Since the Affordable Care Act has passed, more details are emerging as to what is actually included in the massive health care overhaul. New concern is being raised over the infringement of personal rights that the “Stepping Stones to Obesity” clause in the bill may be causing. The so called “Stepping Stones to Obesity” clause refers to activities that may lead to obesity, which is hard on the health care system and costs the insurance companies billions every year. These “Stepping Stones” were thought to originally include smoking, drinking, and fast food eating tendencies, but the law is now being construed to include time spent using video game consoles and using abusing internet bandwidth. As it turns out, the government seems to be using this vague wording of the law to target Netflix, the online video behemoth who uses up to 20% of the internet’s bandwidth. The recent clarification of the law, as laid out in recent documents recently obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, labels Netflix as “Addictive” and refers to it as a “dangerous past time which encourages lots of time spent in one position. The subject usually consumes large quantities of prepackaged snack foods. The lack of movement and consummation of unhealthy snack foods leads us to label this as a prerequisite to being obese, we therefore deem it a ‘Stepping Stone to Obesity’ and move to constrict this dangerous behavior.”
This law will go into effect over time. When pressed for the details as to how exactly the government plans to keep tabs on an individual’s Netflix usage, Jey Carney, the Press Corespondent for the White House, said, “We already have the abilities ,through our NSA data centers, to collect and record this kind of information. It’s how we plan on keeping tabs on people excessively using Netflix, therefore reducing obesity and lowering the financial burden on the Affordable Care Act which will ultimately save the taxpayers billions of dollars. It’s for the nations own good.”
This new clarification of the Affordable Care Act also carries a vehicle through which to slow down the delinquent individual’s usage. Jey Carney continued, “When we find an individual who refuses the governments advice and does not voluntarily submit to the recommend time limits we will set on using Netflix, we will simply download large files to his or her computer. These files will be ‘Health Awareness’ brochures in PDF file, giving them directions to the local gym or showing victims of obesity looking sad and sitting in Walmart power wheelchairs. We will slow down the data by repeatedly sending them these files until their internet speed drops to an unusable speed. This will encourage them to get up and at least take a bathroom break.”
When asked if the individual will know whether the government is on their computer, Carney was vague, “There will probably be a large, horizontal loading bar that will take a very long to load, if, in fact, it ever loads. In some cases it may be a spinning circle.” Carney added, “This will also be effective on mobile devices.”
This bill angers many individual rights advocates. Rand Paul ripped the wording on the bill, saying, “If people want to sit on their bums all day and accomplish nothing at all, that’s their right as American citizens.”
Netflix has issued a formal response, claiming it will help internet speeds and boost their profit, since individuals are spending the same monthly fee but will be watching less content. Later Netflix retracted that statement and fired their spokesman.
Regardless of the nations sentiment, this new clarification of the bill is expected to take full effect within several months.
Carney, while rubbing his hands together excitedly, claimed a bright future saying, “We are excited to see our nation take positive steps towards health and happiness. It will pay off in dividends.”