Large Alabama State Workers To Pay Fat Fee

With Georgia looking for new revenue opportunities, why not look at this innovative idea from our water hogging neighbor to the west?

Alabama, pushed to second in national obesity rankings by deep-fried Southern favorites, is cracking down on state workers who are too fat.

The state has given its 37,527 employees a year to start getting fit — or they’ll pay $25 a month for insurance that otherwise is free.

I love some of the responses as to why these employees feel no personal responsibility for their “situation”:

“It’s terrible,” said health department employee Chequla Motley. “Some people come into this world big.”

Computer technician Tim Colley already pays $24 a month for being a smoker and doesn’t like the idea of another charge.  “It’s too Big Brotherish,” he said.

“I’m big and beautiful and doing my best to keep my stress levels down so I can stay healthy,” Daufin said. “That’s big, not lazy, not a glutton and certainly not deserving of the pompous, poisonous disrespect served up daily to those of us with more bounce to the ounce.”

“The state will feel good about itself for offering something and the person of size will end up paying $300 a year for the bad luck of having a chronic disease his/her state-sponsored insurance program failed to cover in an appropriate and meaningful fashion,”

So now, the inability to differentiate from the Golden Corral and a feeding trough is a “chronic disease”?  These folks will be given the opportunity to adopt a wellness program with free additional screenings, and will not be charged as long as they stick to the program.

Or, they can pay $25/month to offset the approximate $150/month extra they cost the state in their current condition.

I would have no problem if GA implemented this program for state employees.


  1. OleDirtyBarrister says:

    I would have no problem with letting the troughfeeders on the state’s payroll pay part or all of their healthcare. Charge the hades out of them for other high risk issues too, like smoking.

    Next, eliminate the costly pension system prospectively and put them on 401K’s. And if the state employees do not like it, they can leave for a better job in the private sector…with health insurance that they help pay and a 401k.

  2. umustbekidding says:

    They should be paying the entire amount. If you smoke or eat to much, that is your decision. Someone else is not responsible for your mistakes; although the government seems to think it should pay for every other stupid thing some people do so why stop at weight?

  3. Demonbeck says:

    How about redneck workers, they could pay Tat fees.

    Mosquito control could collect gnat fees.

    Domestic abuse could be fined spat fees.

    Phil Rizzuto would have to pay “How about that!” fees.

  4. jsm says:

    Why don’t we stop allowing employers to make insurance decisions for us and allow people to buy their own health insurance? Then this issue goes away, and people make their own decisions about personal health based on their individual case.

  5. umustbekidding says:

    I agree jsm.
    I problem with our government is it hands out perks that it really can’t afford.

  6. LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

    JSM, the problem I have with buying into individual plans is that it’s experience-rated. Make one claim, and your premium will increase. God forbid you develop diabetes in your lifetime or some chronic illness…not to mention cancer yes, healthy and young people develop cancer). Of course, too many claims or one expensive claim and you’d be dropped. Basically, insurers would just cherry-pick. Group coverage is pooled, so we don’t see such drastic increases. A pre-exisiting condition? Don’t expect any coverage, unless you want the state to cover you? I don’t think anyone on PP would suggest that 😉

    As for the state health insurance plan, unlike AL, health insurance is not free for state employees; the premiums/copays/deductibles are pretty steep actually. There’s already a smoker’s fee, I would have no problem with a fat fee too. The pension is definitely fiscal issue. A 401k is offered, but the state does not match.

  7. umustbekidding says:

    Health insurance, dental insurance, paid holidays, paid vacations; things that those of us in business for ourselves can’t afford to offer our employees because our taxes are so high.

  8. Chris says:

    We could solve the budget crisis, and pay for Glenn’s municipal entitlement program/tax cut if we charged government employees stupidity fees.

  9. Romegaguy says:

    If only Mark Taylor had been elected Governor. With this kinda program, but based on a per pound fee, I think the $1 billion deficit wouldnt be a problem

  10. Goldwater Conservative says:

    Been a while since I posted on PP. Mostly because of the brain leakage of people like JSM.

    You know…if we had higher taxes we probably wouldn’t have these problems. Now the GOP is looking at what? Laying off law enforcement, increasing the tobacco tax, not giving out refunds, dipping into the HOPE scholarship fund!?!

    Come on. It is one thing to make a mistake because of electoral politics and a flawed ideology. The people need things that no entity, other than the government, can rightfully produce. When you cut taxes…we have learned that revenue is cut as well. It is like taking a pay cut when you incur debt.

    Get over it. Taxes need to go up.

  11. jsm says:

    GC, I believe “brain leakage” would better be described by having “Goldwater” and “Conservative” in your screen name.

    “The people need things that no entity, other than the government, can rightfully produce.”

    How did people deal with having cancer or diabetes, as LIMH mentioned, two generations ago? How did they ever make it without the government? Charity hospitals were funded by endowments, not government handouts, and people bought their own Blue Cross coverage if they could afford it. Medicare and Medicaid had not yet destroyed the free market for health care, and doctors were not raising rates to cover for liability insurance and slow, measly government reimbursements.

    An efficient government entitlement program does not exist. Any time money goes to a government, it is used to pay lazy, unmotivated employees who are given benefits far superior to the private sector for far lower performance expectations. Government employees are not trying to save money or produce a profit, but rather trying to figure out how to get the State to buy them nicer office furniture and computers they don’t need. How can we expect this kind of operation to provide effective health insurance for a reasonable cost?

    When people own their insurance, they have a voice, as customers, with a company that is motivated by producing a profit. While some people may be cut because of serious long-term illnesses, a safety net solution can be developed without everyone having to be shuffled into systems where their employer or the government makes insurance decisions for them.

    “Get over it. Taxes need to go up.

    Wrong. Entitlement spending needs to go down.

    Face it, GC. Your tax-and-spend entitlement philosophy is choking this country.

  12. Theresa says:

    Okay lets level the playing ground. I won’t mind paying if I am overweight (non medical reason), if you pay because you are old, are capable of becoming pregnant, smoke (already in place), drink alcohol, participate in extreme and/or dangerous sports – that would include water skiing and hunting. These activities are just as dangerous if not more so than being overweight. Oh, let’s also consider if you have school aged children, they get sick and need immunizations, that is an increase in usuage.

    Insurance companies only want to insure healthy people so they don’t have to pay claims. It is just like you pay for 10 years on your car insurance then have one accident and they raise your rates. Or you lose your homeowner’s insurance because you were hit by a hurricane. If you don’t want to pay claims, don’t be in the insurance business. Size needs to become the new protected class, just like race, sex, age and creed.

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