In support of Sweet Pea

| 14/06/2013

The private sector pays enormous sums of money to cover their healthcare. I pay 50% of my healthcare, my portion of which amounts to approximately $260 (this is my rate as a fairly healthy non-smoker) and my employer pays the other 50%. Therefore, on an annual basis, the healthcare provider receives over $6,000 from me. This does not include my husband or dependants.

In the past 12 months, I have been to the dentist twice for a regular checkup and cleaning and I have been to my GP once.  This has been my routine for the past 15 years with the exception of perhaps the odd additional appointment to a chiropractor or physiotherapist.

All the while I have been paying enormous sums of money that I’ve certainly not spent. However, I am grateful to know that should anything go horribly wrong I will be covered and I’ve paid healthily towards that coverage. Given the above, I’ve already paid almost $100,000 to the healthcare provider, of which I’ve spent probably under $6,000.

In the meantime, I exercise 3-5 times a week, I eat a fairly healthy diet and am fortunate enough to be able to say that I almost never get a cold.  Some may say I’m lucky. I would disagree and say that my ‘luck’ is a direct result of the choices I make – I am not one of those people who enjoy exercise; I can ALWAYS find something better to do.  I also thoroughly enjoy the odd fast food meal but am very aware that fast food along with my favourite local beef or oxtail (with rice and peas, macaroni cheese and plantain of course) needs to be limited to once or twice a month if I do not want to clog up my arteries and cause myself weight issues ultimately leading to health issues.

There are those people with health issues who may never have been overweight and I am not addressing my comments to those people. However, there are NO overweight people without health issues, although some may simply not be aware of them yet. You cannot abuse the body God blessed you with and expect there to be no consequences.  Eating too much, drinking too much and smoking are all equal abuses, and just because you don’t smoke or drink does not mean you’re not abusing your body when you eat fried chicken with fries every day.

So I agree wholeheartedly with Sweet Pea’s Viewpoint. I take no pleasure in the fact that it is so absolutely and tragically true; I only wish it hadn’t hit the nail on the head so succinctly but sadly, it did.  I don’t think we the people should indirectly be funding healthcare for those persons who clearly don’t do anything to be healthy and there are too many of them.

Those civil servants in a medically acceptable weight range for their age and height, etc, should be offered coverage (perhaps co-pay as the private sector do) whereas those who make poor choices and continue to do so for themselves and their families should be made to contribute more fully and certainly encouraged to make better choices.  I would love to see a healthy civil service and agree that trimming the fat in this way has far more positive long term benefits than removing people from their posts.

It seems the government health care is set up because there are those who are uninsurable by any normal health plan, and so instead of saying ‘ok, we’ll cover you when no-one else will’, why not get to the root of the problem and offer to cover these people on the proviso that they make some healthier choices and perhaps set them some goals. Would that not be a better long term solution than simply pouring money into a hole in the ground encouraging further obesity, further health issues, further heart issues and joint issues down the line?

It’s as if we’re burying our heads in the sand simply because we don’t wish to cause offense. Well I find it VERY offensive that we’re all indirectly paying for other people’s poor life choices when I try to make decent ones for myself. The decent life choices aren’t always the most fun but it’s as good as stealing from the next generation when you’re prepared to simply keep taking government money to pay for healthcare that might not be needed if a little more discipline was the order of the day.

Let’s all try and become part of the solution rather than constantly being part of the problem and then wondering why we’ve got no money left to educate our children.

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  1. The lone haranguer says:

    Our goverment should not be providing health and pension for anyone, let people get there own if hey want it.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The barbaric health insurance system is a price to be paid for not having income tax.  Enjoy.

  3. Anonymous says:

    First it's the fat people – who you going to pick on next Annie, the young, the elderly, the disabled?

    • Anonymous says:

      The young, the elderly or the disabled do not chose to get into an unproductive state.  Fat people do choose.

      • Anonymous says:

        But, but, but, but, it's glanduar…

        To paraphrase another's comment, "the only fat people in Belsen were the guards."

        • Anonymous says:

          You're an idiot! 

        • Anonymous says:

          Exactly, I can't stand the pathetic excuses these obsese people make for their own gluttony.  Glandular smandular.  Matter cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.  For example from donuts and fried chicken into fat.  There is only one reason anyone ever gets fat – they eat too much.

  4. D says:

    1.  If you ask the average civil servant, she would tell you that paying for their own or dependents' coverage is fine once they have a choice of healthcare providers and get comparative salaries to their private sector peers.  

    2. When Government proposed having employees pay their premiums for their families, the rates were far less than we pay in the private sector.  So,

    3.  Private insurers need to cut their rates, not increase them.  I get aggravated each time the insurance company decides to pay my benefits based on what a doctor would have charged 10 or 12 years ago.

    4. Obesity is a problem in Cayman in general, not just the public sector.

    5. Recall that Government did cut civil servants' salaries for a while, however the country remained in debt.  Amazingly, while payroll (and benefits) is a huge expense, it is not the biggest expense for Government.  Nor is it the most frivolous way that our 'tax' dollars are being spent.  Speak to your local reps about their spending.


  5. Anonymous says:

    You healthy fit young people may not know this but when you get older you may get the surprise of your life. I was always physical when I was young . I had a car accident and rolled over twice on the road. Thank god for the training I had when I was younger in school for gymnastics, it taught me how to roll tuck your chin into your chest and become a ball. Otherwise I would have been physically handicapped. Risky sport eh? So 2 weeks later I could walk and all the flesh I scraped off started to heal but was still very sore. No need for exrays oh well back in the 70's. Became a diving Instructor. 4 years later a doctor noticed that I wasn't standing right and was having a problem in my neck. The way I was holding the tanks . He later did more physical exam and a quick adjustment to the neck and "crack". My neck in its proper position. I had more maneuverability, much better .But I now had to adjust about once a month. Until I stopped diving and physically working hard. So will the ins. co cover it ? No its pre-existing. Another problem, does any of your family have had, heart trouble, any kind of cancer, high blood pressure or anything like that? Then we will not cover you. What ? But my father had prostrate cancer when he was 63 and died at 92. WTH? As you can see right away they want to sell insurance to people who don't need it or who won't use it. THIEVES

  6. Anonymous says:

    If it comes down to two final candidates for a job and one is seriously over weight I give the job to the other candidate.  Experience has shown that this is the best decision in the interests of shareholders in the long term.

    • Anonymous says:

      And you will find that if you publish your name you will be follwoed by a suit of discrimnation actions because, unless physical shape is a requirement for a role, you cannot decide based on that criterion.

      • Anonymous says:

        Fat people are less productive. It is objectively relevant to the decision to hire. They are in the same category as drug users and alcoholics.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Any insurance or necessity like water, power and phone, should be governmental.

    Privat companies are there to make money, not to provide a service.

    Unfortunately our leaders are wealthy beings that probably have shares in these companies or somehow benefit from draining the consumer.



    • noname says:

      The fact that government is failing to provide the service without being accountable for what pays for it is completely lost on you.  There is no sevice that the CIG provides that is self sustaining or even close to profitable including their insurance, pension and especially heathcare.  Why can't you see that?

  8. Your Health Insurance says:

    Dear Annie,

    Thank you very much for the $100K you have given so far, and we look forward to many more years of contributions from you.

    We wish you many more years of good health, but should you become ill in the future and have to change jobs please be aware that we will drop your coverage like a hot potato.


    Your Health Insurance Provider.

    PS. If we are not your current health insurance provider then please be advised that once you become ill we will not be able to offer you a plan that covers pre-existing conditions.

    PPS. Generally speaking, any existing illness can be attributed to a pre-existing condition.


    • Anonymous says:

      you have tooth ache? i'm afraid that's pre-existing condition as we believe you already had your teeth when you started the medical insurance.

      throat cancer, I'm afraid you didn't disclose you went to the doctor when you were 17 with tonsilitis, so you lied on your initial application and we will not cover any expenses.

    • Anonymous says:

      For real.

  9. Anonymous says:

    In some ways this kind of 'you must fix yourself, before we try to fix you' attitude is already being applied in some places. A colleague of mine developed a very painful knee problem that required surgery but they were a good 50lbs over their healthy weight. The consultant refused to operate until the weight came off. His logic being that the excess weight had probably caused the condition and that had to be dealt with first.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Yes and we could make them wear something to mark them out as not eligible for health care. How about a nice yellow star? That has worked in the past.

    Then we could set up a lovely set of barracks for them to work off their fat making lampshades and cutting timber. We’d have to keep the site secure though, maybe have some nice towers to keep an eye on them.

    It would be a great solution, maybe the final one.

    • Anonymous says:

      My sentiments exactly – it seems that Annie may have lost her marbles… 

    • Slowpoke says:

      Ja, arbeit macht frei.

    • Anonymous says:

      What a stupid comment! The whole point is that everyone should  be contributing towards their health insurance. It is not fair that 75% of the country have to do so, and the other 25% get a complete free ride, including flights and hotel cost covered for overseas medical evalutation.

      • Anonymous says:

        How dare you think it is free. It is part of the CS package to offset low salaries. What Oakley is not saying is that she most likely gets a bonus every year, whilst the poor CS are continually getting pay cuts, like the last one of 3.2%  last December.

        Oakley put everything of your package on the table and you will see that you are better off than the CS.

        • Anonymous says:

          I love that everyone seems to think that just becuase you work in the private sector you receive annual pay rises and bonuses – I am a private sector employee who has not had a pay rise or a bonus in 3 years – nor have many of my colleagues and friends in other industries – but we are all grateful to have jobs as all of us who have jobs should be – so I know what it's like to cut back – as my salary stays the same and my health premiums (amongst other things) continue to climb. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Building the camp provides a welcome boost to the construction industry, and the guard jobs could designated as "Caymanian only", helping the local unemployment problem.

      Looks like a win-win all round.

    • Anonymous says:

      No need for any external markers.  You can't hide unhealthy lifestyles from human sight.  Wait.  Unless you get your stomach stapled for free.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Ah yes Annie, you hit the nail right on the head.  Your "final solution" for fatty should leave a few slobbering at the mouth.  You may wish to also include the following:

    1.  Those who engage in filthy unprotected sex almost every night – disgusting creatures!  Especially those who:  1.  have one night stands  2.  get it on with lovers (behind their spouse's backs) 3.  get it on with bacterial-ladden devices you can buy on the internet  4.  are over the age of 45 and get it on with younger people than themselves (hear it speeds up your heart rate much higher than with people of your own age)  5.  get it on with members of the same sex (cause goodness knows, that's just inviting trouble)

    2.  Those sows and pigs who drink more than 1 drink a day…

    3.  Skatboarders, scuba divers, skydivers, bicyclists, rugby players and all others who needlessly endanger their health and lives on a daily basis.  No insurance for you says Soup Nazi Annie!

    4.  Anyone who does not live in a bubble…

    So yes Annie, those fat slobs may certainly be slowly gorging themselves to death, but hey, there's a whole bunch of others engaging in risky behaviours that may be detrimental to their health.

    • Anonymous says:

      Seriously… you got issues.  You might want to get checked up yourself – by the psychiatrist.

    • Anonymous says:

      I would have to say that reading your comment made me fear for the future of humanity. I am supremely confident when I say that you, my friend, are undoubtedly one of the most unintelligent and idiotic individuals I've ever interacted with. 

    • Anonymous says:

      The point as I see it is that everyone should have insurance but as a faster (and therefore potentially more dangerous) car costs more in car insurance especially for a younger driver so does health insurance cost more for those with health issues – or for those partaking in dangerous lifestyles (resulting in health issues) whether the dangerous lifestyle is eating too much, drinking too much and/or smoking too much.

      The point is not to stop people from being insured it's to offer insurance to all on a level playing field whereby everyone pays towards their insurance and also to encourage those who are living unhealthy lifestyles to make better choices – which will of course benefit them in the long run but will have the indirect effect of benefitting all of us as the premiums might have a chance of stabilising but in addition we might actualy become a healthier nation – what's not to like about that?!

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey, so you're saying a 48 year old man should not get it one with his 42 year old wife!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Im sure youmean you’ve paid almost $100,000 to your health insurance provider, not your healthcare provider.

  13. Anonymou says:

    You act as if all illnesses are the result of unhealthy choices.  In some cases this ma true in a lot of cases it is not.

    It is inhuman the way insurances company's do everything they can limit  coverage or dump the elderly.  many have lead healthy lives and now in the older years when they need it most they find it hard to get adequate coverage.

    I was a picture of health for my first 60 years  and now I have problems that doctors say are not lifestyle related but genetic. Would you have me be someone who paid and seldom used insurance all my life ( similar to your story) be treated as a second class  citizen to be avoided by the insurance coverage and then have to beg a government for help that has all along let the insurance companies write the laws.

    Health care should be a right not a privilege!

  14. Anonymous says:

    It all boils down to taking responsibility for yourself and NOT having to take responsibility (pay for) somone else. Caymans leadership is all about making sure the voters stay dependent on them to live and vice versa.  Paid for by the rest of us.  May as well get used to it.  They sure have.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Put a gym in the GOAB I say (isn't there an empty floor?).  Don't charge people who use it.  Charge the people that don't.


    This may seem profligate but the alternative to paying for civil servants to have access to exercise is to pay for them to have access to healthcare for chronic illness.  


    Heads you don't win, tails everyone loses.

  16. Anonymous says:


    Some of you folks forgot that CINICO made a profit with all the sick people the obese ,cancer, heart , smokers and old people, plus don't forget the FREE PEOPLE. Do you remember that now, just trying to wake you up form the baloney that ins. companies have been putting this country through. They could charge less to people that they know from actuary studies that are in the percentage rate that are not going to get sick couldn't they?

    Cuba a communist country has free medical, dental and eye care the best in the world. Mexico has the same not only for their people but anyone that is in the country as workers or tourist. 

    Something is wrong with the system where there is no minimum wage and whereyou have to pay for ins . 

    But its free in the UK. I suggest we pay gov't instead and stop paying these thieves anymore ins. money.