Ambulances to Charge Overweight Patients More

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Ambulance companies may start charging extra for transporting obese patients.

The American Ambulance Association says patients who weigh more than 350 pounds cost about 2 1/2 times more than normal weight patients.
    
They said it takes more time, extra crew members and special equipment.

"In order for these systems to survive and continue to provide their service, there has to be some way to recover those costs," said Jim Buell, a director at the American Ambulance Association.
    
Critics say the higher fees are a form of discrimination.

But ambulance companies say it is time for insurance providers, Medicaid and Medicare or patients themselves to pay for the added costs. 

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