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New US Medicare policy changes ruling that obesity is not an illness

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.329.7460.252-e (Published 29 July 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:252
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. New York

    The US federal government has announced a new policy that enables Medicare to be able to pay for interventions to treat obesity, after abandoning its previous position that obesity was not an illness.

    The new policy issued by the Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services removed a statement in the manual of services covered by Medicare that “obesity itself cannot be considered an illness.”

    This position generally prevented Medicare, a government run scheme which provides health …

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