Christopher Pashler of the State University of New York at Buffalo has done a study of Social Security's treatment of disability claims filed by the obese since the agency rescinded its obesity Listing. His conclusion is that the elimination of the Listing has made the agency less able to render consistent decisions in obesity cases and that the obese are more vulnerable to bias. I will warn you that Pashler's study contains way too many literary references, especially if you count references to The Simpsons as literary.
I think that a lot of other people, even including Pashler, who consider this issue in the abstract, have trouble comprehending the reality that Social Security is denying the disability claims of people who weigh over 600 pounds. Have you ever met someone who weighed this much? Can you really understand their difficulties? Do you feel revulsed by the idea of someone weighing this much? Do you think it appropriate to deny disability claims based upon that revulsion?
I have always had the gut feeling that the obesity listing was eliminated to please the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). My guess is that OMB wanted Social Security to save some money on disability claims somehow and Social Security chose to hit on the obese. Can anyone tell me whether my gut feeling is correct?