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Do penalties for smokers and the obese make sense?
Associated Press ^ | Jan 26, 2013 10:03 AM EST | Mike Stobbe

Posted on 01/26/2013 7:50:33 AM PST by Olog-hai

Faced with the high cost of caring for smokers and overeaters, experts say society must grapple with a blunt question: Instead of trying to penalize them and change their ways, why not just let these health sinners die?

Annual health care costs are roughly $96 billion for smokers and $147 billion for the obese, the government says. These costs accompany sometimes heroic attempts to prolong lives, including surgery, chemotherapy and other measures.

But despite these rescue attempts, smokers tend to die 10 years earlier on average, and the obese die five to 12 years prematurely, according to various researchers’ estimates.

And attempts to curb smoking and unhealthy eating frequently lead to backlash: Witness the current legal tussle over New York City’s first-of-its-kind limits on the size of sugary beverages and the vicious fight last year in California over a ballot proposal to add a $1-per-pack cigarette tax, which was ultimately defeated. …

(Excerpt) Read more at hosted.ap.org ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Chit/Chat; Health/Medicine; Science
KEYWORDS: dictatorship; doublestandard; healthczar; kitchenpolice; neoprohibition; obamacare; prohibition; smokingnazis
So there’s the real source of “die quickly”—the liberal Dems and RINOs. How many people are aware that today’s form of industrialized agriculture comes out of the Communist Manifesto, and is most likely a chief cause of our food-related health problems . . . ?
  1. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
  2. Equal liability of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
  3. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country. …
Re-reading of Proverbs 26:11 and 2 Peter 2:22 in light of all this just makes one shake one’s head all day long.
1 posted on 01/26/2013 7:50:37 AM PST by Olog-hai
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To: Olog-hai

Along those lines, what about aids?

Do not gays have a much higher disease rate than straights?

So, using the typical 1st grade logic of a journalist...let us come to the same conclusion.


2 posted on 01/26/2013 7:55:03 AM PST by Da Coyote
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To: Da Coyote

YES...what YOU said....”Aids”....Drug users...Alcoholics?


3 posted on 01/26/2013 7:57:48 AM PST by goodnesswins (R.I.P. Doherty, Smith, Stevens, Woods.)
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To: Da Coyote

Not a single mention of that in the whole article, of course.


4 posted on 01/26/2013 7:58:30 AM PST by Olog-hai
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To: Da Coyote
Along those lines, what about aids? Do not gays have a much higher disease rate than straights?

Homosexual males who do have AIDs, have a life expectancy that averages 39 years.

Homosexual males who don't have AIDs, have a life expectancy that averages 41 years.

To, in any way, excuse this disgusting behavior and to not list their perverted lifestyle in with these statistics is criminal. AIDs is 100% preventable, in all cases except where the degenerate infected the blood supply or deliberately passed it to an innocent.

And for our school systems to completely ignore this statistical fact is criminal in itself. You'll live a lot longer if your a fat smoker than if you're a male homosexual. Incredible that this FACT is ignored.

5 posted on 01/26/2013 7:59:37 AM PST by laweeks
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To: Olog-hai
In praise of bad habits
6 posted on 01/26/2013 8:02:40 AM PST by metesky (Brethren, leave us go amongst them! - Rev. Capt. Samuel Johnston Clayton - Ward Bond, The Searchers)
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To: Da Coyote

So, using the typical 1st grade logic of a journalist...let us come to the same conclusion.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
May as well ‘pile on’.

How about us ‘reckless’, feckless gun owners.
Just leave us alone and eventually we will just kill each other off. (Same policy ‘they’ use for inner cities)


7 posted on 01/26/2013 8:02:40 AM PST by xrmusn (6/98 "It is virtually impossible to clean the pond as long as the pigs are still crapping in it")
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To: Olog-hai
 How many people are aware that today’s form of industrialized agriculture comes out of the Communist Manifesto, and is most likely a chief cause of our food-related health problems . . . ?

        Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
        Equal liability of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
        Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country. …

Re-reading of Proverbs 26:11 and 2 Peter 2:22 in light of all this just makes one shake one’s head all day long. 

And people wonder why FreeRepublic has become a ghost town.

8 posted on 01/26/2013 8:03:09 AM PST by Jeff Chandler (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpAOwJvTOio)
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To: Olog-hai

Since Obamacare is a tax, what right do they have to subject people that they pick and choose to demonize, higher taxes?

Is it not unfair taxation?


9 posted on 01/26/2013 8:09:12 AM PST by dforest
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To: Olog-hai
Annual health care costs are roughly $96 billion for smokers and $147 billion for the obese, the government says.

Here is a novel idea.

If these numbers are correct insurance actuaries will be able to calculate a risk for insuring these people.

So a private insurer would be able to calculate a fair and equitable rate at which to insure smokers and the obese.

Why then not let the market decide whether to insure these people or if they are to be insured how much insurance for them should cost. These private citizens could then make their on decisions based on facts and figures whether they should quit smoking or loose weight.

Private insures could offer policies designed specifically for these people that did not cover maladies specifically related to their personal vices and so the premium price would be lower. If you are a smoker and get lung cancer sorry you are not covered but if you break your arm no problem we got you covered.

The problem with government mandated insurance is that one size must fit all. Private insurers can create policies for the individual and there for come up with policies for anyone at a price they could afford.

When government gets involved the price goes up and the available choices goes down.

10 posted on 01/26/2013 8:09:38 AM PST by Pontiac (The welfare state must fail because it is contrary to human nature and diminishes the human spirit.)
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To: Jeff Chandler

Because the libs keep getting booted off?


11 posted on 01/26/2013 8:09:45 AM PST by Olog-hai
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To: Olog-hai

Smokers and obese people are no-brainers for the Left and Obama.

Even though more people are killed by gun than by hammers or baseball bats, we’re supposed to go along with some bans “even if it only saves one life”.

So, by that logic - ban baseball bats and hammers, too...


12 posted on 01/26/2013 8:09:55 AM PST by bigbob
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To: Olog-hai

Life choice penalties, ok punish them.
obesity
smoking
alcoholics
drug addicts
aids
hand gliding
GA pilots
irresponsible drivers
irresponsible bike riders
scuba divers
sharpshooting
hunting fishing
boating
hiking
and more
All of these lead to extra health costs.
This could be worked down to the absurd, say I have allergies to cats but really want one. I make the choice to get a kitty or two and have an asthma attack....would I then be penalized after treatment?


13 posted on 01/26/2013 8:10:34 AM PST by svcw (Why is one cell on another planet considered life, and in the womb it is not.)
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To: Olog-hai

14 posted on 01/26/2013 8:10:52 AM PST by Jeff Chandler (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpAOwJvTOio)
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To: Olog-hai
I recall that back in the '70s there were some controversies on the rates for medical insurance being hiked way up by those whom were then termed "health criminals"; and included alcoholics and other accumulations of health-risking indulgences as well.

Auto insurance rates have long been strongly influenced by occupation, smoking, drinking, marital status, etc -- but not Blue Cross/shield or Medicare, I guess.(?) (Gun ownership coming?) If penalties are to be applied, they ought to be statistically assessed by insurance rate variations through statistical data, not impressed by interfering governmental agencies pandering to capricious public opinion, IMHO.

15 posted on 01/26/2013 8:14:02 AM PST by imardmd1 (An armed society is a polite society -- but dangerous for the fool --)
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To: Olog-hai
Because the libs keep getting booted off?

Some people define a liberal as anyone who doesn't believe that modern industrial agriculture is a communist plot.

16 posted on 01/26/2013 8:14:39 AM PST by Jeff Chandler (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpAOwJvTOio)
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To: Jeff Chandler

Hmm. And here I’d think a freeper would be quite against the interference of government in agriculture, just for a start. Been going on for too long.


17 posted on 01/26/2013 8:14:49 AM PST by Olog-hai
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To: Olog-hai

Most current cigarette taxes go into general budgets or as pork for dem pet projects, so now they want more taxes to take care of smokers?


18 posted on 01/26/2013 8:18:16 AM PST by umgud
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To: Olog-hai
Hmm. And here I’d think a freeper would be quite against the interference of government in agriculture, just for a start. Been going on for too long.

The USDA is a statist nuisance, and an expensive one at that.

The claim that it is part of a communist plot is an excursion into tin foil hat territory.

19 posted on 01/26/2013 8:21:42 AM PST by Jeff Chandler (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpAOwJvTOio)
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To: Jeff Chandler

Really? Even though it’s in black and white (quite explicit, too) and written all the way back in 1848?

I think that you are underestimating the fanaticism of leftists, with all due respect. They do conflate “industry” and “government”, just like back in 1848. They are also fond of being underestimated. The Manifesto is their bible.


20 posted on 01/26/2013 8:26:35 AM PST by Olog-hai
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To: Olog-hai
gotta do something to pay for all the ILLEGAL ALIENS that will bloat the ranks of 0bamacare in the next couple years...
21 posted on 01/26/2013 8:27:22 AM PST by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: Olog-hai

I can hear the smokers over 60 complaining next year about their increased health insurance costs. If they voted for Obozo, Pelosi, Reid et al, they can grin and bear it!

Obozo’s hand puppets, the mediots kept this little aspect quiet until after the election:

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-204_162-57565787/older-smokers-priced-out-of-obamacare/

Millions of smokers could be priced out of health insurance because of tobacco penalties in President Obama’s health care law, according to experts who are just now teasing out the potential impact of a little-noted provision in the massive legislation.

The Affordable Care Act — “Obamacare” to its detractors — allows health insurers to charge smokers buying individual policies up to 50 percent higher premiums starting next Jan. 1.

For a 55-year-old smoker, the penalty could reach nearly $4,250 a year. A 60-year-old could wind up paying nearly $5,100 on top of premiums.

Younger smokers could be charged lower penalties under rules proposed last fall by the Obama administration. But older smokers could face a heavy hit on their household budgets at a time in life when smoking-related illnesses tend to emerge.

Businesses begin bracing for affordable care act
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Workers covered on the job would be able to avoid tobacco penalties by joining smoking cessation programs, because employer plans operate under different rules. But experts say that option is not guaranteed to smokers trying to purchase coverage individually.

Nearly one of every five U.S. adults smokes. That share is higher among lower-income people, who also are more likely to work in jobs that don’t come with health insurance and would therefore depend on the new federal health care law. Smoking increases the risk of developing heart disease, lung problems and cancer, contributing to nearly 450,000 deaths a year.

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.

Starting next Jan. 1, the federal health care law will make it possible for people who can’t get coverage now to buy private policies, providing tax credits to keep the premiums affordable. Although the law prohibits insurance companies from turning away the sick, the penalties for smokers could have the same effect in many cases, keeping out potentially costly patients.

“We don’t want to create barriers for people to get health care coverage,” said California state Assemblyman Richard Pan, who is working on a law in his state that would limit insurers’ ability to charge smokers more. The federal law allows states to limit or change the smoking penalty.

“We want people who are smoking to get smoking cessation treatment,” added Pan, a pediatrician who represents the Sacramento area.

Obama administration officials declined to be interviewed for this article, but a former consumer protection regulator for the government is raising questions.

“If you are an insurer and there is a group of smokers you don’t want in your pool, the ones you really don’t want are the ones who have been smoking for 20 or 30 years,” said Karen Pollitz, an expert on individual health insurance markets with the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. “You would have the flexibility to discourage them.”


22 posted on 01/26/2013 8:27:31 AM PST by Grampa Dave (Tagline space for rent to pay for some of my extra taxes the next 4 years!)
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To: Olog-hai

An alternative proposal that would make leftists lose their minds:

“The Medical Care Provider And Patient Freedom Act”

1. If a medical care provider does not accept Medicare or Medicaid patients or insurance payments for medical services, they are exempt from Obamacare and HIPPA. This is an Opt Out, with no penalties for either Opting Out or in future joining the system if they so choose.

2. If a patient decides that they exclusively want to use medical services from a provider who has Opted Out of Obamacare, Medicare, Medicaid, and insurance payments for medical care, they may also OPT OUT, and will be exempt from any fines, penalties, or taxation to support these programs. Likewise they will be removed from and no longer participate in, all provisions of HIPPA or any other government medical records or statistics information processing or retention system.

3. Physicians and patients who have Opted Out of these systems will no longer have any personal or medical information shared with public or private entities, unless it is essential to their medical care and done with exact permissions for each and every use.


23 posted on 01/26/2013 8:27:31 AM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy (Best WoT news at rantburg.com)
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To: goodnesswins
YES...what YOU said....”Aids”....Drug users...Alcoholics?

The list goes on and on. With so many categories, EVERYONE falls into at least two groups so the gov will eventually get a penalty from everyone. Sugary drinks? Penalty tax. Ate red meat? Penalty tax. Drove to work instead of walking? Double penalty tax.

24 posted on 01/26/2013 8:35:59 AM PST by bgill (We've passed the point of no return. Welcome to Al Amerika.)
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To: Olog-hai

When is Michelle Obama going to pick on the diets of welfare recipients instead of defenseless little kids?


25 posted on 01/26/2013 8:43:49 AM PST by Last Dakotan
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To: Olog-hai

It’s a shame we’re even having this discussion.

If health insurance were offered by a free market the rates would be assessed based on business statistics and those making unhealthy choices would have to pay more. Of course, both decisions, life choices and insurance purchase, should be made by the consumer (it’s called freedom!).

The fundamental problem is that health services are now funded by the taxpayer at gunpoint, and then the collective must decide the rules of redistribution based on “fairness” (whatever that is).

Free markets have the added benefit of driving costs down. Look at the prices of cosmetic and lasik surgery.

I suppose this rant sounds a tad libertarian, but hey, aren’t we supposed to be free citizens, along with the associated adult responsibilities?


26 posted on 01/26/2013 9:33:29 AM PST by MV=PY (The Magic Question: Who's paying for it)
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To: metesky

Excellent read Thanks.

It makes a lot of sense.


27 posted on 01/26/2013 9:33:48 AM PST by Pontiac (The welfare state must fail because it is contrary to human nature and diminishes the human spirit.)
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To: Jeff Chandler

Yea, but we know fluoridation of water is - right?


28 posted on 01/26/2013 10:05:51 AM PST by svcw (Why is one cell on another planet considered life, and in the womb it is not.)
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To: Olog-hai
Faced with the high cost of caring for smokers and overeaters, experts say society must grapple with a blunt question: Instead of trying to penalize them and change their ways, why not just let these health sinners die?

The promiscuous lifestyles of sodomites who seek anonymous sex in public washrooms may be at peril if the Health Nazis push through these other measures.

29 posted on 01/26/2013 2:05:39 PM PST by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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To: laweeks

Homosexual males who do have AIDs, have a life expectancy that averages 39 years.

Homosexual males who don’t have AIDs, have a life expectancy that averages 41 years.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

So the ones without AIDS get only an average of three more years of life? If this is so what is killing them?


30 posted on 01/26/2013 4:09:47 PM PST by Morgana
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To: Olog-hai
Most think people are overweight cause they over eat. What about medications that cause this?

Most all anti depressants list weight gain as a side affect.

Then there are drugs like prednisone...

http://www.webmd.com/drugs/mono-9383-PREDNISONE+-+ORAL.aspx?drugid=6007&drugname=Prednisone+Oral&pagenumber=6

31 posted on 01/26/2013 4:16:15 PM PST by Morgana
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To: laweeks

Exactly. Wholly preventable. Simple cause and effect.

In the effort to legitimize and normalize gays, there has been a total absence of discussion of health issues and costs.

Unlike sound public policy on ALL other communicable diseases - disclosure, record keeping - AIDS/HIV is shrouded in government mandated secrecy.


32 posted on 01/27/2013 7:58:55 AM PST by dervish (either the vote was corrupt or the electorate is)
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To: Morgana
Homosexual males who do have AIDs, have a life expectancy that averages 39 years.

Homosexual males who don’t have AIDs, have a life expectancy that averages 41 years.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

So the ones without AIDS get only an average of three more years of life? If this is so what is killing them?

The reason that they live only 3 more years is that their very lifestyle leaves them exposed to suicide, alcoholic poisoning, or both, "gay" men's bowel syndrome, despair, vicious beatings within their groups, etc.

And the fascinating thing about these figures is that they were all compiled from their own homosexual magazines, from studies of their obituaries, ages of death, why they died, etc. So they have trouble disputing these figures, because they came from their own publications.

33 posted on 01/28/2013 8:44:36 AM PST by laweeks
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