Can you be deported for being fat?
New Zealand may give a South African man the boot for taxing the country's health care system. Never mind that he lost 60 pounds while he was there.
Albert Buitenhuis, a South African who has lived in New Zealand for six years, may get deported from his adopted home because the government says he is too fat. Though Buitenhuis actually weighed 65 pounds more when he first moved to New Zealand, the BBC reports that the 286-pound man couldn't renew his annual work visa because he failed to maintain "an acceptable standard of health."
One would think that would only help his cause in New Zealand, where nearly 27% of citizens are obese. However, that's still relatively svelte compared to the 33.5% of South Africans who qualify as obese and the 31.8% of Americans fitting the same description.
That presents a problem for New Zealand, where even residents like Buitenhuis who live in the country with work permits receive many health care services for free, including prescriptions and treatment at public hospitals. A U.S. resident spends nearly three times more money on health care than people living in New Zealand, according to country comparison website IfItWereMyHome.com.
The public costs add up in a hurry, though. In 2006, the private and public health care system spent $624 million on health care related to being overweight, according to The New Zealand Herald. That's a small fraction of the $190 billion the U.S. spent on similar care, according to the Harvard School Of Public Health, but it's not exactly a drop in the bucket for a small country.
An immigration spokesman said Buitenhuis's application had been rejected because his obesity put him at "significant risk" of complications including diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. That same spokesman also noted that "it is important that all migrants have an acceptable standard of health to minimize costs and demands on New Zealand's health services.”
So it could be worse, cocktail servers: You could lose both your job and citizenship for putting on a few extra pounds or, in this case, even losing 60 or so.
I lived there for 2 1/2 years and before getting our work visa's approved my wife and I had to pass a rather extensive health exam. We had absolutely no problem with it. This is just one of the ways they control who comes in their country. While no system is perfect, we loved not having to pay for health insurance. That said a lot of kiwis also didn't go to the doctor for the little things. They just know that the doctors are for more serious issues.
There is no reason the US can't adopt the same regulations for people wanting to come into our country LEGALLY. The fact is a lot of countries have strict guidelines on immigration and rightfully so. Each country belongs to it's citizens, not the world.
Now if only this poor slob was a billionaire banker or some other 'job creator' who needed a bail out at government expense he could get the Republicans to pay all his debts with tax payer money.
In addition to the bailouts for billionaires program he could get a huge bonus for being one of those 'talents that has to be retained', the talent being adept at losing other peoples money while getting his bought and paid for Republican party to bail him out a middle class expense.
And for desert the Republican Fascists would even through in a tax cut while cutting SS and Medicare on the peasants.
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A basic income policy can actually ensure a decent standard of living for everyone.
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