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Old 04-29-2009, 01:30 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
33,949 posts, read 32,397,399 times
Reputation: 49901

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokyMtnGal View Post
You are correct. This is tied directly to insurance costs.
Well,many of the insurance companies have self-only and self and family policies. If you are a couple, you pay just as much for your insurance to cover you and your spouse as a family with 4 kids. Those 4 kids aren't doing diddley to earn the health insurance covering them and I'll bet they get sick a lot, too. And what if one of them is disabled? Should they charge more for that, too? That has to be costly. Or, how about charging extra per kid instead of making every one else pay for them?

And then how about people who drink and/or smoke dope? Maybe they should check your credit card and see who buys a lot of booze. Maybe they should charge more if you play sports on the weekends, you know, because you're more apt to be injured. Maybe the government should check their future national healthcare database and see who is being treated for sexually transmitted diseases and charge them more for their behavior. Maybe they should verify who talks on their cell phone while driving by checking your cell phone record at a traffic cop stop and charge more for them, too. Maybe if you have tickets for running lights or stop signs, it's an indication you have a good chance of being hurt in an accident and having a permanent disability. Should we charge those people extra, too? Maybe the government should check your supermarket store card to see what you're buying. Maybe you went over your Twinkies/Mountain Dew quota and should pay more for your health insurance.

At least the smokers work for their health coverage. Can't say that for all the kids and the stay at home moms/dads that are covered.

I don't smoke so I'm not coming from that angle. I wish people didn't smoke but this is just a grab by the government to control personal behavior. I'm just shocked it's coming out of Tennessee. I'd expect this in NY or California. Better watch out. They'll be coming for your bad habits next.
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Old 04-29-2009, 05:34 AM
 
11,605 posts, read 31,789,211 times
Reputation: 8203
Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraC View Post
Well,many of the insurance companies have self-only and self and family policies. If you are a couple, you pay just as much for your insurance to cover you and your spouse as a family with 4 kids. Those 4 kids aren't doing diddley to earn the health insurance covering them and I'll bet they get sick a lot, too. And what if one of them is disabled? Should they charge more for that, too? That has to be costly. Or, how about charging extra per kid instead of making every one else pay for them?

And then how about people who drink and/or smoke dope? Maybe they should check your credit card and see who buys a lot of booze. Maybe they should charge more if you play sports on the weekends, you know, because you're more apt to be injured. Maybe the government should check their future national healthcare database and see who is being treated for sexually transmitted diseases and charge them more for their behavior. Maybe they should verify who talks on their cell phone while driving by checking your cell phone record at a traffic cop stop and charge more for them, too. Maybe if you have tickets for running lights or stop signs, it's an indication you have a good chance of being hurt in an accident and having a permanent disability. Should we charge those people extra, too? Maybe the government should check your supermarket store card to see what you're buying. Maybe you went over your Twinkies/Mountain Dew quota and should pay more for your health insurance.

At least the smokers work for their health coverage. Can't say that for all the kids and the stay at home moms/dads that are covered.

I don't smoke so I'm not coming from that angle. I wish people didn't smoke but this is just a grab by the government to control personal behavior. I'm just shocked it's coming out of Tennessee. I'd expect this in NY or California. Better watch out. They'll be coming for your bad habits next.
I don't smoke, either, and I can't stand being around cigarette smoke, but I agree with you 1000%. For the life of me I don't understand why smokers are made to be such vilains. Yeah smokers probably do have more health troubles than non-smokers, but they also tend to die younger.

I think people who eat a lot of ice cream are probably prone to more health problems, too. Or those who drink a lot of whiskey. Or those who drive fast. Or those who--heaven forbid--try to ride their bikes along Knoxville city streets. I honestly don't understand why a smoker should pay more for health insurance while an alcoholic doesn't.
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Old 04-29-2009, 06:16 AM
 
Location: On the plateau, TN
15,205 posts, read 10,311,766 times
Reputation: 9955
It's all about control.....
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Old 04-29-2009, 09:57 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
606 posts, read 1,484,168 times
Reputation: 448
This is totally reasonable if you ask me. Why should non-smokers be required to subsidize the health costs of smokers?
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Old 04-29-2009, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
606 posts, read 1,484,168 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbmouse View Post
And being over weight isn't a health risk? How about if you eat more than 2 McDonald's burgers a week? Or have received more that 3 speeding tickets in a years time? You could get in a bad wreck and cause them a lot of money. How about if your hobby is to sky dive?
Don't get me wrong here, not advocating smoking, just kind of ticked at the discrimination here and where it could lead. If they start saying in a group policy (which are not supposed to be based on medical condition and the only way some people can even get insurance coverage) that you can not have a condition or habit or hobby that they feel might cost them money, more and more and more and more people are going to loose the ability to get medical insurance. Period.
Insurance companies "discriminate" all the time based on risk concerns such as obesity, age, prior illnesses, etc. I don't see any reason why they shouldn't be allowed to do so. It's not really fair to me if I have to subsidize the health costs of higher-risk individuals. Nor is it fair for non-smokers to subsidize (via their taxes) the healthcare costs of people who deliberately engage in a destructive health practice.

A surcharge for obesity would be a good thing. If one doesn't want to pay more for health costs, they should take steps to live healthier.

Honestly, I wouldn't have a problem with people who voluntarily choose to live a high-risk lifestyle losing their ability to obtain insurance. This would force them into a healthier lifestyle rather than passing on costs to healthier individuals. Lower insurance costs = good thing.

This is all about accountability.

Last edited by DiderotsGhost; 04-29-2009 at 10:14 AM..
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Old 04-29-2009, 04:37 PM
 
14,938 posts, read 26,645,784 times
Reputation: 18160
Let's talk genetic factors. What about the folks that are pre-disposed to certain conditions? We should charge them more right? What about the people whose babies are born with anomalies? Their costs should skyrocket, right? Just food for thought.
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Old 04-29-2009, 08:51 PM
 
Location: On the plateau, TN
15,205 posts, read 10,311,766 times
Reputation: 9955
Quote:
Originally Posted by JakilaTheHun View Post
This is totally reasonable if you ask me. Why should non-smokers be required to subsidize the health costs of smokers?
Why should "only smokers" be the supporters of the new tax increase.... as I said before....it's all about control.

Congress passed the tobacco tax increase and President Obama signed it on Feb. 4. The money will expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) for low-income families. Instead of covering 7.4 million kids, it’s hoped the extra revenue would cover 11 million children nationwide.



"when you target a specific portion of the population, with a product specific tax...it's taxation without representation."

Last edited by Bones; 04-29-2009 at 09:14 PM..
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Old 04-29-2009, 11:20 PM
 
Location: Seattle
6,486 posts, read 13,786,111 times
Reputation: 2764
Quote:
Honestly, I wouldn't have a problem with people who voluntarily choose to live a high-risk lifestyle losing their ability to obtain insurance. This would force them into a healthier lifestyle rather than passing on costs to healthier individuals. Lower insurance costs = good thing.

This is all about accountability.
WTF, and I literally mean WTF, are you talking about? Who decides what is high risk? Who decides what is a healthy lifestyle? A year ago it was no bread, last week it was acai berries.

That's extreme, obviously. Some studies link drinking milk to adverse health affects. Is $1 a day surcharge going to be added onto milk drinkers' insurance premiums?

What about people who enjoy zip lining or mountain climbing? These activities promote a healthy lifestyle but are clearly at-risk cases; these people voluntarily put themselves in situations which increase their chances of needing hospital care. The list goes on and on.

Trust me, you're going to be subsidizing something.

(And for the record, "forcing" people into a healthier lifestyle by wantonly cutting off their health insurance? That's a very odd position. I don't think you've truly thought out what you wrote here. It's even somewhat inhumane. And I'm not even talking about smoking anymore.)
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Old 04-30-2009, 12:49 AM
 
540 posts, read 1,063,356 times
Reputation: 545
I will say this: there are no two activities worse for your health more frequently engaged in by the general populace than smoking cigarettes and carrying extra fat pounds around.

Smoking costs employers days upon days of sick leave. And break leave. You're more prone to suffer from an endless stream of cancers and other health problems. Yes, you live less time, but yet all too many heavy smokers inevitably end up with expensive ICU visits from COPD exacerbation after COPD exacerbation.

Our nation's obesity epidemic is going to lead to countless and massive expenses down the line, and when you add an aging population to a younger obese one, well, it's going to get pricey, folks.

That said, I'm a firm believer in individual liberty and a non-intrusive government. Sorry folks, but 1984 was NOT an instruction manual. I expect these incursions to only get worse, particularly given our current federal administration.

This one's a hard one to grapple with, as the argument works on both sides. I will say that without question I find the question of a spouse's activity way over the line (though I very seriously doubt these questions are going to be asked with a lie detector machine present. )
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Old 04-30-2009, 05:39 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
33,949 posts, read 32,397,399 times
Reputation: 49901
Quote:
Originally Posted by JakilaTheHun View Post
Insurance companies "discriminate" all the time based on risk concerns such as obesity, age, prior illnesses, etc. I don't see any reason why they shouldn't be allowed to do so. It's not really fair to me if I have to subsidize the health costs of higher-risk individuals. Nor is it fair for non-smokers to subsidize (via their taxes) the healthcare costs of people who deliberately engage in a destructive health practice.

A surcharge for obesity would be a good thing. If one doesn't want to pay more for health costs, they should take steps to live healthier.

Honestly, I wouldn't have a problem with people who voluntarily choose to live a high-risk lifestyle losing their ability to obtain insurance. This would force them into a healthier lifestyle rather than passing on costs to healthier individuals. Lower insurance costs = good thing.

This is all about accountability.
Do you have kids? Why should we subsidize them? Hey, I know you pay more than self-only but you probably pay just as much as a no kids couple. Why are we picking up the tab for them and their shots and trips to the doctor's office? Do you or your kids play sports? Man, that knee surgery/stitches/broken bones/tennis elbow/repetitive injury stuff, isn't cheap? Do you drink at all? Have sex with more than one partner? Talk on your cell phone while driving? Maybe your kid in school or your spouse, covered on your policy, does those things? Nope, don't want to pay for you or them, either, Mr Healthy Accountability Guy. In fact, we can take it beyond health insurance. Why should a single kidless person subsidize your kids going to college (soon to be thrust upon us taxpayers) or pay property tax for new schools? You chose to have them. You pay for them. Why should a disabled person who can't drive pay taxes for roads? Why should a person who didn't get pregnant without marriage support someone who did (and can't get a decent job) with welfare, food stamps, the earned income tax credit or breakfast and lunch for their kids at school? Do you think it will stop with the smokers?

I want to be clear. I'm not saying they should go after any of the above. Quite the opposite. I'm only trying to make a point that the people who look down their nose at smokers aren't behind any door with their behavior costing other taxpayers/other insured people/the insurance companies. You know, with credit cards, store cards, a soon to be nationalized healthcare database and data mining in general, it won't be long before they can tell who has unprotected sex because your medical records will be available, buys too many Twinkies because they'll check your store card purchases, sees that you buy drinks in restaurants/bars and buy beer/booze by the bottle from your credit card purchases, goes skiing every winter/plays tennis every summer/etc. from your credit card purchases, has phone records that can be matched up with red light cameras/GPS/Easy pass times to show you were driving and talking on your cell phone. How long before they come after you, your spouse or your kids for your personal behavior/choices by charging you more so you modify that behavior? Is that what you want? Smokers are an easy target right now.

Because this is a Tennessee forum, I'm only bringing it up because I can't believe it's happening here. I would have never expected that in this state. It's the state government that's doing this to their workers.
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