Skip to comments.DC joins several states classifying smoking as a “pre-existing medical condition” under ObamaCare
Posted on 04/10/2013 1:38:46 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
Under ObamaCare, insurers have the option of charging smokers up to 50 percent more to cover the associated higher costs of providing them with health care — but the District of Columbia, along with several other states, have decided that any plans being sold within their exchange are prohibited from adding tobacco surcharges. That simply wouldn’t be fair, you see:
On Monday, the D.C. exchanges executive board voted to prevent insurers from charging higher premiums to smokers than to nonsmokers meaning nonsmokers are likely to pay modestly higher rates than if smoking surcharges were permitted. The District joins three states Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont that have banned tobacco surcharges on their own exchanges.
The surcharge ban applies to health plans sold within the exchange, which is set to open Oct. 1 and must be used by individuals and, if the D.C. Council endorses a previous board recommendation, employers covering up to 50 people. Larger employers purchasing outside the exchange would be able to choose plans that charge smokers more.
In a statement, Akhter referred to tobacco use as a pre-existing medical condition and added that charging smokers more would be in direct conflict with our efforts to help people quit smoking.
Ah, the myriad joys of socialized medicine: No one person is really responsible for the costs and consequences of their decisions, while the Faceless Taxpaying Everyman (i.e., you) takes on an ever-increasing burden.
That’s pretty much the point of ObamaCare, though, isn’t it? The legislation completely corrupts the basic idea of health insurance — i.e., pricing out risk — by forbidding insurers from doing so accurately and charging accordingly, and the states nixing smoking surcharges from their exchanges are just hurrying that along. As Kevin Williamson puts it at NRO:
As expected, the definition of preexisting condition is proving infinitely malleable, with behaviors born again as conditions. If smoking is a condition, then drug addiction is a condition, self-mutilation is a condition, a penchant for BASE jumping is a condition, juggling ampules of penicillin-resistant syphilis practically anything qualifies as a condition under such a plastic understanding.
Obamacare is designed to destroy the insurance market. Markets do not function without prices, and Obamacare ensures that prices will not be allowed to emerge. There is a medical price associated with smoking, but the District of Columbia has decided to suppress that price by law. Pretending that smoking has no relationship with health-care costs does not make it so it is only a way to push costs around in a way that is agreeable to the likes of Barack Obama, converting a system that prices risk into a system of entitlements.
“charging smokers more would be ‘in direct conflict with our efforts to help people quit smoking.’”
What? There are few better ways to disuade behavior than making them more expensive. I was going to say they can’t be that stupid, but we are talking about gubmint.
Unless by being in conflict with their efforts they really mean the efforts, not the preferred end. As in, charging smokers more would be in direct conflict with the salaries of “social workers” and other drones they’ve hired and given attractive benefits packages to pretend to be helping smokers quit.
That is insane
And what about the cost of treating HIV/AIDS? Lets social engineer that behavior....
Wasn’t freedom much more fun and relaxing?
Turn in your guns, you self-destructive junkies.
Leftists won’t be happy until they’ve wrecked every business in the country. First it was banks required to make bad loans, now it’s insurance companies forced to insure people who wreck their health.
that’s pre-existing, too !
Of course, the progressive solution is to spread the cost of poor peoples' poor health choices to more affluent people who made wise health choices.
Then ... I guess liberalism can be considered a pre-existing medical condition.
I think the better solution is simply to mandate that tobacco in a cigarette can only be raw tobacco....no preservatives or chemicals added. Once you do that....quitting becomes fairly easily.
Anti-Smoking has always been an experiment in big government crowd control.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.