) 2011-04-06 12:39:04 -0500 Report

I could not agree with you more if I had written this myself. I have had several of my patients who have asthma and smoke, Would they not cover them because they are addicted to nicotine. I do offer access to help stop smoking. Few take it with them when they leave the room.

Guardianstone 2011-04-06 04:08:28 -0500 Report

Just shows how stupid some government types we elect can be. I don't believe how uninformed they can be. I am still fighting to lose weight, but my diabetes is genetic not from eating too much and getting fat. Besides I gained 60 lbs after starting actos. My doctor didn't even mention this side effect. So should my doctor be charged for making me over weight?I am sorry to say I voted for her . . . NOT AGAIN!
Guardian stone

1cookie :)
1cookie :) 2011-04-07 16:23:03 -0500 Report

I think alot of people wish they voted diferently..I might get bumpier. Have you written and called the right people to voice your opinion?

1cookie :)
1cookie :) 2011-04-05 08:57:10 -0500 Report

I started a new discussion today after seeing a story about FOOD ADDICTION, I hope the AZ Gov. is watching…Will they offer a food addict the same help offered to a drug addict?

AuntieBear 2011-04-08 01:21:14 -0500 Report

They do not offer help to food addicts.

1cookie :)
1cookie :) 2011-04-08 12:06:11 -0500 Report

I hope that the evidence of how the brain responds will be a way to get help..I believe the author of Fat Boy Thin..attended a faclity to get help. Dr. Oz aloso has a few suggestions (not specific to addiction) but still helpful.

Sidehack 2011-04-05 08:08:01 -0500 Report

Yes. And left-handed people should be fined in order to offset the price of manufacturing their tools. While we're at it, let's fine people with large noses; it appears they may tend to intake too much oxygen. Jan Brewer needs all this extra revenue to fight her "border-war" with Mexico. Let's fine all brown-skinned people because their families may have come here illegally. Sheeesh!

AuntieBear 2011-04-08 01:39:35 -0500 Report

Lets fine all the people who do not fit into Brewer's ideal. Better yet, lets kill them all and bury them in mass graves. Cremating them will take up less burial space. So let's see here. We get rid of the diabetics, the morbidly obese, the mid-life preggies, the smokers, the lefties, big noses and browned-skinned people. That should save the state alot of money. Then, we can put violent conspiratorial ideas into the heads of the mentally ill and homeless to drive them over the edge with paranoia, commit them to phsych wards where they can be experimented on and eventually tortured to death. That should make Arizona a stronger state. OOPS! Wasn't this what started all that horror already done back in the 1930s? Didn't some sort of war happen because of it? What was that thing called again? Oh yeah I remember now. HOLOCAUST! It devastated the world, killed millions of people and never fixed what Hitler claimed was the problem. When will the politicos see the light and stand up to Brewer? I just hope it happens BEFORE the body count gets any higher than it already is.

1cookie :)
1cookie :) 2011-04-05 08:17:41 -0500 Report

Wow, I think this is my favorite reponse of of them all. You have a beautiful mind…and I applaude you.

jenugen 2011-04-04 20:04:54 -0500 Report

Are we living in a police state now. Are we going to tax people be cause they have the nerve to live longer than the national average? Too bad everyone doesn't have the chance to see how hard a diabetics life can be.

jpnairn 2011-04-04 18:01:36 -0500 Report

Due to genetics and the high numbers of Native Americans in Arizona, even if the "fat tax" were only applied to type 2 diabetes, it would work out to be a tax on Native Americans.
I'm thinking there would be a problem with that.

Jameesa 2011-04-04 14:12:37 -0500 Report

That's why you should stay abreast of information in your state as well as other government sectors…

Hops 2011-04-04 06:56:50 -0500 Report

The Vermont House has voted for Single Payer Care by a large majority. The Vermont Senate votes on the Single Payer Act this Thursday. It is unhealthy to get upset about such things. It is best to be active in each of our cities and states to raise awareness of the low cost of creating healthy communities.

1cookie :)
1cookie :) 2011-04-04 11:02:44 -0500 Report

I'm not familiar with the single payer care system..Is this a private sector or state run access to healthcare? I'm interested in the way it would work if it passes!!!

Hops 2011-04-04 11:44:26 -0500 Report

As often happens the msm does not define this single payer plane. I heard Senator Bernie Sanders call it "medicare for all." A worker's compensation web site posted on Sunday "The legislation proposes to set forth a strategic plan for creating a single payer and unified health system. It would establish a board; establish a health benefit exchange for Vermont as required under federal health care reform laws; create a public-private single payer health care system to provide coverage for all Vermonters after receipt of federal waivers.

The plan proposes covering all workers' compensation claims."

Hopes this helps clarify the proposed Vermont single payer plan.

1cookie :)
1cookie :) 2011-04-04 12:39:36 -0500 Report

Yes it does help clarify, thank you. Are you of the opion that it will help/benfit the people who are seeking treatment or will treatment need board approval thus hinder access??

Hops 2011-04-04 12:58:19 -0500 Report

Vermont completed a study which showed that implementing such a program will eliminate $500 million in the state's health costs. Still have to work out the wrinkles in our complex health system. Such a program offering positive reinforcement via affordable health care is far superior to our current system specializing in treating health crises and charging ever more regardless of your health.

donna62M 2011-04-05 03:23:44 -0500 Report

your single pay programme sound alot like what we have… It works OK but it has its problems as well…The government in Australia wants us all to start paying private insurance for our health…We now have a two teared health system…if you have Insurance, 9 times out of 10, you are seen earlier Than if you don"t…and you wait less for an operation if you have insurance as well… so both systems have its problems.

Hops 2011-04-04 22:38:14 -0500 Report

When Richard Nixon was president he taped a conversation he had with Richard Kaiser for whom Kaiser Permanente was named. Kaiser told Nixon that HMOs would be a great way for insurers to make more money for doing less for their clients. Nixon agreed with him that this would be great.
So here we are 40 years later with the average family of four having to pay
$15,000 annually for health insurance while praying that none of them ever becomes ill.

1cookie :)
1cookie :) 2011-04-05 00:08:51 -0500 Report

I mentioned before about Cigna; how they delayed approval for a transplant on a girl in her twenties. Soon after her death or when she was to ill (I can't recall exactly) to recieve the organ the insurance agreed to do it. It is or should be a crime.

Hops 2011-04-05 06:57:28 -0500 Report

In Minnesota we have a group which records and reports such inhumane actions to our elected political leaders. Do you have such a group where you are?

Icoachnow 2011-04-03 19:18:49 -0500 Report

I have to say in defense of any state that obesity, and smoking related diseases are very costly, I am a type 2 diabetic but not b/c I am overweight simply put it is just flat out genetics… for me. The key question is If the state would provide assistance ie. programs to those who are overweight and smokers do you really think they would use them or abuse them?

Jeannie Holmes
Jeannie Holmes 2011-04-04 17:08:36 -0500 Report

If this goes thru you can bet they won't care why you are diabetic. You will be charged right along with the fat people!!

1cookie :)
1cookie :) 2011-04-03 19:37:56 -0500 Report

Hard to say if it would be use or abuse..If someone is dishonest I believe they would find a way to lie, cheat and steal their way in what ever caught their eye. I just think if your ill, you should be given access to help. It is easier for a person addicted to drugs to get help for their problem and be deemed disabled then it is for someone with a physical disability. I think that should change.


donna62M 2011-04-04 07:01:22 -0500 Report

It is only recently that diabetics in australia have gotten our needles for free… But if you were a drug addict, you got your needles free…

GabbyPA 2011-04-03 15:27:33 -0500 Report

Government should have no role in my health care on any level. That is not what they are here for, and I know many of us here depend on them. BUT, I still have to say, it is not the way it should be. They have 4 powers granted to them and health care/nanny state is not one of them.

Let me just remind you that any government that is powerful enough to give you everything is just as able to take it all away. Once they have any finger in the process, it opens it up to horrific things such as this. At least if the power of the state takes on this task, you can move out of the state. Just like Aaron 1977 said, this is not the role they are to be playing. Yes, we are moving quickly to Russia, so to speak.

Until we understand what a breech of the Constitutional powers this type of system is (medicare and medicaid), we will not understand why they can get away with things like this. We have to stop holding our hands out for help and really find ways outside of the government to help ourselves and our families. Charity must fall back on the individuals, not the government to help those in need. This example is why. Once they have you under the control of aid, they have you enslaved to what ever kind of stupid rules they make. If this succeeds in AZ, you better believe that other states will be looking to implement similar legislation to help line the pockets of those who are supposed to be serving us.

I am sorry for the rant, but things like this get me hot. Not so much her proposal, but the fact that most people don't understand they have given government permission to do things like this.

northerngal 2011-04-04 10:01:34 -0500 Report

I agree. Our government was never given the right to become overpowering. That is why we have congressman and senators, to divide the power! As has been proven far too many times in the past, government is best at making a mess of the simplest things. Welfare became just created families dependent on it and incapable or unwilling to try anything else. I don't want some beaurocrat in Madison or Washington telling me how I should manage my diabetes and what medications I should take. They aren't MD's and each diabetic is different. One blanket policy would help maybe 5% and harm 95% because there would be no individuality. Our medical research is the best in the world because the government is NOT involved. Thats why we have multiple types of insulin and bs testers, pumps and continuous blood glucose monitors. That takes money and once the government gets involved there will be no incentive to improve things and continue research and inventions: they won't make any money by doing it. That means goinig backwards and I'm not willing to do that. The criminal element will always exist, but we shouldn't cater to them and make it easier while making things difficult for the honest citizen who is just trying to make ends meet and do their best. (Medicare and Medicaid were to assist the elderly who were past income earning years. They kept stealing the $ for other programs and thats why we are now in such a bind.) I have no problem paying that from my wages, but its not going to be there when I hit that age because the $ is gone, people live longer and the elderly population is still increasing. I'm the end of the baby boom and I'm not going to be there for over 10yrs. Politicians seem to see it as an endless bucket of money, forgetting that it has to come from somewhere…Our pockets!!

1cookie :)
1cookie :) 2011-04-05 00:26:33 -0500 Report

I'm sure they can all afford to pay for their own medical coverage…I think they should. In fact they have thier own facility on the hill; a private hospital.

1cookie :)
1cookie :) 2011-04-04 10:58:37 -0500 Report

I was injured over 20 yrs ago; 2 yrs not better, my huband walked when I could not stand; leaving me with 2 children and no help. We were given help until I could get back on my feet. My injury settlement Payed back evrything I was given by the state. My ex did not support us in anyway..if I was not given that short term help..I don't know what would have come of us…Not all people abuse the system.

Guardianstone 2011-04-06 04:25:39 -0500 Report

I agree neither the ex ot state paid 1 cent. Now we need help and are told that $1277 a month for 2 people is too much. He is disabled, and I am still trying to get soc sec to accept my application. If we buy all meds perscribed it is over the income. Now add lab work, doctors visits, specialists, transportation (no car), etc . . . you get the idea.
Guardian stone

1cookie :)
1cookie :) 2011-04-03 15:38:17 -0500 Report

I don't think it would stop with just goverment benfit insurance. Cigna was in the news for delay in approval for a young girl who needed a transplant to live. They waited until she died then it was approved. Insurance co. want to collect from us for the coverage then close the purse strings to keep the money in there own pockets.

GabbyPA 2011-04-03 16:03:51 -0500 Report

That is disgusting, and if true, this story should wake us all up. Why would you pay these people a dime? They should be put out of business for doing something like that. They stay in business because we say "well, it didn't happen to me, so I will just turn the other way and pretend it didn't happen."

See, I take issue with how we have been brought up to use health insurance as well. We don't use our car insurance to do oil changes and break jobs. We use it when we are in a crash. We don't use home insurance to pay the lawn boy or the power bill, we use it if we have something catastrophic happen to the house. We should not be using health insurance to pay for check ups and preventive care. It should be for catastrophic use only. If we changed that thinking, we would not have insurance companies trying to cheat doctors which in turn have to raise fees to compensate for losses due to insurance coverages. If we used it the way it is supposed to be used, we would have more affordable health care.

I realize that is over simplified, but it is true. Doctors could take cash paying patients and set their fees flat based on services. Right now, I cannot see an Endo and an eye doctor that I wanted to use because I pay cash. That is the most stupid thing I have ever heard of and it is happening more and more each day.

Insurance is to be used in a storm of life, not a rain shower. We have been brought up so backwards and with such a lack of understanding. We just know how it is, and think it has always been this way. Entitlement programs started a lot of this...getting rid of them or changing how they work is the only way we can get out of it.

I realize we cannot just end them abruptly, but until we all take on the responsibility of taking care of our own families and ourselves without government hand outs, we are trapped. I for one do not want to be trapped.

jpnairn 2011-04-04 18:10:36 -0500 Report

Look. It would be great if private health insurance worked as a health care system, but we tried it and it doesn't. They take in more money, much more money, than they pay out. The better they get at denying claims, the more money they make.
Meanwhile, the other developed nations have systems that work better. Let's go with treating health care the way we treat roads, law enforcement, fire fighting. A certain amount of health care is part of the social contract. I don't want people, including children, dying for lack of money. I don't think most other people do either.
Private insurance will remain for those who want more and want to pay for it, but we need a safety blanket that covers everyone.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-04-03 15:16:20 -0500 Report

The Washington post has the following link

Fat tax: Arizona’s Medicaid program looks at charging smokers, diabetics, obese $50 a year

By Associated Press, Friday, April 1, 6:06 PM

PHOENIX — Arizona’s cash-strapped Medicaid program is considering charging patients $50 a year if they smoke, have diabetes or are overweight.

A spokeswoman for the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System said Friday that the fee is intended to rein in health care costs by pushing patients to keep themselves healthy.

“It engages the consumer to start having a greater awareness of how they fit into the bigger health care puzzle,” said Monica Coury, spokeswoman for AHCCCS. “We want to be able to provide health care to people. And we want to stretch our dollars as far as we can. Part of that is engaging people to take better care of themselves.”

Some private employers and state governments have instituted higher insurance premiums for workers who are overweight or smoke, but Arizona’s plan would mark the first time a state-federal health care program for low-income residents has charged people for unhealthy lifestyles.

The fee would apply only to certain childless adults.

One part of the proposal affects people with diabetes. Coury says diabetics who fail to follow their doctor’s orders to lose weight would be subjected to the $50 charge.

Democratic state Sen. Kyrsten Sinema said that isn’t fair to diabetics.

“This would fine people with medical conditions beyond their own power and control,” Sinema said. “I just don’t think it’s fair to vilify someone with diabetes.”

People who are obese or chronically ill, and those who smoke, would need to work with a primary-care physician to develop a plan to help them lose weight and otherwise improve their health. Patients who don’t meet specified goals would be required to pay the $50 under the proposal.

The plan requires approval by the Republican-controlled Legislature, which has been considering $500 million of cuts to Arizona’s Medicaid program to help eliminate a state budget deficit of nearly $1.5 billion.

A fee for Medicaid patients also would need federal authorization, and federal rules could prevent Arizona from enforcing the fee.

Coury says the $50 fee is a way of showing the federal government Arizona is serious about getting people healthy while stretching and managing dollars better.

“Part of that requires that we engage the consumer in active, healthy behaviors.”

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

1cookie :)
1cookie :) 2011-04-03 15:27:45 -0500 Report

I checked it, because the http//www. is there the info ends with… because it all won't fit, so mine has it left off. Thanks for comming to my aid on this IT IS SO IMPORTANT FOR ALL OF US. If it goes through then other states and private insurance coverage will jump on board too. We don't choose our medical conditions.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-04-03 15:09:21 -0500 Report

Found this from

Arizona Medicaid considers tax for diabetics, smokers, obese

By MARK CARLSON Associated Press Apr 3, 2011 2:16AM
PHOENIX — Arizona’s cash-strapped Medicaid program is considering charging patients $50 a year if they smoke, have diabetes or are overweight.

Monica Coury, a spokeswoman for the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, says the tax is intended to push patients to take better care of themselves. The fee would only apply to childless unmarried adults. One part of the proposal affects people with diabetes. Coury says diabetes patients who fail to follow their doctor’s orders to lose weight would be subjected to the $50 charge.

State Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Phoenix says it isn’t fair to charge diabetics $50. Sinema says the fee fines people who may have medical conditions beyond their control. AP
Google has lots of hits on this topic.

GabbyPA 2011-04-03 15:14:32 -0500 Report

The link there says page is not found.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-04-03 15:24:46 -0500 Report

I'm trying again.—for-diabetics-smokers-obese.html

The Addres seems to be too long and keeps getting cut off when I hit reply.
I broke the address into two parts. Try to copy and past both halves in to your web browser bar. There is no space between the /arizona

If that still won't work try to use the search box on the error page at the Suntimes. If you type in Health Tax the article will show up in the list.

Sorry for my lack of understanding how to get it to work.

1cookie :)
1cookie :) 2011-04-03 15:23:08 -0500 Report

I'v tried other links posted. Once you put www. in front all the rest of the link gets cut off. It's posted on without it so the rest can be seen.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-04-03 15:36:51 -0500 Report

Thanks. I will try to edit my links now. Tried to edit it but still screwed up. So copy and paste is all that works for me.

1cookie :)
1cookie :) 2011-04-03 14:56:40 -0500 Report

I hope this will work, it's my first attempt.

put http:// in front of the info below it will take you to the article & vidio

Ariz. Gov's Plan: Fine Obese Adults, Smokers

(Sat, 02 Apr 2011 10:40:13 -0400)
As part of a plan to revamp the state's Medicaid program, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer announced on Thursday that she is proposing fees for adults who lead unhealthy lives.

blessedbeing 2011-04-03 15:30:39 -0500 Report

I think this will be something that more states will have to do. And just wait until the new healthcare laws go into full effect!

"Alabama charges obese government employees $25 a month for insurance if they don't attempt to lose weight. A hospital in Tennessee won't hire anyone who's a smoker and neither will Alaska Airlines or the county of Sarasota, Fla."

1cookie :)
1cookie :) 2011-04-03 20:36:32 -0500 Report

I wanted to ask how you feel about the PORK that is taken. I know Palin complains about waste, but she built a bridge to nowhere with $$$ she received; do you recall that story, before she quit her job????

1cookie :)
1cookie :) 2011-04-04 21:48:50 -0500 Report

Very true the PORK is everywhere, some were asked if they complained about the deficit if they would decline the money MOST CHANGED THE SUBJECT. I think if that changed we'd all have it better

blessedbeing 2011-04-03 13:37:03 -0500 Report

Is there a link to this story or is it made up to make Gov. Brewer look bad by the liberals?

1cookie :)
1cookie :) 2011-04-03 14:06:03 -0500 Report

I wish I had good computer skills. If I did I would have tried to find a link. I'm sure it is a real issue. If anyone has skills I put the date it aired up please add it…I would if I knew how!!!

realsis77 2011-04-03 13:18:32 -0500 Report

This is awful and almost hard to believe!I receive medicare and can't believe people would even entertain the thought of actually charging people for being ill! I'm discusted! I don't even know what to say! Hopefully it won't pass! What's our world comming to. I have diabetes and require insulin but I am NOT over weight. How can they consider it my fault that I'm ill? This is outrageous! I can't believe the thought is even entertained! How awful!

1cookie :)
1cookie :) 2011-04-03 13:26:58 -0500 Report

Ther was a breif time when CT had a copay for pt's when they came for dental care..We would see them even if they couln't pay. It was only $2/ visit, but for some it was milk for the children or pay us. I also hope it will not pass!!!

granniesophie 2011-04-03 09:13:45 -0500 Report

It's so joyful living in Arizona-can't wait to see what happens next!!
My question-how will they track to see if a person is following the program outlined by their doctors?? Big Brother is surely watching! Let them just try this-can you say BIGGER laughing stock of the country? What is the government's problem-yeah we are broke, but is this the way to get more money? Hey, Gov. Brewer-I have the perfect idea to save the state money! Oh, wait, don't get me started (sorry, trying to get up on my soapbox! I'll get off quietly now!).
I see these people at Buffet places loading their plates with as much crap food as possible. Makes me sick to watch, while I eat my sensible meal. Gonna have the Food Police there to make sure that everyone is following their food plan?? Oh, puhleeze…

donna62M 2011-04-03 08:40:47 -0500 Report

Please fight this one hard..Living in Australia, I find that if it happens in America, sooner or later it wil happen here… I think that it stinks and has a touch of discrimination attached to it…does she know what it is like living with these diseases, or is she perfectly healthy and only guessing…She should look at it from a personal point of view first.

1cookie :)
1cookie :) 2011-04-03 13:40:39 -0500 Report

I agree, it will open up the floodgates. Some of her critics did ask if she would display her medical history to see if she was costly to insure. I don't know if she still gets coverage after she leaves (or gets pushed) out of office..but if I lived in Arizona I'd want to know.

donna62M 2011-04-03 15:44:37 -0500 Report

I once read an artical a couple of years ago that if you were diabetic alone…that they estimated that it cost you approx. $3000 to $5000 a year in Australia for Medication, doctors visits, specialist visits, blood tests,etc, etc,…we don't need to be paying anything else…then you add in the cost for other health problems…it is no wonder we are broke all the time…when these government officials consider cutting their own salary/wage and don't take a rise every year…I'll consider paying extra.

1cookie :)
1cookie :) 2011-04-03 20:33:40 -0500 Report

I'm sure d is very costly too. I want to see them stop taking PORK $$$ Think how much we would save then. Palin took millions for Alaska and built a bridge to nowhere; she is not shy about complaining how $$ is spent, but she took it and wasted it TOO!!! HYPACRITS all of/most of them are

1cookie :)
1cookie :) 2011-04-05 00:22:35 -0500 Report

The article shows in the 2005 2006 entry that the republican congrees for passing the earmarks for the bridge and an indoor rain forest, who needs an indoor rain forest???

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