Weighing 386 pounds, Jeff Haaga believes he will be dead soon without gastric bypass surgery.
"My doctor said, 'You're going to die if you don't lose weight,' " the 52-year-old West Jordan man said.
His insurance company, SelectHealth, an Inter- mountain Health Care company, has denied his appeals for the company to pay for the operation. And he fears going ahead alone.
"If I paid for it myself, they don't cover any complications from the surgery," he said. "It could bankrupt someone like me if I got pneumonia or something else related to the surgery."
There is a reason why carriers will not pay for the surgery, except where required by law. Not only are there risks associated with the surgery, but complications following the surgery can be significant.
In addition to internal bleeding & gastric blockage, your bodies ability to absorb foods & medicines changes. This can result in many long term effects that are just as bad, if not worse, than carrying the extra weight.
Of course some folks who are heavy have discovered an easier way to lose weight. It is called diet & exercise.
To help people like Haaga, Rep. Steve Mascaro, R-West Jordan, has drafted a bill mandating that insurance companies cover gastric bypass surgery for morbidly obese Utahns.
Approximately 3M Americans (about 1% of the population) are classified as morbidly obese. If 99% of the population are able to control their weight, at least to the point of NOT thinking they need drastic measures, then why must the rest of us share the cost of this treatment?
People are having a devil of a time getting surgery that their doctors say will cure morbid obesity.
This is hogwash.
GB does not CURE morbid obesity. What GB does is FORCE a change in eating habits that lead to weight loss.