A Fat Fee Coming to Medicaid?


In order to raise money for Arizona’s struggling Medicaid program, Governor Jan Brewer has proposed a $50 fee for people who smoke or are obese. If the proposal is approved, it will be the first time that Medicaid has charged for unhealthy behavior.

A 2009 poll showed that more than a quarter of people living in Arizona are obese, and according to a 2006 Medicaid survey, nearly half of the people enrolled are smokers.

Monica Coury, spokeswoman for Arizona’s Medicaid program, said:

“If you want to smoke, go for it. But understand you’re going to have to contribute something for the cost of the care of your smoking.”

Brewer’s plan would require smokers and obese people to work with a primary-care physician to in order to improve their health. Those that do not follow the doctor’s plan will be required to pay a $50 surcharge.

If approved, the measure could start as soon as October 1st.

[Source: Wall Street Journal]

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