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Thread: Healthcare & smokers

  1. #1
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Default Healthcare & smokers

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013...ould-backfire/
    This is an interesting discussion in this article.

    If you're a drug addict or alcoholic, you get O-care at a "regular" price. If you're a smoker, you pay a whole lot more.

    If you have a pre-existing condition (which, I guess, could include having serious mental health issues), the insurance companies cannot charge you more or refuse you coverage. However, they CAN charge you more for having a habit that MIGHT become a health problem at some future date.

    Unlike drug addicts, alcoholics, or the obese -- all of whom represent higher-than-average medical costs -- smokers are the only such group with a pre-existing condition that ObamaCare penalizes. It allows insurance companies to charge smokers up to 50 percent more than non-smokers for an identical policy, depending on the state and any subsidies the person might qualify for.
    But most concerning to public health advocates is the surcharge's effect on low-income earners, since federal subsides cannot be used to offset the penalty.
    Double whammy.
    "Alcoholics, people who are terminally ill; I just feel like everybody should be treated equally," said Carmen McCullum, a smoker in Los Angeles.
    However, some see smoking as an addiction, not a choice, and it is no different than any other pre-existing condition.
    The problem, however, is that this will mean more uninsured than anticipated:
    "Tobacco surcharges are not proven to help tobacco users quit and there are major concerns that they will prevent people from getting health care coverage," the American Lung Association's Jennifer Singleterry said.


    The ALA supports the Affordable Care Act, as does the American Cancer Society, but both oppose the tobacco penalty because they believe it makes insurance unaffordable for smokers.


    "Charging tobacco users more in health insurance premiums, sometimes thousands of dollars more, studies have shown, will price smokers out of the market," says Singleterry.
    Maybe they just figure that gradually the most addicted smokers will simply die off? Or maybe they can just switch to marijuana?

    Personally, I figure (as Bloomberg and Michelle Obama have already anticipated) that the obese will be the next in line for their "penalty". In Japan people can be penalized for their waist measurement. Then maybe alcoholics?
    G.Clinchy@gmail.com
    "Know in your heart that all things are possible. We couldn't conceive of a miracle if none ever happened." -Libby Fudim

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  2. #2
    Senior Member sick lids's Avatar
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    There always has to be at least one scape goat. The kids Dr. asked about guns. I asked her how many people Dr.s and nurses accidently kill. She was not amused.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sick lids View Post
    There always has to be at least one scape goat. The kids Dr. asked about guns. I asked her how many people Dr.s and nurses accidently kill. She was not amused.
    Will have to remember that one if asked!
    G.Clinchy@gmail.com
    "Know in your heart that all things are possible. We couldn't conceive of a miracle if none ever happened." -Libby Fudim

    ​I don't use the PM feature, so just email me direct at the address shown above.

  4. #4
    Senior Member luvmylabs23139's Avatar
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    I smoke. Yeah I know I know. When we did the Dec 1st bypasss of Obumma care for 11 months I was honest and declared it. The original estimated rate before underwriting gave me an expected surcharge. When our final premium came back I got an A plus prefered rating vs the normal rating hubby got. Insurance companies know real risk factors vs big brother who really has no clue.
    Insurance companies know that the in shape person regardless of smoking is a lower risk than bon bon eating couch potato.
    Hihope Hiland Heathen of Perth CD, RE, CGC, TDI

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