WLS Will NOT Cure Discrimination

NAAFA has countered a complaint filed by the OCC that insurance plans disparately impact, and thus discriminate against, women under Section 1557 of the ACA by denying WLS to patients in some states.
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Weight Loss Surgery
Size Discrimination
Bariatric Surgery


Foster City - California - US

FOSTER CITY, Calif. - Jan. 24, 2016 - PRLog -- NAAFA, a civil rights organization working for Equality at Every Size has sent a letter to the Centralized Case Management Operations, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services countering a complaint filed by the Obesity Care Continuum (OCC). The OCC has stated that “the state health insurance exchanges created by the ACA fail to require coverage for bariatric surgery as well as other evidence-based treatments for the chronic disease of obesity” and are in violation of Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The OCC claims: “Section 1557 of the ACA prohibits sex discrimination in the provision of healthcare benefits. Because obesity creates economic and social hardships that are unique to women, and the insurance plans offered by state health exchanges prevent many women with obesity from remedying such hardships, we believe that these insurance plans disparately impact, and thus discriminate against, women...”

NAAFA does not deny the realities of economic and social hardships for women with large bodies. However, rather than surgically forced weight loss as the answer to discrimination and stigma, eliminate the discrimination through promoting size diversity, Equality At Every Size and Health At Every Size.

“In all of the operations we perform, there is a finite weight loss, and it can be classified in the gastric bypass of about 65% of excess (weight) - the sleeve - about 50%, the banding - maybe 35%, 40%. Patients don't lose forever", stated Dr. Shikaro, M.D., at a meeting of the Food and Drug Administration’s Medical Devices Advisory Committee. A 300 lb. patient can expect a 75 lb. weight loss with the "less invasive" sleeve leaving them weighing 225 lbs. and still classified as obese. This will not resolve the problem of discrimination.

NAAFA maintains that:

·        A person’s weight/body mass index (BMI) does not equate health nor is it a disease

·        Bariatric surgeries DO NOT have a proven long-term track record of weight loss and health stabilization (more than 10 years)

·        The adverse effects of bariatric surgery result in chronic health problems

·        Rather than surgically forced weight loss as the answer to discrimination and stigma, eliminate the discrimination through promoting size diversity

NAAFA would suggest adopting a Health at Every Size approach to improving health for people of all body shapes and sizes as an alternative to the current proposal. We believe that “surgical methods” are not the answer people are being told they are and that it’s time for a change in how we look at health relative to a person’s body size. We come in all sizes.

You can read the full text of NAAFA’s response at:  www.naafaonline.com/dev2/Ltr_to_Centralized_Case_Mgmt_Ops.pdf

Founded in 1969, NAAFA is a non-profit human rights organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for fat people. NAAFA works to eliminate discrimination based on body size and provide fat people with the tools for self-empowerment through public education, advocacy, and member support.

On the web:  http://www.naafa.org

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Tags:Weight Loss Surgery, Size Discrimination, Bariatric Surgery
Location:Foster City - California - United States
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