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September 30, 2004

Health and Money Issues Arise Over Who Pays for Weight Loss

Mr. Pirollo, a 55-year-old sixth-grade teacher in Haddon Heights, N.J., says he is healthy, he worries that his excess weight might take a toll on his health. And, of course, he wants to look good. Who should pay for people like Mr. Pirollo to try to lose weight? For decades the answer has almost always been the patients themselves. That soon may change. At a meeting in November, Medicare's advisers will assess the safety, efficacy and cost of one increasingly popular method of weight loss - surgery - as a first step in a new policy that could lead to the use of federal money to cover a range of other obesity treatments.

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Posted by Tom Troceen