Fat Acceptance: In Totally Not Surprising News

[Content Note: Fat Hatred, Reproductive Health, Economic Disparity] 

In a move that comes completely as a surprise to everyone who hasn't been paying attention to the national discourse about employment, healthcare, and Evul Fatties!!1!, employer Pennsylvania State University is imposing a $100 monthly surcharge on employees who don't meet new health [sic] requirements:

...instead of offering “carrots” to its employees for seeking preventive care, Pennsylvania State University starting this fall is opting for the “stick,” imposing a $100 monthly surcharge on those who don’t meet new health requirements.

[...] By November, faculty and their spouses or domestic partners covered by university health care must complete an online wellness profile and physical exam. They’re also required to complete a more invasive biometric screening, including a “full lipid profile” and glucose, body mass index and waist circumference measurements.

Hey, that sounds awesome and not horrifyingly invasive in an Orwellian corporate dystopia sense! I am only sorry that Penn State didn't opt for the full Republican healthcare package of mandatory trans-vaginal ultrasounds once a month to see if their "pre-pregnant" employees really are pregnant! I am sure that is a healthcare package that ALEC lobbyists are pitching right now somewhere and I cannot wait for that day!

I'm sure that will be stage 2, after we take care of surcharging all the fatties in an economic punishment model that will certainly not leave them with less money to allot to their monthly healthcare which might have the unfortunate side-effect of reinforcing the false impression that fat people simply are unhealthier than thin people by virtue of their fat as opposed to by virtue of the constant social and economic pressures levied on them by others! Because fairy dust, or something!

Meanwhile, Mark Pauly, professor of smarty-ness, is baffled by this move by Penn State:

Mark Pauly, a professor of health care management and business economics at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, said he’d heard of a few other employers using the “stick” approach, but not for so “daunting” a menu of exams.

“The evidence does not really support the idea that this forced wellness helps, but employers these days are afraid to try anything else,” he said in an e-mail. “It is a mystery to me why Penn State would start irritating their workers.”

Why, it's almost like employers are confident that there are more workers than there are jobs in this economy and that they can therefore pass the cost of healthcare to their employees with impunity, because what are the noisy cattle going to do about it, huh? And perhaps they've also realized that a divide-and-conquer strategy that plays into the prejudices of the privileged in order to marginalize the oppressed tends to go over a little better with the populace! You know what they say: a spoonful of privilege helps the corporate dystopia go down!

Moving on to another Privileged Man Who Says Things, professor Jonathan Levin inadvertently admits that these healthcare "incentive" programs are all functionally identical across the board and that the only real difference between voluntary "carrots" and mandatory "sticks" is wishful thinking crossed with magical unicorn farts:

Although not immediately clear, Levin suggested that Penn State’s plan could still fall into the first category if “framed” differently.

“The upshot of incentive programs is that people end up with different financial rewards,” he said. “If you think of the people who get less as the baseline, those who get more are getting a ‘bonus.’ If you think of the people who get more as the baseline, those who get less are getting a ‘penalty.’ ”

Ha ha, which is totally not news to the fat people who have been economically disadvantaged by these programs and the fat hatred that they breed and reinforce in our coworkers since day one. Which is why the Penn State decision is actually not shocking at all to most fat people, most allies of fat people, and the corporate overlords hell-bent on oppressing fat people! This news is only a surprise to privileged people who choose not to deal with this shit on a daily basis! Yay!

(Hat tip to Shaker Kathy_A.)


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