Access to Care Challenges: Bariatric Surgery Discrimination by Insurance Companies

  Obesity is a rising problem in the United States. According to the CDC,   93.3 million adults, roughly 40% , were affected by obesity in 2016. That’s up from   36% in 2008 . Along the same lines, the counts of severe obesity rose from 5.7% to 7.7% from 2008 to 2016. Despite the prevalence of obesity in the U.S. and the numerous, severe  health risks associated with being obese , obesity was not classified as a chronic medical condition until 2013, when the American Medical Association finally  recognized obesity as a disease . In drafting this article, I consulted with Dr  Isaias Irgau  of the  CHRIAS , who noted that “ the 1991 NIH consensus  on the indications for bariatric surgery excluded obese patients with a BMI 30–35. Since then, much knowledge has been accumulated implicating obesity with a plethora of dangerous illnesses. Bariatric surgery is much less invasive and much safer than it was 30 years ago. The risk–benefit ratio currently favors bariatric surgery for patients wit