Subsidised Stomach Stapling

January 25th, 2010 at 11:44 am by David Farrar

The Dom Post reports:

Momentum is building for more public funding for stomach-stapling operations, with at least four MPs showing the benefits of the procedure.

It is understood three National MPs have had the operation, which shrinks the stomach, dulls the appetite and usually leads to weight loss.

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia led calls yesterday to boost public funding of the procedure after revealing she had already dropped 13 kilograms and shaken off her diabetes just nine weeks after having the $28,000 operation.

So many MPs have had stomch staples, I’ve quipped to a number of friends that I have found the solution to the MPs travel issues.

Instead of MP gaining greater and greater subsidies for international travel as they serve more terms, they should gain greater subsidies for operations!

So after one term, an MP gets 25% off a stomach staple, 50% off after two terms, 75% off after three terms and after four terms (by which time the unhealthy lifestyle of an MP will have probably made such operation necessary) they get the operation for free!

And the public would be far happier seeing their MPs get stomach staple operations, than getting subsidised international travel.

I call it a win-win.

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34 Responses to “Subsidised Stomach Stapling”

  1. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Did NZ’s hard working taxpayers fund a stomach stapling operation for Turiana Turia?

    This is outrageous. Losing weight is merely a matter of will power. Stomach stapling is a cop out and there is no way hard working NZ families should have money taken from their wage packet each week to pay for the vanity and weakness of politicians.

    Especially those such as Turiana.

    A salient demonstration of the excesses of socialism and the gross and immoral corruption it leads to.

    [DPF: There have been no reports that her operation was publicly funded.]

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  2. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Public funding of health has to cease. There is far too much opportunity for waste and abuse. Get government out of health care.

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  3. Grizz (529 comments) says:

    $28,000 sounds like a large expense. Unfortunately it is only beneficial for a select group of obese people and you have to be prepared to combine it with dietary changes and an exercise programme. So if you are going sit around all day watching the soaps and drinking 4L of soft drink a day, it is probably not for you. It is also a procedure that is not without perioperative risk, so it should not be undertaken lightly.

    On the other hand, the health costs over years of managing obesity related illnesses like hypertension, diabetes and coronary artery disease will far outweigh the cost of the operation. If young enough, these people will also have extended working lives and thus less depended on benefits or able to make a greater economic contribution as they get older, so there is a strong economic case for performing these operations.

    However, I do not feel that we should use stomach stapling operations as an excuse to be lazy, have poor diets and not exercise. On the whole it is more important to educate the population on healthy diets and exercise and I also feel that food advertising needs to be eliminated during children’s TV programmes.

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  4. Pete George (23,165 comments) says:

    Any funding for stomach stapling operations should be able to be paid back from food budget savings.

    The need for these is another example of a quick fix/someone else will fix my problems attitude that is prevalent.

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  5. Grizz (529 comments) says:

    Also note that weightloss can be achieved without surgery. Look at Rodney Hide’s transformation. Look at the Duck. It is amazing what lifestyle changes can achieve.

    The big question though is why hasn’t Parekura had his operation. That guy will be hooked up to a dialysis machine if he does not watch it!

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  6. Brian Smaller (4,016 comments) says:

    Pete George – you may be on to something. How about loans to fatties for the operation,which can be paid back at an agreed commercial rate. The people should be able to afford it based on teh savings they have made in food costs.

    I have a friend who had the procedure and she has dropped 30kg and is looking fantastic. She paid for it herself.

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  7. Pascal (2,015 comments) says:

    So they’re against having NON-FUNDED treatments provided by public hospitals in NZ on a user-pays basis, effectively telling those people they cannot have access to their treatment, but they’re FOR stomach stapling because they’re fat fucks?

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  8. dime (9,607 comments) says:

    Here’s an idea.

    Join a gym. Do some resistance training and some cardio.

    Eat 6 small meals a day and eat “clean”. Avoid processed food, pasta, white bread etc Go for whole grains.

    Same results and a lot less risky!

    You’ll also look better – tonnes of skinny “fat people” out there.

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  9. Ryan Sproull (7,056 comments) says:

    Dime,

    That sounds very similar to my revolutionary Eat Fewer Pies and Get Off Your Arse™ total weight-loss lifestyle transformation programme.

    Too similar, in fact.

    You’ll be hearing from my lawyer.

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  10. MT_Tinman (3,033 comments) says:

    I suppose it depends on what you staple their stomaches to.

    The work bench would be my suggestion.

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  11. Pete George (23,165 comments) says:

    I think mine is different enough to escape your attention Ryan –

    Every gut I see
    especially on the skinny guys
    keeps reminding me
    less eating stops increasing size

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  12. kowtow (7,864 comments) says:

    “Stomach stapling;” typical ,lazy,costly Western solution to a self inflicted condition. The obesity pandemic is just another symptom of a decadent, over indulged and self destructing once great Western civilization.

    Global warming aint a problem ,its global fatties that will break the health systems of most of the world’s advanced economies.

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  13. Ryan Sproull (7,056 comments) says:

    Pete,

    Nice try, but you clearly haven’t read the patent on my Observing Cause and Effect before Modifying Behaviour Accordingly™ sing-a-long educational CD for under-70s.

    Expect a threatening phone call in the middle of the night from my chimney sweep.

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  14. Ryan Sproull (7,056 comments) says:

    “Stomach stapling;” typical ,lazy,costly Western solution to a self inflicted condition. The obesity pandemic is just another symptom of a decadent, over indulged and self destructing once great Western civilization.

    Good point. Have we considered cutting-edge stomach-extension surgery for underweight children in developing nations?

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  15. Simon Lyall (101 comments) says:

    As a slightly radical idea:

    Why don’t we do a cost/benefit analysis on the funding and work the policy from there rather than making decisions based on how much we think fat people are just too lazy to lose weight?

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  16. Pete George (23,165 comments) says:

    Worrying about that should burn off a few mgs Ryan, so I may be able to get away with pudding tonight. Thanks.

    I’ve been lucky, for most of my life I could scoff as much as I liked with little weight effect. It was a bit of a shock to reach middle age and find that my middle started reacting to input. I have that sussed now. But I have closely seen people battle the bulge and mostly lose, it can be very difficult, and for some impossible. TV marketing and TV watching are significant factors.

    Ironic – I saw a docu about an African tribe where a bunch of guys sat around for a few weeks eating as much as they could, the fattest result won the most respect, I can remember what the prize was.

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  17. big bruv (13,454 comments) says:

    Expect Neville Key to make this government policy, anything Turia and the apartheid party want they will get.

    [DPF: like Maori seats on the Auckland Council right? Have you any idea how many Govt bills the Maori Party votes against? Buy her lets leave facts out of this]

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  18. Ryan Sproull (7,056 comments) says:

    Why don’t we do a cost/benefit analysis on the funding and work the policy from there rather than making decisions based on how much we think fat people are just too lazy to lose weight?

    Get a load of THIS guy. All maths and making sense and shit. “Cost/benefit blah blah blah.”

    This is a fast-paced blog, Lyall. We do things fast round here. You snap your fingers and BLAM, you’ve got an opinion. Snap your fingers and BLAM, that’s it, you’re stuck with that opinion. Snap your fingers again, this time twice – BLAM BLAM. Still the same opinion, and also it’s the opinion you had before you even snapped your fingers the first time, because that’s how fast-paced things are round these parts, and the only thing that tries to slow us down is political correctness and BLAM we hate political correctness round these parts.

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  19. Inventory2 (10,161 comments) says:

    Tariana Turia’s operation was paid for personally, as was Chester Borrows’. Chester’s operation transformed him; he lost well over 50kg. I’d back his willpower over Redbaiter’s any day of the week.

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  20. gravedodger (1,527 comments) says:

    Wouldn’t it be cheaper to sew the lips together and leave a gap for a thin straw.

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  21. PaulL (5,968 comments) says:

    Choice # 1: eat less, eat better, exercise more, feel healthier.

    Choice # 2: pay someone to make your stomach smaller, change not much, lose weight but still unhealthy-ish

    Choice # 3: do nothing, sit around getting fat, get diabetes, die early.

    I’d prefer people chose option 1. But option 2 is still better than option 3.

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  22. Jeff83 (771 comments) says:

    And Ryan delivers, not once, or twice but three times.

    And on that note I am off to buy chocklate, the very definition of western excess, it does taste good though.

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  23. ben (2,412 comments) says:

    There is a weak relationship between weight and health outcomes, only for the morbidly obese does excess weight really cause a health problem. So I’m not sure what the reason for state subsidy is. I doubt very much that $28,000 will be earned back in avoided future health care. Rather than expanding the health care system, how about making what it currently does start to work properly. Asking people to wait 6 months with chronic ailments on a waiting list and then kicking them off the week before the appointment – happened to my colleague here last week – is NOT COOL.

    Hard to think of an organisation less suited to delivering (as opposed to funding) healthcare than the state.

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  24. Pete George (23,165 comments) says:

    Health Risks Associated With Obesity

    The health problems associated with obesity are numerous. Someone who is 40% overweight is twice as likely to die prematurely as is an average-weight person. This is because obesity has been linked to several serious medical conditions, including:

    * Heart disease and stroke.
    * High blood pressure.
    * Diabetes.
    * Cancer.
    * Gallbladder disease and gallstones.
    * Osteoarthritis.
    * Gout.
    * Breathing problems, such as sleep apnea (when a person stops breathing for a short time during sleep) and asthma.

    Doctors generally agree that the more obese a person is the more likely he or she is to have health problems. People who are 20% or more overweight can gain significant health benefits from losing weight.

    http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/obesity-health-risks

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  25. Jack5 (4,781 comments) says:

    It’s a wonder the Klark regime didn’t ban fatties’ tucker from Parliament Buildings and all fast-food shops within short walking distance.

    Sadly, fat folk sometimes lose part of their drive along with the surplus kilos. Think of fighting, feisty, perk-busting Dr Jekyll before he became the in-love, sedate Mr Hyde. Think of the witty David Lange when he still had a stomach big enough to serve his addicted to pies.

    Why not let folk alone if they are content with their size?

    If we must make everybody thin, take the heat off cigarette smoking. That’s one of the best “treatments” available for overeating.

    Do we want everyone to be ascetic lettuce nibbling marathon runners? It would be like living in an upscale concentration camp supervised by Occupational Health and Safety, with compulsory attendance at FA – Fatties Anonymous.

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  26. Manolo (13,514 comments) says:

    I recomend all MPs gorge on fatty foods and animal fat diet on a daily basis. It might not be healthy for them, but good for the rest of us.

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  27. HK expat (2 comments) says:

    Will these newly slimmed MPs now pop their reshaped backsides in economy class seats, like the majority of those who they claim to represent?

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  28. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    If you watch old films or the history channel it would appear body shape has changed greatly for the worst in the last twenty years or so. Never has food and high calorie food been so readily available. Perhaps the only hope for some will be a serve depression, not nice I know but if you really have to “work” for you food, growing your own, hunting and gathering you tend to spend a lot more energy in such pursuits.

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  29. Rex Widerstrom (5,307 comments) says:

    Thankfully, neither Ryan nor Pete’s programs are a patch on my “Hunt Overweight MPs for Sport™ Program”, opening soon at a rifle range near you.

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  30. Viking2 (11,220 comments) says:

    20% GST and that will make the diet work. Add another 50% to booze and that will help as well and another 50cents to each ltr of people so that many will use their bikes in the flash expensive cycle lanes and our new cycleway that we are all currently paying for.

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  31. kiki (425 comments) says:

    I would be willing to staple their lips together if they wish. They would have to pay though as I wouldn’t get any pleasure from it.

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  32. Crusader (292 comments) says:

    Fat represents stored energy, right? So I reckon we could be looking at a possible solution to our national power needs.

    I looked at the number of people sitting on exer-cycles in gyms and thought of the dollars they must be spending for the privilege. Then I thought of how difficult it is to get consent for wind farms – apparently they are a blight on the landscape to some people.

    Bingo! I got the solution. Every exer-cycle in every gym in the country should be connected to power generators that feed back into the national grid. The fact that most people exercise in the day and evenings would mean power would be generated when it is most needed. How to get people on the bikes? Simple: free membership of the gym. Hey, we could even give them a bit of a cash bonus for reaching certain mileages – cheaper than building another Clyde dam.

    And never mind the dams or wind turbines, by doing so we would get rid of the biggest blot on the landscape of all – big butts!

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  33. Anthony (784 comments) says:

    You can get a gastric by-pass done in NZ via an endoscope for $16k which is cheap compared to all the health costs that a diabetic can impose on taxpayers.

    All very well for most of you here to say that people should eat less, go to the gym, etc but human nature and genetics mean that obesity is inevitable for some people – and while we have a public health system the rest of us will end up paying the cost one way or another. Far better to pay $16k now than $20k or more every year later on for treatment.

    I know a few people who have had the op done and paid for it themselves. But the fact is those most in need are often the ones who can’t afford it – but will end up being supported by the state anyway.

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  34. rachnzl (1 comment) says:

    There seem to be an exceptional amount of ignorant people here ! I’m not sure why it cost more to have a gastric bypass publicly ($28,000) than it does to have it privately ($22,000), all I know is that I am seriously saving for it as I dont live in South Auckland who, of course, get 1/2 the funding for these surgeries.

    I DONT eat junk food, I eat three small meals a day & excercise. I am a Chef but only earn $300 a week as I have to take care of my father (something else the govt doesnt have to pay for !!!!) I have managed to save $8,000 towards this surgery in the last year. How many of those nasty people above can say they have done this?
    Considering I PUT ON WEIGHT if I eat over 900 calories a day, I think most people are extremely dim witted when it comes to this subject.

    Oh, BTW… fat people pay tax too you know !!

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