Penalty could keep smokers out of health overhaul - Yahoo! News
Do you think these Penalties will be a deterrent to smoking? Is it discrimination?
I'll have to think about this. Health care stuff is so difficult because it is complicated.
I do hope that it will be a deterrent but don't know if it will.
Health care is incredibly expensive and the numbers cited don't match anything like the reality of what we pay, or even close to what our annual numbers are for our part of the employer funded plan.
What a mess.
From the article:
Insurers won't be allowed to charge more under the overhaul for people who are overweight, or have a health condition like a bad back or a heart that skips beats — but they can charge more if a person smokes.
Smoking is a huge contributor to preventable disease and treating those diseases can be costly . . . but how is that not true for obesity? So maybe on the discrimination.
For the under 30 crowd it might be. For the ones it will hurt the most, no. They've already tried to quit by now and can't find a program that will work for them. Affordable healthcare for everyone. LOL
I feel like we have done versions of this one a thousand times and it always ends badly. I'm fine with it. I'm fine with penalizing lifestyle choices, like life insurance does, including obesity. If we don't do that, I'm fine with rewarding healthy lifestyle lifestyle choices (like how I get money back if I call in from my gym more than 150 times/year when I am there to work out I get one amount of money back, more than 250 times I get more money back). Both are great options. We ought to reward people who work hard to be healthy because it impacts insurance companies bottom lines, as well as out nations bottom line. Healthy does not include regular tobacco use or other unhealthy lifestyle choices. I'm fine with penalizing them or rewarding healthy people. We ought to. It simply makes financial sense.
Last edited by Potter75; 01-25-2013 at 08:43 AM.
I disagree with it. I wouldn't mind Melissa's suggestion that people who live healthy lifestyles get some money back as an incentive to keep being healthy, but according to the article we are talking about the potential to charge almost 50% more to some smokers. The whole point of the thing was that having people go uninsured is actually more costly to society in the long run since they don't get the preventative care in the long run, and then may find themselves using the ER as their primary care since they can't be turned away, and then just not pay for it. Also, people shouldn't die from not being able to afford healthcare. I believe those things are true whether we're talking about the healthiest person out there, or a 40 year 2 pack a day smoker. Yes, I realize that smokers are more likely to suffer illnesses, but I don't see how making it too expensive for them to afford healthcare solves that problem, since we're back to the "no preventative care/using the ER when they have to" scenario, which means that the ERs still have to charge huge prices to cover those costs, which get passed along to us. I would like to see lighter fees if we are going to add fees to smokers, and heavy pushing of cessation programs.
I don't believe that it's impossible to quit if you're a long time smoker. Is it hard? Yes, I'm sure it really really is. I smoked for about 5 years during my late teens and early twenties, and it was hard for me to quit too, so I can imagine that it's that much harder for someone who has done it for the majority of their life. But I don't believe that they simply can't. My boss is in his late 50's and has been smoking since he was a teen, and he quit about 6 months ago after his wife was diagnosed with COPD (they both quit together.) I'm sure it was awful to go through, but they did it. I believe that people *can*, but they need a lot of support and incentive. I would hope that insurance companies would pay to provide lots of both.
-Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)
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I was so proud of my best friend from high school because she quit smoking last year after smoking for 30 years. She had smoked since she was 16 years old. So it can be done, but it is not easy. No I don't think it will be a deterrent. If the actual cost of smoking is not already a deterrent than this won't be. It is just a penalty, and yes I think it is discrimination. Smoking is a legal activity and the government is getting alot of money already from the extra taxes that should cover any cost differences.
Mom to Lee, Jake, Brandon, Rocco
Stepmom to Ryan, Regan, Braden, Baley
Granddaughters Kylie 10/18/2010 & Aleya 4/22/2013
I never consider a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosopy, as a cause for withdrawing from a friend. --Thomas Jefferson
Smoking is not a pre existing condition so it doesn't qualify for protection under this act. I'm not really sure where I stand on it. It is a risk factor and a costly risk factor but so isn't alcoholism however, that is classified as a disease.
I don't think I'm okay with it.
I disagree that long term smokers have tried everything to quit. My mom has smoked for a long time and I don't think I've ever seen her try to quit. My dad quit almost 3 years ago after smoking about 40 years. No set backs.