The Government Let Me Get Fat

| Saturday, January 8, 2011 | |
by Jonathon M. Seidl

The government let me get fat.

That‘s the argument of the former world’s fattest man, a British citizen who once weighed 980 pounds. 50-year-old Paul Mason is suing the British National Health Service (NHS) saying that he reached out for help but didn’t get the kind he wanted. That’s despite the fact that the government paid for his gastric bypass surgery that led to him shedding 462 pounds.

The total cost of Mason’s care over the last 15 years has been about 1 million British pound sterlings, or over $1.5 million U.S.

That figure has many in Britain outraged. And that outrage shows just how sticky government health care can be: How does a government balance fiscal responsibility with citizen health and care? How much money is allocated to each patient, especially in an era where austerity is necessary? When resources are scarce, who gets what?



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