I couldn’t believe the health care industry would voluntarily jump the shark like this, but I shyt you not.  A couple in Grand Junction, Colorado was denied health care coverage for their 4-month-old son because the insurance company considered he was “too fat.”  (Hat Tip, Susie Madrak of Crooks and Liars):

GRAND JUNCTION — Alex Lange is a chubby, dimpled, healthy and happy 4-month-old.

But in the cold, calculating numbered charts of insurance companies, he is fat. That’s why he is being turned down for health insurance. And that’s why he is a weighty symbol of a problem in the health care reform debate.

Insurance companies can turn down people with pre-existing conditions who aren’t covered in a group health care plan.

Alex’s pre-existing condition — “obesity” — makes him a financial risk. Health insurance reform measures are trying to do away with such denials that come from a process called “underwriting.”

And the kicker is that Alex’s father is a part-time news anchor in Grand Junction and went public with how the insurance company is denying his child coverage:

“I could understand if we could control what he’s eating. But he’s 4 months old. He’s breast-feeding. We can’t put him on the Atkins diet or on a treadmill,” joked his frustrated father, Bernie Lange, a part-time news anchor at KKCO-TV in Grand Junction. “There is just something absurd about denying an infant.

LOL, if that didn’t embarass the insurance company because after this shyt was made public, they decided to go ahead and insure little Alex.

Rocky Mountain Health Plans, a Colorado health insurer, announced in a press release Monday that they will cover “heavy” babies after a story revealed the insurer had denied coverage to a healthy infant who weighed 17 pounds.

“A recent situation in which we denied coverage to a heavy, yet healthy, infant brought to our attention a flaw in our underwriting system for approving infants,” Steve ErkenBrack, president of the insurer said in a release Monday. “Because we are a small company dedicated to the people of Colorado, we are pleased to be in a position to act quickly. We have changed our policy, corrected our underwriting guidelines and are working to notify the parents of the infant who we earlier denied.”

Recent situation, my ass.  Let’s call it what it really was: BAD PUBLIC RELATIONS.

Just how many babies have been denied coverage on their parents’ health insurance because they were essentially healthy, well-fed babies who were determined to be “obese”?

Now I have seen my share of some big toddlers that look like they’re five or six year olds when they are really two or three years of age.  I’m not going to say stop feeding your kid Mickey D’s, but you have to admit a child’s diet does play a role in whether or not he or she becomes obese. 

Additionally, if a child is in a family where the economic situation may make it where the family can only afford high fructose, starchy food products to keep children from going hungry, take a look at that factor, as opposed to automatically labeling parents as being irresponsible.  In this case, baby Alex’s diet consisted of his mother’s breast milk (dang, she must be one healthy woman if her breast milk has Alex with his weight at his age), and his pediatrician was pleased with his physical development.

Let’s be clear – unless the health insurance industry are going to allow medical physicians to determine health conditions criteria for providing paid coverage, we need that Public Option like Popeye needed his can of Spinach to kick ass when Bluto called him out.

We have seen the enemy and it is the Health Insurance Industry.

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