January 25, 2013

"Millions of smokers could be priced out of health insurance because of tobacco penalties in President Barack 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... 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.
I got there via the Isthmus forum, where Meade wrote:
Does that really make sense? Shouldn't it be reversed? Charge higher penalties/taxes to younger smokers as they will potentially have more years to cost society in lost production and "free" health care.

Charge older retired or retiring smokers lower penalties/taxes, encourage them to keep smoking and die sooner. After all, at their age, the older smokers are no longer contributing. The sooner they die, the less they cost the rest of us.
What are the voluntary activities that create the greatest risks for costing the insurance pool money? Why pick on smokers alone? To get the variable premiums concept started, because we're already into burdening smokers? By the way, "Among Americans, Smoking Decreases as Income Increases/Gradual pattern is consistent across eight earnings brackets." The least well-off people are hit hardest! But — what the hell? — kick the smokers now, and later we can tweak the system and raise the premiums for people who.... well, who would you like to hurt/nudge? How about the fat? Weigh in every year and get your premiums adjusted accordingly, scientifically. Here's a BMI calculator. Maybe we should charge you $1,000 a year in added premiums for every point above the "normal" range.

Where will this smoker premium surcharge lead?
  
pollcode.com free polls 

252 comments:

1 – 200 of 252   Newer›   Newest»
Amartel said...

Legislation is being presented in Oregon that would make cigarettes illegal unless prescribed by an MD. (Like that's going to happen.)

Henry said...

Anything that ups your term life insurance premium -- Scuba Diving, Piloting a Private Plane, Owning a Swimming Pool -- should definitely give you a tax break.

Henry said...

Of course life insurance companies are only concerned about when you die, not how unhealthy you are getting there. Cigarettes clearly are more complicated than ski diving.

SteveR said...

One man's habit is another's pre-existing condition. Just trust Nancy and her big gavel to read the bill and sort this out. Remain calm, all is well.

Amartel said...

Does smoking count as "expression?"
It's expressive conduct. It's politically expressive conduct for some.

caseym54 said...

This will make young smokers even more keen on paying the nuisance penalty and staying out of the system until they get sick.

EMD said...

The Cain campaign was prescient!

YoungHegelian said...

Just wait until they start doing risk analyses on the costs of people's sex lives!

I can just imagine the some of the questions on the insurance application:

You meet most of your sex partners at:

a) bars
b) online
c) airport bathrooms
d) barns

caseym54 said...

OK, I'll say it. Indiscriminate unprotected sex, especially for gays, is more likely to be a long-term health cost. But there are somethings we must tolerate and some things we must not.

Seeing Red said...

"teasing?" They finally got around to reading it?

From Vodkapundit today:

Donlyn Turnbull and this old guy walk into a convenience story — but the punchline sucks:

So, I’m in line at the convenience store I frequent daily and in front of me is an older gentleman. He is EASILY in his mid- to late- eighties. He points behind the counter and asked for his brand of cigarettes. The cashier puts them on the counter and asked for the gentleman’s I.D. He reached into his pocket, pulled out a wad of cash, but had (apparently) forgotten his I.D. The cashier kindly apologized, but said he wouldn’t be able to finish the transaction. The older gentleman was agitated. I spoke up and said he could use my I.D. Because I’m not a smoker, I was unaware that there is a bar code on the back of our driver’s licenses that needs to be scanned before you can purchase things like cigarettes (this tidbit of information ticked me off on a whole bunch of new levels). I was informed by the cashier that because he knew I wouldn’t be purchasing them for myself that is considered a “third party sale” and is illegal.

edutcher said...

I see big Republican majorities in both houses after next year.

And I went with 4 like everybody else.

PS Ski diving?

harrogate said...

Shocker that the voters here anticipate the Armageddon scenario.

SarcastiCarrie said...

What other things are dangerous? Should gay men who have relations with other gay men be penalized because they (on average) have higher rates of HIV, AIDS, gonnorhea, etc.

Marshal said...

"Why pick on smokers alone?"

Because (a) they've already demonized the smokers, and (b) smokers lack the sympathetic figureheads who can point to a genetic defect to shield themselves.

Seeing Red said...

The IRS ruled that businesses can charge higher premiums for SAHM/D.

Seeing Red said...

If only they'd charge fat......

Seeing Red said...

That's how the fat tax could work, in the grocery line, tax my bag of chips more.

EMD said...

Shocker that the voters here anticipate the Armageddon scenario.

When you socialize the cost of health care (not just insurance),you then must regulate the behaviors of society to accomodate that cost.

What's so hard to understand?

Seeing Red said...

They'll just switch to legal pot.

I Callahan said...

Just wait until they start doing risk analyses on the costs of people's sex lives!

Never happen. Sex seems to be the only thing that the left sees as a freedom that should be left unfettered. It's the only exception to the rule for them.

TWM said...

"Shocker that the voters here anticipate the Armageddon scenario."

Not a shocker that liberals and/or low information voters (usually the same persons) didn't see this coming. Obamacare is the greatest threat to personal liberty today.

Andy Freeman said...

Fatties will be both charged more and denied care. And, when they die early, we're keeping the SS that they paid and will never receive. (Just as we do with black men.)

Remind me - how does your decision to subsidize something obligate someone else to reduce the costs of said subsidy?

X said...

wait. isn't the state responsible for paying the additional health care costs for smokers? that was the rationale for the Master Settlement Agreement that the government has been collecting billions from since the 90's, not to mention Obama's tobacco tax increase.

Seeing Red said...

Anyone with a FOID card's premium will get raised.

McTriumph said...

As far as I'm concerned smokers are already paying their fair share though tobacco excise taxes, over 17 billion a year, so that argument is BS.

Nonapod said...

As income increases people get skinner, healthier, and smoke less and their self esteem and happiness also increase, but they also become more judgemental of others. It's those little sins, those little indulgences that can often bring a tiny bit of transient joy to people with bleaker lives than some, whether it's a cigarette, a beer, or an extra slice of pizza. And it's the practice of those same little indulgences that can anger certain people a great deal for some reason.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

What are the voluntary activities that create the greatest risks for costing the insurance pool money?

Health insurance? or life insurance?

*Driving a car
*Driving a motorcycle
*Riding a bike
*Drinking alcohol
*Eating any number of foods that can be banned. Butter, sugar, meat, cheese, milk etc etc etc....to infinity and beyond.
*Flying a plane
*Scuba diving
*Swimming in the ocean
*Sitting for extended periods of time
*Owning a gun
*Playing video games

It goes on and on and on until we all have microchips in our bodies and cameras to monitor our every movement.



Henry said...

@edutcher -- Whatever ski diving is I'm sure it is very dangerous.

traditionalguy said...

I want to see if Obama's Agencies add marijuana smoking to the penalized list. That would strengthen the illegal market's profits. Hmmm.

To enforce this penalty random blood tests will become mandatory. Hmmm.

Baron Zemo said...

I think you should pay higher premiums for dying your hair with toxic chemcials that leads to your brain rotting. Just sayn'

MadisonMan said...

First, they came for the smokers wallets.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I don't understand. How do they know who's a smoker and who isn't?

Portia said...

Well, I quit smoking nearly 12 years ago, so I'm safe...

oh wait...

Baron Zemo said...

When they first started banning smoking in bars ten years ago I knew it would lead to this. Laws about how big your soda can be. What is in your donuts. How much you can weigh or you get taxed out the ass.

Keep pushing and see what happens.

traditionalguy said...

That Yellow Star of David would make a great "Smoker Alert" to be worn by all who fail blood tests.

carrie said...

I would think that the most costly behaviors (not including smoking) are alcohol consumption, sex outside of a monogamous relationship, and motor vehicle use.

Seeing Red said...

Harro lives in a bubble, it's history, harro, maybe you should start paying attention to other countries which have gone this route in various ways.


Well, 1 thing is for sure, the mob will be making a hell of a lot more untaxable money.

let's see, an extra $4000K per year, how many cartons would I have to sell out of my trunk?

More businesses out of work.

AJ Lynch said...

Piggybacking on Casey's thought:
"Indiscriminate unprotected sex" ...probably kils more people than guns.

bagoh20 said...

It's the healthy people that use the most health care. We all die and use up that expensive care at the end, but those that hang around the longest exercising and shit use the most health care over a lifetime.

There should be discounts for people like me who hang glide or skydive. We tend to go out in one quick and cheap whaaaaaack - never even needing to see a doctor.

You're welcome - we do it for you.

Nonapod said...

Maybe they can develop a sort of "health credit" system similar to the carbon credit system. Wealthier people could purchase credits to offset unhealthy activities like smoking, drinking, and not exercising regularly. Since our personal health is owned by the state now, maybe we can by our way out of servitude.

McTriumph said...

Obama won't be happy till we are all living in tasteless architectural European concrete ant farm housing, riding bicycles and wearing black pajamas, eating fruits and nuts.

bagoh20 said...

I've said it before, but the mistake some of you made in 2008 is probably the worst thing you ever did in your life.

Peter said...

and how are they going to verify whether or not one smokes- self disclosure, nicotine-stains on fingers, charge card records?

Is there a penalty for lying and if so, what is it? Will liars become "outlaws" and be expelled from healthcare coverage (but not from taxes to pay for it)?

Should there should be a Donorcycle Discount for those riding motorcycles without a helmet?

jr565 said...

Smokers are not the only ones to hit. What about the drinkers, drug users and sluts of both sexes? Fatties and skinnies too.

Seeing Red said...

While they dine on bison & lobster at our expense. And destroy the earth by flying.

TosaGuy said...

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"

Yet.

Marshal said...

jr565 said...
Smokers are not the only ones to hit. What about the drinkers, drug users and sluts of both sexes?


I think female sluts should have to wear markers, sort of like Stars of David. Then I'll know who to invite to the next tailgate.

Seeing Red said...

What happens if you're overweight & you smoke?

This is gonna get interesting.

How hard is it to grow tobaccy in your garden?

McTriumph said...

To understand the slippery slope of gun control fear, all one needs to do is understand tobacco.

TosaGuy said...

From the article:

"Robert Laszewski, a consultant who previously worked in the insurance industry, says there's a good reason to charge the maximum.

"If you don't charge the 50 percent, your competitor is going to do it, and you are going to get a disproportionate share of the less-healthy older smokers," said Laszewski. "They are going to have to play defense."

Obamacare now creates a market incentive for insurance companies to charge MORE.

bpm4532 said...

These non-smoking actions are purely punitive and not reflective of usage level or actuarial risk. It's just more of the nanny state trying to tell you how to live your life.

I still chuckle at the folks who talked about the economic benefit to restaurants and bars by banning smoking. I would always ask them, if it is such a benefit and there is nothing stopping them from becoming non-smoking voluntarily, then why have so few done so?

The point is, you can't talk sense or facts to these people, because liberalism is their church

lemondog said...

Smokers are not the only ones to hit. What about the drinkers, drug users and sluts of both sexes? Fatties and skinnies too.

And old people who use up resources........

And include all career politicians....

Seeing Red said...

SO they're sucking another $4000k out of the economy per smoker and sending it to the evil insurance companies who have to lower rates if they don't spend/use certain amounts?


Tax glue, those kids sniff it.

bpm4532 said...

I think they should evaluate healthcare cost by political party affiliation. I'll bet Democrats incur a lot more costs than Republicans.

Democrats would scream bloody hell if they were charged more based on true actuarial risk.

Patrick said...

Shocker that the voters here anticipate the Armageddon scenario.

I'd love to hear about how restrained government regulators tend to be.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I don't understand. How do they know who's a smoker and who isn't?

For life insurance, the required blood test will show if you have used tobacco or marijuana or other substances. They can even tell how long ago and how much.

The occasional cigar smoker show up much differently than the regular cigarette smoker.

Health insurance just asks and if you have been found out to lie about your conditions (like diabetes, heart disease) or substance use, then the contract is voided and they won't pay for anything related to those issues. At least that's how it USED to be when insurance was actually "insurance".

Seeing Red said...

And some states are declining the Obamacare extra money which means the feds will have to kick in more. If too many states say nope....

This keeps getting uglier and uglier.

Larry J said...

X said...
wait. isn't the state responsible for paying the additional health care costs for smokers? that was the rationale for the Master Settlement Agreement that the government has been collecting billions from since the 90's, not to mention Obama's tobacco tax increase.


Some states used the tobacco settlement money to supplement their general fund spending. Several years ago, Colorado voters passed a measure raising the cigarette tax to help pay for children's health care*. What happens to those programs when people quit smoking and paying the taxes? They'll simply raise the taxes on everyone to make up the shortfall.

*I voted against it because, if funding children's health care is a state priority, then why should only smokers have to pay for it? And I'm very much a non-smoker.

G Joubert said...

Maybe smokers are a net saving, paying into social security, but dying too young to draw it.

McTriumph said...

bpm4532

I do or did books for many small neighborhood bar / restaurants. Since the smoking ban they are dropping like flies, the majority of regular patrons smoke.

bagoh20 said...

I hate when people try to scare others with this slippery slope argumeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeennnnnnnt. Aaaaaaaaaahhhh, thump! ouch!

Hey, why didn't someone warn me?

Mary Beth said...

So, if only the rich can afford to smoke, will it become cool?


Cigarettes, the new status symbol.

chickelit said...

What about lost taxes on cigarettes if smoking were truly taxed out of existence? This new provision makes up for it.

Ken Burns' "Prohibition" teaches that the 18th Amendment (Prohibition) logically followed from 16th Amendment (Income Tax). Lost alcohol excise taxes were replaced by general income taxes.

Now that the health tax (penalty?) is in place to make up for lost sales tax, the great experiment can proceed.

lgv said...

Meade's argument is based on calling the premium a smoking penalty rather than merely pricing a policy based on more risk factors than age and gender.

So, you charge the smoker more, he now can't afford the insurance, but you require him to buy it. So, you end up subsidizing the penalty, too. If you are a successful or I should say well-off 55 year old smoker, you are indeed penalized.

It will all work out. When I say work out, I mean that insurance coverage will be widespread (if not universal), the cost will be huge and the cost will be borne one way or another by the top quartile of income earners.

We all know how this is going to end. Just like the Bengazi hearings.

Seeing Red said...

Tina Turner's boyfriend is Swiss, she lives there & she finally made the jump to Swiss citizen, gave up her US citizenship.

Seeing Red said...

Unfortunately for us, we know how this great experiment ends.

traditionalguy said...

The Death Panels' first inquiry will be when did you last smoke and its second will be how much did you smoke when you were addicted?

Then the Government Gauleiter looks you up on a chart and does a thumbs up and treats you or does a thumbs down and issues a low cost pain medicine Rx for 30 days.

harrogate said...

Meanwhile, on the shame-that-is-Bobby-Jindal front.

"Jindal was forced by national outrage to reverse himself on what is one of the ugliest GOP policy decisions in an ugly decade: cutting Medicaid funding for hospice care. His health secretary actually announced the decision Wednesday night as hospice backers gathered for a mournful candlelight vigil."

Now THAT'S Health Care Policy, Althouse style.

Baron Zemo said...

This only the start of finding out what kind of poison we will find in this piece of shit law.

All of your morons who supported this crap are responsible for the increased costs and loss of benefits for so many who will be destroyed by provisions like this.

Good job assholes.

Marshal said...

Seeing Red said...
Tina Turner's boyfriend is Swiss, she lives there & she finally made the jump to Swiss citizen, gave up her US citizenship.


Traitor.

McTriumph said...

And people wonder why they are after our guns, it's fear of retribution when this Fed funded economy collapses.

bagoh20 said...

Like a lot of price increases in all industries, it's an excuse to increase margins where you can. Smoking may not increase lifetime costs at all, especially if they die young. Grade school smokers get a discount.

the wolf said...

How hard is it to grow tobaccy in your garden?

Someone will figure it out, because there is a market. The same applies to the misguided "war on drugs." The irony is that the tide is shifting in that arena; pretty soon marijuana will be legal and tobacco will not.

Paul said...

And people are shocked 'Drone killer' Obama along with 'We have to pass it to see what's in it' Pelosi and 'What budget' Reid put this in the so-called 'Affordable Health Care Act'.

As we now see, 'affordable' it ain't.

You voted for the putz, so just deal with it.

I Callahan said...

His health secretary actually announced the decision Wednesday night as hospice backers gathered for a mournful candlelight vigil

Typical lefty pablum by the Salon. That aside, so what? The states are going broke, and these costs need to be cut.

EMD said...

Anytime you start a comment with "Meanwhile" you should just follow-up with ...Squirrel!!!!11!!!

Harro cannot refute the assertion that socializing health care costs results in increased regulation in behavior, so he has to link to an op-ed in Salon.

Paul said...

McTriumph said...

"And people wonder why they are after our guns, it's fear of retribution when this Fed funded economy collapses."

No doubt!

Shouting Thomas said...

I think that Mark Steyn was right when he said that nationalized health care fundamentally changes the relationship between the government and the citizen.

That was why it was so important to Obama.

The change has already been made, and is probably irreversible.

Shouting Thomas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Baron Zemo said...

Hey hospice care is the only thing we will have left when Obama and harrogate get through destoying the health care system.

They will find some bullshit to keep you off the roles or deny you care. Your a smoker. Or you are too fat. Or maybe just because you are not one of the protected classes.

They will distribute health care on an affirmative action basis. Bad choices of protected groups will be subsidized. Wait and see.

Schorsch said...

My BMI is 1-2 points above normal. I'm 6'2" and fluxuate between 200 and 210 pounds. I'm well-built, muscled, and not a bit pudgy. Every doctor I've had has weighed me twice because they did not believe it.

When health care inevitably becomes a system of rules to exclude more people from care, I will likely be considered "overweight." In college, I starved and dehydrated myself down to 198 to get in the next lower weight class, but I cant' imagine getting myself to 194 without losing muscle mass.

supagold said...

Is it worth pointing out that some recent studies have shown that people in the "overweight" BMI range have lower morbidity that people in the "normal" range? And if I remember correctly that the "obese" range is approximately the same as "normal"...

So perhaps charge the normals more than the overweight? Imagine how that would go over?

Bob_R said...

You can tell you are working from a faulty premise when all of the arguments resulting from it sound like utter nonsense. This is one of those times. The idea that if the government micromanages the health insurance industry we will have a fairer, more equitable, and less expensive system is a silly leftist fantasy which no end of counterexamples.

chickelit said...

@harrogate: I remember Joan Walsh--a shameless Palin basher. Is she kindred spirit with your Sullivanistic tendencies?

Scott said...

The basis for the higher smoker premium is political rather than actuarial. That makes what we pay for health care insurance a tax rather than an insurance premium.

Obamacare is just a tool to drive the country into a single payer system.

Pogo said...

"Where will this smoker premium surcharge lead? ...It will move to many things and become more and more invasive and oppressive. "

I predicted this in 2005.

"To reduce health care spending, officials in a sin­gle-payer system would likely increase controls over what previously were personal health choices. Tradi­tionally, promoting public health referred primarily to controlling or preventing communicable diseases. However, private behavior is no longer simply pri­vate behavior when taxes are paying everyone's health bills. Smoking, overeating, and using alcohol become quite arguably everybody's business. Under a single-payer system, government officials would arguably have a direct interest in one's personal vices, including choices of food and drink.

Further, the demand for compliance in "public health measures" might engender a relentless expan­sion of government rules, such as requiring weigh-ins for the overweight or universal blood tests for drugs and tobacco. Indeed virtually any personal activity could be viewed through the public health care lens, and government officials might decide to forbid, favor, or penalize anything that could reasonably be seen as a matter of "public" health.

Moreover, factors that might affect health or access to health care can also come under government control. A "determinants of health perspective" means that health care provided by hospitals and clinics is only one of many factors that influence health. Health care needs that are unmet due to a lack of transportation are one example. However:
Health is also influenced by a broad range of community-based services, supports and programs, and by relationships between and among people's personal health practices and coping skills, living and working conditions, and socio-economic, political, and physical environmental contexts.[184]
Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) expanded on this concept of "our collective health." Citing productivity losses, health expenses, and national security, she endorsed a national policy to take into account social and environmental factors in designing neighborhoods and schools, to "control dangerous behaviors," and to implement "required responsibility" for individual health concerns.

In Britain, the annual cost to the NHS of diet-related diseases is estimated to be in excess of £15 billion. "Eventually, the UK will not be able to afford the health care made necessary by inappropriate lifestyles and diet." Thus, the British are seriously entertaining a proposal for a "national nutrition strategy," including an independent agency with regulatory powers. Quite beyond sim­ple nutrition education, such a national approach would also consider a "fat tax" or imposing legisla­tion on the food industry to achieve the desired product development, marketing, and pricing goals. This might include "using government purchasing power to expand the market for fresh healthy foods while counteracting the current sub­sidies supporting the ingredients in high fat/sugar/ salt products" and placing restrictions on "the mar­keting of junk food to children."

In addition, television shows and Internet sites would be altered "to ensure the support of active, healthy lifestyles."[188] This might also entail com­pulsory consumption of a specified diet or, as sug­gested in the NHS, population-wide use of a "Polypill" or even a "Polymeal" to reduce the national rate of heart disease. Expansion of govern­ment control over "transport and rural develop­ment policies" was also recommended to increase the level of physical activity.
"

Pogo said...

Seriously, I told ya so.

Pogo said...

But noooooooooooooooooooooooo......

Baron Zemo said...

They will put in regulations that exempt at risk sexual activities for the gays and women who have multiple abortions.

Because to charge them a higher rate because of that behavior would of course be discrimination.

Of course people who enjoy donut holes and multiple milkshakes can be taxed and billed up the wazhoo.

Hagar said...

I don't understand. How do they know who's a smoker and who isn't?

The magnetic strip on the back of the license just writes the printed information into the cop's computer when he swipes it after pulling you over - including your age which shows whether you are legally able to buy cigarettes.

But it does bring up a question, since the state also uses your driver's license as I.D. for all these other purposes.

If the cop confiscates your license because he considers you impaired, or he does not like your attitude, or whatever, and you take a taxi home and have a heart attack, or something, and die because the pharmacy won't sell you your prescription medicine without I.D., is the cop and the City (or State) liable?

Bob Ellison said...

It's very simple. Present the heirs with an itemized bill upon death of the covered.

Hagar said...

@Marshal,
The Swiss, on the other hand, may well feel that, OK, you want to live here, take out citizenship!

DADvocate said...

What about people who don't take up smoking until late in life? I've never smoked, well a few cigarettes during my teens and twenties, but am thinking about starting up now. I'm over 60 and probably wouldn't develop any
debilitating conditions until time to die anyway.

I hate this punish those who don't lead "healthy" lifestyles crap. And, I hate a single payer system. I don't mind paying a few extra bucks to keep someone else alive and preserve freedom.

If you love freedom and are willing to fight for it, what's a few extra dollars? This is just more of the left wing totalitarian/fascist attack on us.

Pogo said...

"How do they know who's a smoker and who isn't?"

Blood test: serum cotinine levels.

That is, you'll be forced to testify against yourself.

Amartel said...

"They'll just switch to legal pot."

Once something is legalized that means the government can really dig in its claws. Wait for it.

Toad Trend said...

'We must pass the bill to find out what's in it' - Pelosi Galore

So, this is where we find out what's in it...and I don't think it stops here, what with linking doctors and gun snitching, etc. etc.

If anyone is interested in finding out 'what's in it' for themselves I've found the Betsy McCaughey website useful/reasonable place to begin.

Baron Zemo said...

Hey Pogo don't you know that Constitutional protections don't mean anything to people like Obama?

Seeing Red said...

Cutting MEDICAID funding for hospice?

How many young are dying at home?


Medicare, yes, but Medicaid?

McTriumph said...

Schorsch
Every athlete knows BMI is meaningless. When I played college ball I was dropped in to a tank to measure my body fat, it was 3%, according to BMI charts I was a pig at 6ft, 200 LBs.

Baron Zemo said...

Obama won't be happy until he has confiscated your cigars, guns, donuts, hamburgers and chocolate cake.

The Jug Eared Jesus and the Klingon want to tell you what to eat and what to drink and what to smoke and what to do with your life.

They are evil, evil people.

Pogo said...

@Baron Zemo

For the Democrats, the Constitution is long dead, just so much fish wrap.



Are we still allowed to eat fish?

harrogate said...

Chickelit:

Yeah, I guess she was lying and didn't show any links. None of what she said happened with Jindal, happened. She was after all, in that slender minority of voices who didn't like Palin. So how can she be telling the truth about anything?



Baron Zemo said...

Only blackfish. Or porgies and bass.

Whitefish will be banned. Just sayn'

Toad Trend said...

Baron

Of course Pogo knows all about Barry...

Agree with your 1:07. Soylent Green, anyone???

Amartel said...

"Sex seems to be the only thing that the left sees as a freedom that should be left unfettered. It's the only exception to the rule for them."

The left believes in unfetterd sexual freedom? That's rich. The left believes in jacking off its naive/stupid/punitive supporters.

Seeing Red said...

Hospice care, why get hospice care?

Just take the damm pill already.

Seeing Red said...

JIndhal puts back the funding, doesn't mean he has to increase it.

Now where would I cut? hmmmm......

Seeing Red said...

My health care is going to get cut, it's only fair their's does.

McTriumph said...

So when are the federales going to make people running and walking wear helmets?

McTriumph said...

Hospice care is for people who wiped your ass, but your to important or can't be bothered to wipe their's.

Pogo said...

Ban bike-riding, rock climbing, football, baseball, playgrounds, and all games with balls.

Too many injuries.

See?
Like the state knowing that anyone of us is always guilty of some crime every day, anything you do has potential health implications and therefore can be regulated.

I have come to the conclusion that electing Obama was one of the most evil acts the US has ever seen.

Bryan C said...

Health insurance stopped being insurance when the government told them they couldn't use actual risk/benefit criteria, like real pre-existing conditions and lifestyle choices. Now the same people get to replace those criteria with government-endorsed incentives for proper behavior.

Wow, that's a lot of work for a government that can't even pass a budget! Fortunately the experts don't have to waste time by consulting voters or elected representatives. I'm sure it'll work out just fine.

chickelit said...

So how can she be telling the truth about anything?

Erwin Knoll's rule of truth in media applied.

Seeing Red said...

Skiing is also very dangerous.

Seeing Red said...

Hmmm, maybe those who want to do those things should take out extra policies?


If you go on a ski vacation, you can't ski unless you show proof of insurance?

BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Baron Zemo said...

You what is very dangerous? Plastic surgery.

They should put lots of extra taxes on that shit.

That's how they killed Kanye's Moms.

Racists.

Baron Zemo said...

I mean I bet they gave all that good health care shit to Taylor Swift.

harrogate said...

I'm a smoker. And I've had lots of different insurance coverages.

For all the Ermagerd the Oppression caterwauling coming out of these comments boards it is funny because in every case, for my health insurance I paid and continue to pay more because I smoke. For life insurance as well.

It is, as they say, what's done.

Pogo said...

harrogate, insurance companies do not have the coerrcive force of the state.

Don't be such a fucking moron.

Darrell said...

Smokers cost the system much less over a lifetime. Canada proved that long ago. They usually don't get that final year of hospitalization/critical care that most elderly people get--and that is the real system breaker.

Baron Zemo said...

Hey some slaves loved to sing and dance and stuff like that there.

When they take your freedom away in tiny little bites there is always some useful idiot to tell you the motto of this administration:"What difference does it make?"

None if you want the government to take away your guns and cigarettes and donuts and soda.

harrogate said...

Pogo,

The point is, that the private insurers dictated this--not the other way around. They want to make sure they "cover their costs." Private insurance didn't give up a damned thing with respect to ACA.

BTW, if your choice is between private insurance that charges more for smoking, or no health insurance at all. You can utter your Nugent-cry of "Freeeeedom!!!" much as you like, but that aint a lot of choice either.

bpm4532 said...

Interesting thing about smoking. Just because you smoke, even a lot, it doesn't mean you'll get cancer, or even suffer much adverse affects.

Canada did a study (why do I trust them more?) and found male smokers the risk of getting cancer is about 17% and for women about 12%.

When you consider the dosage effect (it's the dosage that makes the poison) an occasional cigar or cigarette is indistinguishable from nonsmoking.

Seeing Red said...

So Harro is either independently wealthy or works for the feds cos those are the only 2 ways he's gonna be able to keep the policy he has.


Talk to us in a few years, Harro.

Old Insty post:

UPDATE: Dr. Peter Grout writes:


Thanks for the post. Many of us have been trying to point out basic facts to our colleagues, but most ears are deaf. Sadly, our professional organization, the AVMA is politically correct and useless.

They accredit new schools, and fund new “diversity” chairs. Meanwhile, last week 17,000 veterinarians (about 1/4 of total!) were informed last week that AVMA’s health insurance program (through NY Life) will be dropping ALL of us at the end of 2013. Including dependents, about 36,000 people are losing their coverage. We will be forced onto the OCare exchanges. And the loss of our coverage is certainly not deemed newsworthy.

Senator Landrieu’s health care rep, Peter said we were losing our choice since others did not have the same choice. I guess it wasn’t “fair” that we have all worked hard to have this choice. And AVMA has done diddley to prevent this.

furious_a said...

Those tobacco penalties are going to kill funding for children's health programs.

Darrell said...

Maybe they can just kill us smokers. I do hope they give us a choice, though.

Franklin said...

What about homosexual sex? Isn't that high risk for certain, expensive-to-treat, diseases? Should we charge more for that?

bpm4532 said...

do you know what behavior really costs society money? Having children! Ban it!

furious_a said...

It's going to be like end-stage East Germany: That which is not Forbidden is Compulsory.

harrogate said...

bpm4532,


I have known a few "occasional smokers" in my day. But only a very few. Of course, one person's "occasional" may be another person's "regular." But it's addictive as hell. I love it and hate it too. I one day might summon the fortitude to quit, but I will never have the fortitude to smoke, say, a couple of cigarettes a day only.

Darrell said...

Notice how fact (smokers cost the system less) is ignored. Why the fuck are there penalties to begin with? Who has been the greatest $ beneficiary for the tobacco industry--greater than the producers themselves? Why government of course in the form of taxation. Time to pay some of it back, fuckheads!

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

"The point is, that the private insurers dictated this"

No, the point is that the US government is going to crawl up your ass and lay regulation eggs, and their bureaucratic spawn will burst out your belly anytime you touch a donut or go skiing or fail to complete the mandatory daily exercises.

Seriously, harrogate, I think you and other Democrats are evil envious fascists little shits, all of you.

Henry said...

Funny, harrogate, I came back to the post with a comment in mind, and it builds naturally off yours.

The idea of a company charging you for the cost of your behavior is hardly astonishing. This is, after all, what a fee-for-service model would do.

It muddies the water when the fee-for-service model turns into an insurance pool. But the life insurance industry demonstrates how easy it is to set premiums based on predictive risk.

The mess that Obama's law introduces is the picking of winning and losers in the risk model. If cigarette smoking triggers a premium when sky diving does not or candy consumption does not, then the thumb is on the scale.

Baron Zemo said...

Notice how useful idiots like harrogate like to make fun of freedom. It is a big joke to them. Every piece of your freedom that big government takes is just fine with them.

"What difference does it make?"

Unknown said...

The Court will decide this in the end.

furious_a said...

do you know what behavior really costs society money? Having children! Ban it!

Hence the mandatory insurer-paid no-cost-to-you /cough/ birth control and abortofacients.

I hope the Catholic bishops are as willing to go to jail over the Contraceptive Mandate as they appear to be over pedophile cover-ups.

sydney said...

You could see this coming a mile a way. Everything I have feared about this PPACA is coming true.

Toad Trend said...

"I think you and other Democrats are evils envious fascists little shits, all of you."

Shorter Pogo: Drop dead commie scum!

Tank said...

Long term, from the perspective of the left, all of the "problems" with O'Care are features, not bugs.

harrogate said...

Pogo,

I can tell you think that. I mean, I do read these comment boards regularly. Your comments are among the most shrill of the "Ermagerd"s!" Back away from your delusions of tyranny. You need to detox.

edutcher said...

SarcastiCarrie said...

What other things are dangerous? Should gay men who have relations with other gay men be penalized because they (on average) have higher rates of HIV, AIDS, gonnorhea, etc.

Whadya wanna bet it's already there?

"We have to pass it to see...."

Baron Zemo said...

Obama won't be happy until he has confiscated your cigars, guns, donuts, hamburgers and chocolate cake.

They can have my chocolate cake when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers.

(gotta draw the line somewhere...)

PS Who's the Klingon, Sibelius?

Ann Althouse said...

"Does smoking count as "expression?""

Good question. I could reflect on why I chose that word for the last option.

If you picked or considered picking that one, how did "expression" strike you? Did you think: Well, that's the nutty one, because this isn't about expression but behavior. Or did you think: We are talking about the manifestation of human individuality and the government might try to make us uniform, taking this away.

How does our behavior "express" what we are?

By the way, when we talk about "freedom of expression," we're using a word that is not in the First Amendment, which says "freedom of speech." Speech extends to gestures and writing and forms of behavior undertaken as a way to say something (like burning a flag to say I hate America). How far does this idea go? It could go very far. What about sexual acts? We often call them "expression."

garage mahal said...

Do you know who else charges some customers more for health care for those who smoke or are obese????

No, not Hitler. Insurance companies and Job Creators!

Paddy O said...

I would think certain sexual lifestyles and choices are as, if not more, indicators for health problems.

Can the government regulate sexuality through this 'taxation'? How is it different? Seems like it really is an unequal application of the law if it didn't regulate sexuality and other forms of behaviors linked to higher instances of disease/injuries.

harrogate said...

Baron,

Your comment is shot through with the disease of paranoia. Nobody is "making fun of freedom." Shrill pretenses, on the other hand, are fair game.

Baron Zemo said...

edutcher said...
SarcastiCarrie said...

What other things are dangerous? Should gay men who have relations with other gay men be penalized because they (on average) have higher rates of HIV, AIDS, gonnorhea, etc.

Whadya wanna bet it's already there?

"We have to pass it to see...."


I bet you a billion dollars that is not true. They are part of the protected classes which will get a pass. Otherwise it would be discrimination. Pay attention.

chickelit said...

What about sexual acts? We often call them "expression."

Freedom to talk about risky behavior seems distinct from risky behavior.

Pogo said...

"Your comments are among the most shrill "

Yet I have been correct at every step. If not, show me where what I wrote was wrong.

You call it shrill because you have no argument against it.

It's always the problem with leftists like you; no understanding of basic human behavior, and an overweening love of coercion.

Disagreement with leftists is always ignored as insane, shrill, or stupid. Straight out of the Stalinist/Maoist playbook.

Darrell said...

When gay men pay $10-20 for a pack of condoms--most of that tax, they can complain about paying more than their fair share.

Smokers already pre-paid. Add up the taxes.

Baron Zemo said...

Everbody knows who the Klingon is in this administration.

Pogo said...

"No, not Hitler. Insurance companies and Job Creators!"

Insurance companies and Job Creators don't have the coercive power of the state behind them, but Hitler does.

Slight difference there, Einstein.

Baron Zemo said...

If Worf was awake he would say that is racist.

mccullough said...

This will never work for a few reasons. One, most people in the individual market will be getting subsidies from the federal government. Is the federal government going to pay the penalty on behalf of middle and lower income smokers?

Two, a good chunk of smokers are poor and qualify for Medicaid, which is getting expanded (at least in blue states) under Obamacare. There will be a backlash against the smoking poor, who also tend to be fatter. Is the federal government going to cut them off? Of course not.

Darrell said...

Shouldn't smoking be a genuine disablity then? It keeps you from being hired or getting insurance. And it's beyond your control--studies have suggested that it the most addictive substance.

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

The lefties here don't understand or appreciate the meaning of freedom. All they are are slaves to the idea of a all powerful state and would love to institute a East German/Stasi-like government here. Sickos all.

garage mahal said...

Insurance companies and Job Creators don't have the coercive power of the state behind them, but Hitler does

You quit smoking, or you pay more for health insurance. That's not coercive?

traditionalguy said...

Garage...The intentional destruction of private health care funding mechanisms so that the Government can dictate who pays how much and gets what, and then uses the IRS to enforce their will to power is very much like a Third Reich total war tyranny.

Do you plan to tell Obama no?

Baron Zemo said...

Sure paranoia. It's not like the government wants to control what we eat and what guns we can have and what we can say about Muslims or other protected classes.

Nah you're right. I am going to take my 16oz cola and rum and go smoke a cigarette in a bar while I watch videos about Mohammed on Youtube.

Yeah that's the ticket.

cubanbob said...

"I think you and other Democrats are evils envious fascists little shits, all of you."

Shorter Pogo: Drop dead commie scum!

Excellent idea! The only good communist is a dead communist.

Rick Caird said...

I wonder if Roberts would still consider that Constitutional under Congress's power to tax.

Seeing Red said...

Insty links to Walter Russell Mead. I had to laugh because he's mentioned 2 unintended consequences that have happened under Obamacare. I wonder how many more he will write about before he starts wondering if they were unintended?

Seeing Red said...

And when it hits them in the blues hardest, they'll move to the backwater red states and vote for the same idiocy again.

They never can figure out why.

Nonapod said...

You quit smoking, or you pay more for health insurance. That's not coercive?

Even if you view that as coercive, it's pretty clear that Obama care (or socialized healthcare in general) only magnifies such problems. At any rate, why is coercion from a company bad while coercion from a government good? At least there is still a bit of choice under a private system that isn't single payer, you can shop around to find a least sucky deal. And the government has soldiers and guns to enforce their coercion.

Seeing Red said...

Shrill? wait until to LVOs become more informed, whaddya mean I have to make another appt to talk about this bump on my arm?

I'm here, can't we just cover it now?

edutcher said...

Baron Zemo said...

Everbody knows who the Klingon is in this administration.

I see your point, but, with this crowd, you could make a case for several.

PS In answer to your rebuttal of my point about taxing homosexual sex, keep in mind Choom now has "flexibility", he doesn't have to be the First Lesbian President anymore.

Not to mention The Gospel According to St Rush of Duplicate Birthdays.

LarsPorsena said...

How are they going to know you smoke?
The Tobacco Police?

harrogate said...

Pogo, in his mind, is right every step of the way.

Kirk Parker said...

"To get the variable premiums concept started"

If only there were some industry that know how to do this...

Seeing Red said...

Can't sue the government either on this.

Will they have show panels to show they're listening? Re-evaluate whether treatment should have been denied?

Probably delay it so you die.

OOPS!

Seeing Red said...

Blood test.

Cedarford said...

I note that not even the socialistic Europeans, Israelis have used national health care as a social policy club to punish legal, but "incorrect" habits.

What Obama and the Nanny State seem to be doing is going where those nations feared to tread on the freedoms of their peoples, even communist totalitarian states.

Taking money from certain classes of people the Ruling Elite deem to have unhealthy indicators, while giving other unhealthy lifestyles full legal protection.
What if Red China charged each Chinese coal miner 50% more based on health risks and homos 60% more -while exempting smokers?

There is also the spectre of penalizing people that were once doing something perfectly legal and not only using punishing social engineering backed by horrendous fines on their pay or savings (6,000 for smoking? 5500 extra in expenses for being a risky homosexual or motorcycle rider?) - but making it retroactive. "We are hitting you with 6,000 extra in costs because your work history shows you were once exposed to asbestos - though it was legal at the time to work around it"

And it will be political.
Exempt homosexuals but nail fat people.
Exempt young black inner city males who are heavy users of medical care from wage garnishment, but slam iron workers and lumberjacks with "extra charges related to the health risk of their LEGAL jobs"??

Will this lead to employers testing employees for weight, tobacco use, family history of cancer, and adjusting money taken from wages accordingly?

Older employees pay more for healthcare along with smokers or past smokers??

This threatens to get violent and ugly as coercion to behave a certain way hits every American.

LarsPorsena said...

Blogger Seeing Red said...

Blood test.

1/25/13, 2:35 PM
_______________________________

Are all citizens going to be required to take the blood test?

Seems like this is totally unenforceable.

Revenant said...

How are they going to know you smoke?

You could lie to them at first. The problem there is that if they find out later they could yank the policy out from under you just as you need it.

Also, you could be charged with fraud for lying on the application.

Seeing Red said...

Who said they're going to force you to take a specific blood test for smoking?

Marshal said...

harrogate said...
if your choice is between private insurance that charges more for smoking, or no health insurance at all.


Thank god the resident lefties are so enamored of reason and rationality. They'd never resort to shrill scare tactics like asserting the totality of our medical payment options are Obamacare and nothing.

Baron Zemo said...

Hey they can't force you to have a drivers license to vote but they can force you to have one to buy cigarettes. Or soon enough donuts.

Matt said...

Who here feels sorry for smokers? Goodness.

LarsPorsena said...

Blogger Revenant said...

How are they going to know you smoke?

You could lie to them at first. The problem there is that if they find out later they could yank the policy out from under you just as you need it.

Also, you could be charged with fraud for lying on the application.

1/25/13, 2:40 PM
______________________________

A fraud investigation for smoking?

FBI?
ATF?

Mind-boggling, court clogging, clusterfuck, legislation.

Seeing Red said...

Via Vodkapundit:

What’s gives? President Obama, after all, said he’d prevent these sorts of prices. His new health law gave state regulators the power to block premium increases. It even created a federal agency to oversee insurance rates. But these bureaucrats are spectators to the price hikes. They’re mere wallflowers. Even in the bluest of states.

Their silence is the best evidence of who is culpable for the increases. It’s the policymakers. It’s Obamacare. The President is accepting the premium hikes as an allowable consequence of his healthcare policies.

There’s buzz in Washington that to ease the price hikes, the Obama team may slow down some of the most expensive regulations. This might include the law’s mandatory community rating. One approach they’re said to be considering is allowing some of the historically based underwriting to stay in place for a time.

But premiums will still rise because, in the end, everything has a price.

&


A new study released today shows exactly the opposite affect on premiums even with premium assistance.

Actuaries at management consulting firm Oliver Wyman predicted the laws age rating restrictions could mean a 42 percent hike in premium costs for people aged 21-29 when they buy individual coverage.

AJ Lynch said...

This shit really really pisses me off. I am going to go home and smoke a cigarette even though I quit 16 years ago and only have a smoke maybe once every few years when I go to a casino and play some blackjack.

Libruls are truly fascists assholes- the beter idea would be to just give everyone a subsidy check to buy the necessities and if they choose to smoke or be obese or skydive and then decide to buy insurance, the insurance company could decide to charge them more for their riskier activities.

But at least the govt would not have to get so involved.

This is how a good economist would have set up a plan to get more people insured.

Toad Trend said...

'The salvation of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants'

Commit this to memory, as it sums up the M.O. of the leftist today and of yesteryear.

There really is nothing new under the sun.

dbp said...

I wonder about how the tests for nicotine metabolites will weigh-out given that one can achieve the same level of nicotine with e-cigs, gum, patches and chew.

I could see an e-cig user sueing his insurance company on the idea that no harm (or at least none comparable to tobacco cigarettes) has been found for non-traditional nicotine delivery systems.

Baron Zemo said...

By the way the NYC chapter of the NAACP has joined the suit against the cup size limit rammed through by Nanny Bloomberg. They say it is racist because most of these big cups are in poor neighborhoods where fast food restaurants serve them.

How about that!

harrogate said...

Marshal,

For a lot of people, it's been pretty much nothing for a long time. Perhaps you do not know any of these people and so think it's all made up. But nonetheless, it's not made up. In the US, if you don't have health insurance, you are fucked.

Obamacare was not my first choice, and as you clumsily note, it was not the only option. Too bad the GOP never had the Presidency and/or houses of Congress from which to present their "better" options. Oh wait. Maybe they preferred the nothing. Until the other side actually showed it was going to do something, that is.

McTriumph said...

"At any rate, why is coercion from a company bad while coercion from a government good?"

Well, everyone knows insurance companies have men wearing badges with the sanction of lethal force, prosecutors and prisons.

Seeing Red said...

The Professor should link "Open Wide & Say Moo! thru her Amazon Portal.

For those who are interested, there is also The Covert Rationing Blog.

Seeing Red said...

In Canada you had single payer and you were fucked.

Canada doesn't have single payer anymore.

Cedarford said...

LarsPorsena said...
How are they going to know you smoke?
The Tobacco Police?

=================
Insurance companies getting the windfall will want to force truthful disclosure. They likely will do that by inserting language to the effect that if you claim not to be excessively fat, smoke, do risky homosexual sex, ride motorcycles...and they determine you lied..they don't have to pay a cent when you have a major accident or illness.
They would require blood testing for tobacco, AIDs virus, query your neighbors to invalidate policies and leave you to face bankruptcy for your medical costs.
Pay investigators to check up and see if you USED to smoke or drink, ever rode a motorcycle pay witnesses to sign papers to that effect.
Huge incentive to find ways to invalidate your health care coverage.

Yes, there would be a private detective "Tobacco police" (and motorcycle use investigators, asbestos exposure investigators Sorry about your lung cancer diagnosis but our investigators determined you failed to list your 2 year employment in an auto shop 30 years back where you were exposed to asbestos - all while liberals and democrats would try to exempt homosexuals, young black males, drug addicts - from any financial consequences associated with those lifestyles.

I Callahan said...

Insurance companies and Job Creators!

Um, where would that be? Because here in Michigan, it's a community rating system. In other words, if you have a lot of smokers or very few smokers, you pay the same rate for the same coverage.

I Callahan said...

Who here feels sorry for smokers? Goodness.

And Matt shows, in one sentence, why it's so easy for politicians to pick on smokers.

I do, Matt. Why? Because they're being discriminated against under Obamacare. I would have thought that was obvious.

Seeing Red said...

So it's better that most of the great unwashed is now fucked instead of our ruling class & ASFCME?

bagoh20 said...

See how it works:

1) Obama says we have a plan for government to do this good stuff, like bend the cost curve.
2) Right says that's not good and won't work because A, B, & C, will happen instead.
3) The left says you're all nuts and just overreacting.
4) A. happens as predicted, and the Right points it out.
5) Left says: "sure it did, but so what, predicting B and C is still just overreacting".
6) B happens and left says: "What difference does it make now?"

Costs and dependency rise, and benefits never materialize.

Right says: "Nobody will fall for this stuff again." Left says: "You wanna bet?"

AJ Lynch said...

Matt, doctrinaire librul that he is, fails to see that the objection to Obamacare is not a defense of smoking.

Cedarford said...

You have to also wonder if the liberals and progressive jews running the Democrat Party have given some thought to ways Obamacare can go about charging people huge insurance payment escalations for gun ownership as a "proven health risk".
With health insurance stripped as soon as insurance investigators descend to check on someone with a major accident or illness in the hospital having ever purchased ammunition or firearms shown in the database, or ever having a hunting license in the coverage period.

With thugs and other criminals of course not having to answer health insurance questions about how many guns they have or someone they live with has - because they will get free healthcare.

Sorry, your fault. You failed to list on your insurance questionnaire you were in the gun owners risk group and pay the extra 2,000 a year charged to people with guns in their houses...Pity you were not poor enough to get free healthcare like the thugs on the other side of town!





EMD said...

You quit smoking, or you pay more for health insurance. That's not coercive?

That's why health insurance should not be tied to employment and be portable!

Geico that shit!

madAsHell said...

My BMI is 1-2 points above normal. I'm 6'2" and fluxuate between 200 and 210 pounds. I'm well-built, muscled, and not a bit pudgy.

How do you feel about long walks on the beach, and pina coladas ??

bagoh20 said...

Would you guys stop including skydiving in your examples as you are. You have it all backwards. How the hell does going splat and being buried in a small box increase health care costs? The guy watching on the ground is the one who's costing you money. The expensive people are the very careful hypochondriacs that live to a 100.

Unknown said...

LarsPorsena asks, "Are all citizens going to be required to take the blood test? Seems like this is totally unenforceable."

Are all citizens supposed to report to various levels of government every cent they acquire? Seems like this is totally unenforceable.

Are all citizens supposed to apply to the government for a identification number to be allowed to work legally? Seems like this is totally unenforceable.

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