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-   -   U.S. Issues ‘Obamacare’ to hit smokers with huge penalties (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showthread.php?t=269342)

KILLER_CLOWN 01-26-2013 12:25 PM

‘Obamacare’ to hit smokers with huge penalties
 
Smokers, beware: tobacco penalties under President Obama’s Affordable Care Act could subject millions of smokers to fees costing thousands of dollars, making healthcare more expensive for them than Americans with other unhealthy habits.

The Affordable Care Act, which critics have also called “Obamacare”, could subject smokers to premiums that are 50 percent higher than usual, starting next Jan 1. Health insurers will be allowed to charge smokers penalties that overweight Americans or those with other health conditions would not be subjected to.

A 60-year-old smoker could pay penalties as high as $5,100, in addition to the premiums, the Associated Press reports. A 55-year-old smoker’s penalty could reach $4,250. The older a smoker is, the higher the penalty will be.

Nearly one in every five U.S. adults smokes, with a higher number of low-income people addicted to the unhealthy habit. Even though smokers are more likely to develop heart disease, cancer and lung problems and would therefore require more health care, the penalties might devastate those who need help the most – including retirees, older Americans, and low-income individuals.

“We don’t want to create barriers for people to get health care coverage,” California state Assemblyman Richard Pan told AP. “We want people who are smoking to get smoking cessation treatment.”

Nearly 450,000 US residents die of smoking-related diseases each year, making the unhealthy habit a serious concern for lawmakers. One legislator is trying to criminalize smoking in his state, while others have raised taxes on cigarettes and the Obama administration has tried to inflict hefty fines upon smokers’ premiums.

Karen Pollitz, a former consumer protection regular, told AP that no insurers want to provide coverage for Americans who have been smoking for decades, and that the penalties might prompt people to abandon the habit.

“You would have the flexibility to discourage them,” she told AP.

But quitting is not easy, and charging older smokers up to three times as much as younger ones could make it difficult for them to seek care in the first place. A 60-year-old smoker charged with the penalty could be paying about $8,411 per year for health insurance, which is about 24 percent of a $35,000 income and is considered “unaffordable” under federal law.

“The effect of the smoking (penalty) allowed under the law would be that lower-income smokers could not afford health insurance,” said Richard Curtis, president of the Institute for Health Policy Solutions.

Ultimately, the law that is meant to make health care more affordable could have the opposite effect on older smokers at a time when smoking-related illnesses usually arise.

http://rt.com/usa/news/health-care-p...americans-769/

Marco Polo 01-26-2013 12:27 PM

As they should. Smoking causes cancer. Fact. Treating cancer costs a lot of money. Those that smoke should have to pay more.

notorious 01-26-2013 12:29 PM

Next up: Obesity


After that: Guns are a health risk

BigRedChief 01-26-2013 12:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marco Polo (Post 9352619)
As they should. Smoking causes cancer. Fact. Treating cancer costs a lot of money. Those that smoke should have to pay more.

THIS!

All risks should pay more. Obesity, high blood pressure etc. Should be on the table. It's insurance. The higher probability of you needing the insurance should pay more. Financial incentives are a good motivator to make better choices.

rockymtnchief 01-26-2013 12:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by notorious (Post 9352625)
Next up: Obesity


After that: Guns are a health risk

Don't forget:

Alcohol
Fast driving
Dairy
Sugar
Unprotected sex
Concrete

Soon we will all be required to wear bubble wrap suits and drink only gubment approved water.

cosmo20002 01-26-2013 12:35 PM

The article does not say how Obamacare hits smokers with a penalty. Insurance companies have base premiums on risk, which is higher for smokers. For group policies like an employer would offer, non-smokers often get a discount. So, the premise of the article seems to be BS.

rockymtnchief 01-26-2013 12:38 PM

Insurance companies already charge higher premiums for tobacco users, correct? (As it should be)

cosmo20002 01-26-2013 12:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rockymtnchief (Post 9352658)
Insurance companies already charge higher premiums for tobacco users, correct? (As it should be)

Yes, which is why its dumb to say Obamacare is putting in a penalty.

Bwana 01-26-2013 12:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rockymtnchief (Post 9352646)
Don't forget:

Alcohol
Fast driving
Dairy
Sugar
Unprotected sex
Concrete

Soon we will all be required to wear bubble wrap suits and drink only gubment approved water.

I guess our ATV/hell raising trips will take a hit. Wait, no they won't, **** um. :)

rockymtnchief 01-26-2013 12:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bwana (Post 9352672)
I guess our ATV/hell raising trips will take a hit. Wait, no they won't, **** um. :)

ROFLROFLROFL

They can't fine us if they can find us!:thumb:

RyFo18 01-26-2013 12:53 PM

Yeah, this is nothing new. My employers' insurance policy charges a flat $500 fee to smokers.

Bwana 01-26-2013 12:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rockymtnchief (Post 9352682)
ROFLROFLROFL

They can't fine us if they can find us!:thumb:

Heh and even if they find us, I think there is a reasonable chance we have them outgunned. :evil:

notorious 01-26-2013 12:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RyFo18 (Post 9352699)
Yeah, this is nothing new. My employers' insurance policy charges a flat $500 fee to smokers.

Monthly or per year?

rockymtnchief 01-26-2013 01:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bwana (Post 9352702)
Heh and even if they find us, I think there is a reasonable chance we have them outgunned. :evil:

Affirmative, Ghost Rider!:thumb:

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/IxUfE1C7KeY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Bwana 01-26-2013 01:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rockymtnchief (Post 9352748)
Affirmative, Ghost Rider!:thumb:

<IFRAME height=315 src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/IxUfE1C7KeY" frameBorder=0 width=420 allowfullscreen></IFRAME>

The last time I ran any rounds through my .500 was up at Cooke. I need to make it over to the range.


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