Tags: 2020 Elections | Health Topics | Obesity | pete buttigieg | cash for fatties | campaign | south bend

Buttigieg's 'Cash for Fatties' Proposal Under Fire

pete buttigieg gestures while seated during an interview
Pete Buttigieg (Robert Franklin/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 31 December 2019 03:17 PM

One of Pete Buttigieg's top blunders is raising eyebrows for a previous push to have the government offer payoffs to people in primarily red states to lose massive amounts of weight through a "Cash for Fatties" program.

Wender Wanderman, a bundler and entertainment executive who is tasked with helping the South Bend mayor collect enough contributions to compete for the Democratic presidential nomination, is under fire for a HuffPost blog post from 2009, about her proposal to bring people's weight under control, reports the Daily Beast.

"Basically, people in the thinner and mostly bluer states are paying for the healthcare costs of all of the uninsured and Medicare-covered individuals in these red states," Wanderman wrote. "It's no secret that the more overweight a person is, the greater likelihood that his/her medical costs increase. Thus, the blue states in which we want a public option, are paying the costs of the red states where they oppose it."

She proposed the government would pay a fee to people who would lose a "significant" amount of weight and more money after six months or a year if they keep the weight off. 

Wanderman, who served on former President Barack Obama's National Finance Committee, pulled in at least $25,000 for Buttigieg's campaign and was one of 146 top bundlers listed in a post on his website earlier this month. 

Richard Ojeda, a progressive Democrat from Republican-friendly West Virginia, one of the states listed as having the most obese people, told the Daily Beast Wanderman's post attacked the poor.

"Sadly, it's cheaper to eat unhealthy in McDonald's than it is to eat healthy," Ojeda said. "I come from a poverty-stricken area and know this is how people survive."

An unnamed Democratic red state operative said the post is "definitely offensive."

"Can we blame Pete for someone who's associated with him?" the source said. "Yes and no. But as we enter into 2020 where everything matters, we have to elevate the importance of words mattering even more, especially words that can be viewed as insensitive to certain constituencies."

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A previous push to have the government offer payoffs to people in primarily red states to lose massive amounts of weight through a "Cash for Fatties" program is one of Pete Buttigieg's top blunders which is raising eyebrows.
pete buttigieg, cash for fatties, campaign, south bend, indiana, mayor
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Tuesday, 31 December 2019 03:17 PM
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