I have never tried smoking before, thankfully. However, I do not think smoking makes you sub human and unworthy of health care any more than being poor does.
Again, I don't like that they are picking and choosing what bad habits are okay to charge more. Not too sure it is a bad thing though.
Risk factors cause everyone to pay more money. What we live in is a society that focuses on the "ME" and not the overall "US" Because YOU choose to smoke I pay a higher insurance premium even though I don't. I have to pay for your health issues. Your meds, your treatment for lung cancer etc.
I pay more in my car insurance because I was in a minor accident that I was at fault for and this year I'll finally eliminate that extra point. Smoking is something in your control. Obesity is often in our control but there are people who are obese that is the result of a medical condition or related to medication for another disease which is not the fault of that person. That is very hard to police.
I think drug and alcohol problems are a huge cost contributor as well but since they are classified as a disease and not a habit (which to me...addiction is addiction...should be all disease) they are not subject to this.
What was the whole point in having a health care law that says everyone is required by law to have healthcare, just to make it so that it is unaffordable to a certain group of people? Why eliminate being able to deny or charge extra for a pre existing condition if it was as you wished where only skinny healthy people could qualify? To me, if you are going to make it LAW that you have to have insurance, that insurance has to be obtainable to everyone. Does your car insurance cost you 24% of your income? (That was the amount the articles said a 60 year old smoker making $35,000 a year would pay) How is that even reasonable? That is not even counting deductibles and co-pays. If you had a car accident and your car insurance went up so much that you could no long afford it, you could just not have a car and take the bus or subway everywhere. That is not an option with this law. Having to pay $20/ month extra penalty is reasonable. The amount they are saying is in no way a reasonable expectation. It might not seem like a lot of money to someone making a $100,000 or more a year, but it is a devastating amount to someone making $20,000-$30,000/year.
Since when is smoking a pre existing condition?
Also, there is no bus or subway to get me anywhere around my town. So my car is just as important as health insurance.
Again, I disagree with it but again there is nothing saying that health insurance companies are required to do this. Aren't you always about letting the individual company make their own business decisions? Would it be just as easy for a health insurance company to say "hey! We won't charge you extra for smoking like Company X will!" and get more people to sign on?
What if the decision is made to charge more for those women of childbearing age that "choose" to become pregnant and need to use maternity care? Obviously they are costing more vs. those that opt not to have kids -- or a single man for that matter.
Also -- smoking -- or rather the horribly expensive *after effects* could be "pre-existing" if the person stopped such as in my scenario with a relative that stopped smoking (and wasn't even a chain smoker!) more than 40+ years ago yet is still met with high health care costs supposedly related to that prior use.
I believe that Bonita was making the case that while many objected to the "Affordable" healthcare act, that IF people are forced to have it, and it was expected to be "for all", that it would seem discriminatory against this one particular group (many that ARE also poor) to the point that they cannot get healthcare. Their families could also be denied.
There may not be something that states that health insurance companies are required to do this, but it would be discriminating against this group over other "choices" that could result in higher health care costs for the 'greater whole.' This is different than life insurance charging smokers more as no one is being forced to carry a particular level of life insurance no matter the cost.
Take a look at the formula...using the formula if a person did not smoke, they would get access to affordable health care. The smoker is causing their and their family's problem. Due to lower income they get great tax credits toward their premiums, but since they smoke they go up. People need to be responsible and accountable for their choices.
Today I asked my mom how much my (step)dad's smoking costs and she said $200-250 per month. Now I pay my mom's premium and deductibles so she can have health insurance. She has not had ins in so long, and she desperately needs to see a dr....for ages now. They say they can not afford it. I obviously did not say this to my mom they could pay half the premium or at least the deductible if he did not smoke. It is about choices and the priorities get thrown out when their lifestyle demands changing.
And so again thatnit is completely a flawed plan because how will anyone know if a person is telling the truth? It would be very appealing for smokers to lie and not pay higher premiums.
Mama to 5 Honey Bunnies
But the thing is that addictions can be broken.
Mama to 5 Honey Bunnies