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Old 05-08-2009, 06:43 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,179 posts, read 9,139,998 times
Reputation: 9523

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OK, miu, I am tired of your propensity to eat meat. It causes clotting of the arteries and heart attacks, and causes insurance rates to go up for the rest of us. Those milkshakes you like? That chocolate you snagged this afternoon? Do you fasten your seatbelt EVERY time? Do you wear a helmet for every outdoor activity, even biking or gardening? If not, you are causing my insurance rates to go up, by causing your own health problems, your own injuries, you selfish person, you! How dare you! You must be stopped!

Nothing personal, miu - but it starts to get a little invasive, doesn't it, when people start to make observances about your behavior, saying that you are causing them problems?

How many behaviors "should be" regulated because eventually people will die, no matter how perfectly they live their lives? And why is it the government - who make their decisions based on lobbyists and not necessarily facts -that decides? I'd like for insurance companies to say, "OK, we won't insure smokers" or "We won't insure red-meat eaters" or "we won't insure those who ride bikes without pads and helmets" and see if the premums go down - or if they are just trying to get the government involved so that they have an excuse to charge higher rates?
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Old 05-08-2009, 07:18 PM
 
Location: 125 Years Too Late...
10,451 posts, read 10,042,172 times
Reputation: 9183
Quote:
Originally Posted by miu View Post
Those are great ideas! Basically, smoking, being overweight and driving SUV's does affect the rest of us in a negative way. So why not discourage those behaviours? Obviously, people don't use their commonsense about these things, but hitting them in the wallet is the only way to make them change for the better.

Cigarette smokers cost everyone more money in terms of health care. Thanks to their emphysema and lung cancers (mouth cancer if they chew tobacco), their medical bills cause insurance premiums to go up for the rest of us. And as a lifelong non-smoker, I don't think that's very fair to the US population as a whole.

I'm all for having our freedoms, but only as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else. Cigarette smoking hurts ALL of us.
This is exactly what I was getting at in my last post. Where does the common good end? How much control over others is justified? I think this sort of thinking is exactly why a ‘socialist system’ (at least one imposed by a government) can never function properly. All you folks out there who want to work for the common good of humanity and have everyone under ‘the umbrella’ (so to speak) are okay with it as long as it’s done on your terms. And of course everyone’s terms are different. So you have endless squabbling about the nature of ‘the umbrella’ and what should or should not be allowed in order to be covered under that umbrella. You ban a smoker; I ban a moronic driver; someone else bans a person that eats meat; bla, bla, bla…

Life is a health risk! Should we ban it for the common good?

And how many of you have the mistaken notion that lifestyle/health choices will make you immortal?
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
9,189 posts, read 16,583,909 times
Reputation: 13421
Quote:
Originally Posted by JakilaTheHun View Post
Perhaps we shouldn't. I'm not in favor of tax incentives for people with children, either. If people want to have children --- that's fantastic. I just don't think taxpayers should be required to subsidize those costs. That said, I don't think it's completely unreasonable.




Not sure why you feel the need to try to be insulting in your argument.

Most of your examples are not necessarily reasonable distinctions to draw. Whereas, the belief that people who intentionally intake an addictive drug that causes significant health problems should be required to actually incur the costs associated with their lifestyle choice is hardly an unreasonable distinction.

You seem to be arguing that all distinctions are bad; but that's not a realistic argument. What if someone smokes crack every day? Do you think your taxes should be raised so that you will incur their health care costs? What if the state started providing life insurance to everyone in Tennessee --- and decided that someone with 7 DUIs should pay the same fees as you?

I think people should actually demand their tax dollars be used effectively. If you want me to pay higher taxes to subsidize the costs of rehabiliative services for the crack addict --- I would do so. Why? Because it provides a net benefit to society. On the other hand, paying for the crack addict's medical bills while not actually correcting his problem would not do that.

If I'm going to subsidize the healthcare costs of smokers, I'd prefer they be given monetary incentives to improve their overall health and quit smoking. I don't see any legitimate reason why my tax burden should be driven up by their decision to partake in this activity.

To claim this is like the Nazis coming after the Jews (which you argument all but suggests) is a bit extreme. Every private insurance company in America "discriminates" based on risk factors. If they didn't, you couldn't afford any insurance at all. There are legitimate risk favors (e.g. number of accidents) and there are illegitimate ones (e.g. race, sexual orientation). I have not seen anyone in this thread argue that smoking is an illegitimate distinction. All the arguments seem to suggest that all distinctions are bad --- even though, it's impossible not to make distinctions.
No, it's quite possible to NOT make distinctions in a group insurance plan. It's precisely the way most health insurance has been sold for decades. Only recently, with a mob of angry smoker haters to back them up, have companies and now governments started pushing this. It seems ANYTHING that will stick it to smokers is a good idea.

I abhor large cities. I suggest we stop spending money on them. If people want to live in the city, let them walk to work -- through the mud. Why should MY tax money go to build highways, bridges and utilities in cities? It's the same logic that many non-smokers use. "I don't smoke, so screw those who do."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank_Carbonni View Post
I'm a smoker and I think this is reasonable.

If anyone wishes to overlook my posts, you can clearly see that I oppose tobacco tax increases and smoking bans, so I am not lying or self-hating.

However, smoking is unhealthy and smokers do use more healthcare than non-smokers. I think it is fair that smokers pay for the increased cost of their healthcare. Also, I think that goes for ANY activity that leads to the chance of using more healthcare: obese, extreme sports, drinking, driving SUVs, etc.

That being said, since smokers die a few years earlier, they should pay less in Social Security and Medicare, since they will use less of that on average.
Actually, I doubt smokers as a group use any more healthcare money than non-smokers; they just use it sooner and die instead of living to 95 and drawing precious social security and medicare funds. If a very sharp pencil were put to it, smokers probably cost us less than non-smokers.

But that's not the point. Smokers aren't a big family; they're all individuals, and as individuals some will outlive non-smokers and have fewer health problems over the years. My wife is a smoker and hasn't been to a doctor's office in the last 10 years. How many non-smokers on this thread can say that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dubyanumberone View Post
I'm a smoker (want to quit) and surprisingly I don't really have a problem with this.
However, while I'm a smoker I also take pretty good care of myself. My diet is good and I work out several times per week.

Why do I have to pay to take care of some obese person? Shouldn't they be forced to pay more than a thin person?

I'm a single man, why should I pay as much for health coverage as a woman? I work with an office full of women and they are constantly running to the doctor for various reasons (not saying it isn't necessary) while I haven't been in years.
Exactly!

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarryEyedSurprise View Post
Um, and women shouldn't have to pay for your prostate exams or viagra? Bit of a sexist, or at least very ignorant statement.
It's a statistical fact that women's healthcare costs are higher than men's -- as a group. He has a valid point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post
... I’m not condoning smoking, but most people act as if it’s guaranteed to kill you at a young age. Not the case. It increases the risk. There is a difference.
Excellent points in your whole post. Smoking does not kill people who would not otherwise die. Smoking is no more likely to end a life early than many other choices we can make. All smokers do not suffer illnesses and die from smoke inhalation, and all lung cancer is not caused by smoke. If only it was that simple....
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Old 05-09-2009, 07:59 PM
 
Location: Tri-Cities, TN
149 posts, read 351,605 times
Reputation: 60
I applied for a job at the Natural Foods Market and they told me not to even bother filling out the application, they don't hire smokers. Even though I am a very healthy person and am a great worker. This whole war on smoking is going too far. They're trying to get us every way they can. Grab a carton before it hits $200 and lets head for the hills where its safe.
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Old 05-10-2009, 04:00 PM
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
9,565 posts, read 13,412,514 times
Reputation: 20115
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post
This smoking issue gets tiresome. No, I don’t like smoking. It stinks and it’s annoying. Second hand smoke effects aside, one of the arguments I hear is that ‘smokers raise our insurance rates’ or ‘I’m paying for the smoker who contracts lung cancer and ends up in the hospital.’ In my estimation, that argument can be used for most any human pursuit. I can make a multitude of cases using the same logic:

My insurance is high because there are morons on the road who constantly disregard the rules and get in accidents… and then my insurance premium pays for the results of their negligence. Why should the general public have to pay for their risky behavior? Drivers with bad records do pay higher premiums.

Health insurance premiums are so high because idiots go out and engage in high risk activities and sports, get busted up, and then rely on health insurance money to fix the results of their Darwin Award worthy behaviors. And the media glorifies these activities, calling them ‘extreme sports.’ Why should the general public have to pay for their risky behaviour? Ban risky sports. Not sure about this one, but I believe many standard insurance policies don't cover for extreme sports injuries, you need to purchase additional coverage for that.

People who build homes in high-risk areas (seaside, mountainside, high fire danger, earthquake, etc…) are raising the insurance rates for everyone when they lose their houses. Ban them. So all those people in Florida grousing about their astronomical rate hikes after the last few hurricanes...?

People who consistently sleep less than 6.5 hours per night should be deemed outlaws because their mental faculties and alertness are compromised. Thus they get in more accidents and increase our insurance rates. Ban them. And put a bedside armed guard for anyone not honoring the ban, forcing them to conform. I'm sure if insurance companies could find a practical way to monitor and charge for this, they would.
Looks to me like insurance companies already do charge higher rates for higher risks.
How is smoking different? It does put you at a higher risk for health problems, so it's not unreasonable to expect smokers to pay higher rates. Obesity also puts you at higher risks for health problems, I see it as pretty much inevitable that will be the next target group for insurance companies.
Insurance companies aren't in it for altruistic reasons, they're out to make a buck. If they feel like certain groups are going to cost them more, then why shouldn't they charge those same groups a higher premium? From a business point of view it makes sense.
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Old 05-10-2009, 05:54 PM
 
8,649 posts, read 14,903,934 times
Reputation: 4563
Quote:
Originally Posted by CMartel2 View Post
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. )

"Smoking costs employers days upon days of sick leave."

I smoke and I worked for over 40 years until I retired..I NEVER WAS A WAY FROM WORK ONE DAY DUE TO IT. But let me clue you in on the BROWN BOTTLE Flu....We always had people missing Mondays from the BROWN BOTTLE flu....
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Old 05-10-2009, 05:58 PM
 
8,649 posts, read 14,903,934 times
Reputation: 4563
Quote:
Originally Posted by DBradley View Post
I applied for a job at the Natural Foods Market and they told me not to even bother filling out the application, they don't hire smokers. Even though I am a very healthy person and am a great worker. This whole war on smoking is going too far. They're trying to get us every way they can. Grab a carton before it hits $200 and lets head for the hills where its safe.
Do they sell smokes?
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Old 05-11-2009, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Tri-Cities, TN
149 posts, read 351,605 times
Reputation: 60
Haha no, If they sold smokes and told me they would'nt hire me because I smoke, well that would just make me angry. I guess the woman saw the outline of my cigarette pack in my pocket, or maybe smelled smoke on me. I've heard that some of these altruistic, self-righteous non-smokers have infra-red tobacco vision that allows them to spot a smoker from a mile away, maybe she saw me coming up the road and issued a "code red: filthy smoker entering the building, all non-smokers be on full alert. You're gas masks will fall from the ceiling momentarily, there is no need to panic"
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Old 05-12-2009, 12:20 PM
 
1,561 posts, read 1,609,539 times
Reputation: 1038
Quote:
Originally Posted by StarryEyedSurprise View Post
Um, and women shouldn't have to pay for your prostate exams or viagra? Bit of a sexist, or at least very ignorant statement.

I agree, viagra shouldn't be paid for by the government nor should boob jobs or hair transplants.

regarding my post, I'm just pointing out that single men, in general, will have lower health costs than women.

Ohh, I forgot, you can't point out a difference between men and women without being a sexist.
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Old 05-12-2009, 02:21 PM
 
1,047 posts, read 2,048,984 times
Reputation: 412
I don't like smoking, but that doesn't mean it should be banned or that I should dictate my will on others. I wish others would take the same tact.
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