Almost $363 million has been spent on weight loss surgery by the military in 10 years, and recruiters throughout say the military would pay for even more according to Atlanta based WSB-TV/Channel 2.
Taxpayers fund Tricare, health insurance for the military, paid for a $50,000 gastric bypass surgery for Jillian O’Malley, an Army wife living in Georgia. The 29 year-old weighed nearly 300 pounds three years ago, but now she is a triathlete.
O’Malley lost 140 pounds in total and believes the money for her surgery was well spent.
“It gave me my life back, the life I was supposed to have,” she commented.
Army officials told station KIRO that spending money on weight loss surgery will save taxpayers money because obesity-related diseases like Type II diabetes and hypertension would not need to be treated.
“And if they don’t stay in the military system, they’re going to end up on Medicare or Medicaid. We’re going to pay for it somewhere,” noted Lt. Col. Tim Sebesta.
An investigation by channel 2 found Army recruiters admitting that the U.S. military will pay for cosmetic surgery, including breast implants.
“It’s one cosmetic per enlistment, so let’s say you need to get your breasts done, you want to get big boobies, you can get that done,” a recruiter said to an undercover Channel 2 producer.
Some officers even described how to handle the Army’s requirement that surgery must be medically necessary. One recruiter talked about a woman who was able to get plastic surgery by citing depression.
“She said she was depressed and it was because she had a low self-image,” the recruiter commented.
Read more on the story on the WSB-TV/Channel 2 website.
At Angeles Health we have a range of weight loss surgery procedures, including lap band and gastric bypass surgery. To find out more about our surgeries, doctors and other weight loss surgery patients’ experiences, take a look around our website and fill in the form on the right to find out more.