Bill Maher: People Have to Take Responsibility for Their Own Health


4 years ago



Bill Maher

3 appearances

Bill Maher is a comedian, political commentator, the host of HBO's "Real Time with Maher" and his own podcast, "Club Random." Catch him in residency at the David Copperfield Theatre at MGM Grand in Las Vegas on September 15 and 16 and November 3 and


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Do you think that Bernie's too left? Do you think he's too left for a lot of people? Do you think that's real? But the media asks the wrong question. Yeah. The media asks, and there's a debate tonight, the media asks the wrong question, which is what would you do? This is a question that only makes sense if you're running for king. The question should not be what would you do. The question is what can you get through? What can you propose that Mitch McConnell will not either block or you can override with votes? Because that's a very different discussion. What Bernie Sanders wants to do, we shouldn't even be talking about because it's not going to happen. The free education, paying back student loan debt. Medicare for all. Medicare for all. You know, all these, as long as, unless the Republicans self-deport, even if the Democrat wins the election, there's still going to be half the country that's Republican and half the Congress is going to be Republican. And there's just a lot of Democrats are not for this stuff. You know, when the Democrats took over the House in 2018, it was moderate Democrats who won their elections. It wasn't the far left. So you get four years of spinning your wheel in the mud. You get, well. Hoping to get some traction. Yeah. You get Sen. Again, it's what can get through Congress? What can you get a consensus on? What can you make possible? Obama, when he did healthcare said, yes, if we were starting from scratch, it would make sense to go for a single payer system, but we're not starting from scratch. We're starting from a system where most people already have health insurance through their employer. It's a crazy story how that happened. It was World War II and they couldn't raise wages because that was the law. So they had to find a way to give employers something else. So they gave them health insurance, but that's what we have now. And a lot of people like it or say they like it. I don't think a lot of people like arguing with their insurance company, but they're afraid of something worse. And I don't blame them. You know, if you're going to tell me the government, and I'm a Democrat, but if you're going to tell me the government is going to smoothly handle taking over something that large, I am going to be a little skeptical. We should be. They don't smoothly handle anything. There's no evidence. They don't smoothly handle anything rather than maybe delivering the news or delivering the mail. Look, again, as an old school progressive, when you go down the list of things that the progressives have accomplished, especially in my lifetime, I cheer them all. Social Security, well, that wasn't my lifetime, but they improved it in my lifetime. Medicare, Medicaid, these are great programs. I mean, before Social Security, the senior poverty rate was like in the 28% or something, and then it went down below 10. It was a success. But when you look at what the government really, what their big successes have amounted to, it's passing out money that very often they don't have. That's what they're really good at. Running a giant healthcare system, especially when the politicians who are proposing these systems will not, A, talk enough about, we've got to cap the gouging. You can't pass out all this money if you're going to allow people, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies to charge anything they want when the price of an EpiPen can go up from $12 to $1,200 overnight. That just can't happen. And also, they don't ask the people to lift a finger to take care of their own health. Nobody's healthcare system is going to work unless you involve, people have some skin in the game. You can't not tell the people, look, you can't keep eating as much as you want, and as shitty a food as you want, and expect us to cover the bill. You just can't. That is not something that anybody wants to hear though. Oh, I know, because I did that editorial. I know, I remember that. People got upset at you. Well, here's the story. People did not. People loved it until James Corden said something. Oh, that's right. He had that whole... First of all, he did that and in doing that made fat jokes. Which I did not, by the way. Mine was nothing cheap on it. Morbid people, morbidly obese people. First of all, he missed a great opportunity to literally save lives. If he had taken the opposite approach, he took the easy way out. Of course, you can always get applause for saying, oh, let's boo the mean man who's told the truth. That's not brave. First of all, my point was A, that you can't solve healthcare unless you ask the people to participate in that. That was one. And also, we've gone to this place where we're proud of it. We're proud of being unhealthy. Weight Watchers had to take the name Weight and Watchers out of their title. It's WW now. It's like, what? See, being fat isn't bad. What's bad is someone pointing out that fat is bad. But I mean, I read the statistic in that editorial. 40,000 people a month, a month, die from obesity. That's a crazy number. That is a crazy number. We have to somehow reverse this idea that we have in this country, not just about obesity, but about a lot of things where I'm perfect the way I am. I am just perfect the way I am. And if you say different, you're a very bad person. That's not a good place to be. It's not healthy for anybody. You're protecting people's emotions, but shielding them from a possible moment that might make them realize that they are eating themselves to death. Right. I mean, look, I said it also in the piece. He's in the eye of the beholder. That's fine. Whatever you think is beautiful, that's your deal. But health is science. Yeah. That's science. And when we get apoplectic when there's 50 deaths from shootings or something a month, yeah, it's very bad. And we should be serious about that problem. But 50 versus 40,000 every month? And that's just what they're counting from the big ones, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. There's literally nothing about your health that is improved by being overweight. So I said we shouldn't taunt people, but compare it to anything else. I also owned up to the fact that I used to drink too much, and I smoked. But I didn't defend it. When someone said, you know, you went kind of hard last night with the drinking, I didn't say, how dare you drunk shame me? Well, the weird thing about coding... I said, you're right, I did. The weird thing about coding too is he's not that fat. Like he could fix that in a couple of months. That's not that hard. No, he took it out. It was opportunistic. Yes. And I'm saying he could have... He literally lost an opportunity to save lives because as someone who does struggle with weight, he could have taken the opposite approach and said, you know, Bill makes a really good point. And we should look at how we are dealing with this. I noticed Jillian Michaels, the fitness expert. He took a lot of shit for Lizzo. For Lizzo. Yeah. And, you know, if you want to be... Whatever weight you want to be, that's fine. But it's wrong to shame a fitness expert for saying this isn't healthy. Well, it gets even crazier. She said it's not going to be that amazing when she gets diabetes. Yeah. And people are like, diabetes has nothing to do with weight. Diabetes has everything to do with it. For sure. Also, they lie. They say things like, well, it's the fat gene. It's not that. Or here's another one. And look, this is valid. It's valid that in this country, it is a lot harder to eat right if you're poor. Yes. And we should totally address that. Yes. Doubt if it's on any candidate's top 10 list, but the way the food situation and subsidies are done in this country is horrible. But given that, let's not just throw up our hands and say, we're the can't do country. And because it's harder, let's not even try. Yes, it is harder to eat right on a budget. But I'll tell you something, something you never need to have with your food, soda, which is a large part of it. Okay. And you'll save money. You don't have to have soda. You don't have to have a Snickers bar. A banana is 19 cents. So it's not impossible. Adele got shit recently because she got skinny. Yes. Because she got healthier. That was also a part of my thing, was fit shaming. Not fat shaming. People go, eat something. Eat something. I'm fine. What? So you can feel better about your weight problem. I should eat and get fat too. Well, when heavy people have a fan or have someone that they're a fan of that's also heavy like James Corden. So he's heavy. He's got people in the audience that love him and they love him standing up for other heavy people. Yeah, we're fine. We're fine. He's one of us. We're fine. I think they felt like that with Adele. Adele was this fantastic singer, super talented, extremely popular and overweight. Like yeah, it's fine. It's fine. I'm like Adele. Everyone's fine. But then she loses weight. You feel like she's betraying you because one of the reasons why I liked you is because you're fat. You're not fat anymore. It wasn't that long ago that we were applauding people when they lost weight. Yeah. Remember when Oprah came out that time? She was, oh, this was like in the 80s I think, but she had lost a whole bunch of, well there's a picture, it's a very famous picture. I think she's like in jeans and she's got a really thin waist and she was raising her hands in triumph and everyone was applauding. I guess that's bad now because again, you have to be perfect the way you are and if you criticize that, then you're a bad person.