Smoker's Health Care
by C1ay - 4/12/11 4:14 PM
Smoking has been shown to be undoubtedly bad for one's health. It is an unhealthy habit engaged in by choice. Should non-smokers be required to contribute to the health care of smokers?
by: C1ay April 12, 2011 4:14 PM PDT
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Total posts: 43 (Showing page 1 of 2)
Should teetotalers for drinking?
Should vegetarians for cholesterol patients?
Should couch potatoes for extreme sport injuries?
While I concede your point about smoking, health insurance is an averaging game where the well help pay for the less well, period.
Most insurance now does have higher premiums for smokers. Many are moving to higher premiums for obese. While a choice, I'm not sure obesity is as easy to cure as smoking. I've quit smoking, I'm still overweight.
Should people with healthy genes help pay for those with poorer genes? Now that seems to be an entirely different case, yet insurance companies have used your family's history to deny coverage or charge more I believe.
So where would you draw the line without doing away with cost averaging and affordable (if it is) insurance?
...health insurance is an averaging game where the well help pay for the less well, period.
Health care for all is not an averaging system at all. The working people pay for the care of non-working people, well or not.
I'm a working person now with my own health insurance and I have no problem with my health insurance company charging smokers more if they want to. I would have a problem though with having to pay more for my own insurance so they could provide insurance to people that pay nothing and life whatever unhealthy lifestyle they choose. It only seems fair to me that the people supporting any health program for all get to dictate how the non-supportive people treat themselves.
Other than those not paying for insurance
Hmmm, so the opening wasn't about lifestyle but about lifestyle coupled with universal health care plans? The post seem to ask about pricing of one group compared to another based on lifestyle, no mention of whether or not everyone should be provided care. The last paragraph in your reply seems to be taking on an very different aspect, if not entirely different question of health care cost.
Regarding the original aspect of one groups cost compared to another, or a person with poor choice in lifestyle paying more than another, who would you penalize?
That is what unhealthy lifestyles should pay more than you do?
Should some pay less than you do because of their lifestyles?
I can see more prorated premiums coming, certain actions being a plus or minus in determining your health insurance premiums and exclusions. And some of it may be quite reasonable, and even encourage people to life better lifestyles.
I can see it becoming like high power sports cars costing more or cars with certain safety features costing less on car insurance. Or more accidents costing more and a safety driving course reducing your premium. I can easily see the insurance companies taking that route as well as many calling for it.
But I also see prorated premiums based on your genetics or rate of incident of specific diseases in your family tree rather than your actions coming too.
But in a discussion of how premiums should be affected by lifestyle, it may prove difficult to decide when you get pass the clearest choices and start creating more and more subclasses to define each policy holder's risk and use that risk to set premiums. I suspect it would come down to what the odds are you'll get the most expensive to treat conditions. But I'm not sure lifestyle choices will be the only deciding factors. And some lifestyle choices will be classified as detrimental but seem to be so specific as to be dictating your life day to day.
Statistics may prove anything, and they will be used. How fair will it be to decide that only married people with two kids and a pet (from specified list), with no family history of a long list of conditions for at least 3 generations be charged to "nominal" premium. Every deviation from a preferred (ie statistical derived to be the healthiest living choices) set of living conditions will be considered a point against you. Ok, that may be hyperbole, or at least I hope so, but I actually think you will see it moving in that direction.
During our lifetimes, it may move only enough to punish those that really do knowing make bad choices. But such things have their own momentum, especially if some board of directors sees a profit in continuing that direction.
Several ways to go about it.
Known bad health habits could carry a penalty such as higher premiums, deductibles, co-pays, etc.
Those with such could be offered a one-time opportunity to repent of they ways and be covered by a rehab program of some sort. I'd consider making them front some of the money first with a promise of a refund if they complete the program and stay clean for a period. This way they have an investment and an incentive to remain clean. Could go for several conditions that are purely lifestyle and not known to have significant genetic involvement. Obesity could be a tough one, however. Smoking, alcohol or drug abuse, etc., should not be treated as normally expected health issues when the actuaries grab their scratch pads.
why not use the same approach for
welfare recipients who are unwed mothers? Problem is, it's pick and choose on who gets the shaft and who gets the bank draft.
(NT) Visit upon the child punishment for the parents sin huh?
by James Denison - 4/12/11 8:18 PM
Right of support, inherited by birth? No room to address lack of responsibility on part of the parents? Financially orphaned? Some right to do something wrong, believing others should pay for it? They don't have any right to tell me how to live my life, but do have a duty to support the way I live it?
That one's even tougher
We can't punish the kids born to these people and it might just be a punishment to the child to let it be raised in certain environments. I don't have an answer but, if reckless sexual behavior is involved, the kid gets first and best consideration.
that's your answer
Orphanage until the parent can prove responsibility.
If an orphanage is the best we can do,
then an orphanage it is. Personally, I have to think there is something wrong with our system that seems to consider children as property. I also have to think our adoption and foster care systems are broken.
the whole system is broken
That's why we have this morass of a mess. Bad behavior gets the money, good behavior gets taxed more to pay for it. Responsibility is not required of the recipients while those taxed face penalties if they don't support the irresponsible activities. What ever happened to "Beggars can't be choosers"? We have allowed our society to make the working class become slaves to the slovenly, indolent, and promiscuous. If the children should be taken care of, then fine, but don't do it by rewarding the ones who are causing the problems in the first place.
Re: beggars can't be choosers
Didn't know that. That was in the Constitution? It must have been the Democrats that removed it.
used to be considered common knowledge
such as "fall off a cliff and you'll get hurt" or "touch a hot stove and you'll get burned", but then socialism came along and we learned that "beggars can't be choosers" actually wasn't a universal rule. Washington showed us that beggars actually can be choosers.
Tax cigarettes and liquor and direct those taxes to health-
care. Simple solution. Make the taxes equal the cost of Health Care annually, and Bob's your Uncle. (Bet you don't know where that phrase comes from.)
cost of HIV?
by James Denison - 4/12/11 8:19 PM
In Reply to: Tax cigarettes and liquor and direct those taxes to health- by Ziks511
Tax homosexuals at a higher rate too?
In case you've missed it, HIV is a disease of both sexes.
It began in Africa when Monkey Immune Deficiency migrated to people through the eating of "Bush Meat". It is by far a more heterosexual disease in Africa than it is a gay disease there, not least because Homosexuals comprises only 6% of the population.
I believe the heterosexual infection number in the US is greater than the homosexual number too.
then change homosexual to sodomites
by James Denison - 4/13/11 8:16 AM
In Reply to: In case you've missed it, HIV is a disease of both sexes. by Ziks511
Since that's the African birth control practice that results in the same thing as homosexuals in the US do to get HIV.
by Willy - 4/13/11 6:23 AM
In Reply to: Tax cigarettes and liquor and direct those taxes to health- by Ziks511
If I "buy" liquor or cigarettes, I pay tax. Great, then why is tax such a burden that it almost equals the very product I want. In countries that make this possible have such a black market, too much slips by and no tax is collected. This also allows rise of a criminal segment that gave what we now know as the Mafia and others. All this before a health concern was even a consideration. So, you do this here, you get real involvement more than is now. Heck, its done now for far less tax and you're going to push this into a real pain for everyone, once that tax revenue is lost. -----Willy
One problem with that....
How would you charge people higher premiums, deductibles, co-pays, etc. when they're not paying anything to begin with?
If it's the government
They'd give them money to help pay it. That makes sense in Washington.
Well smoking is an addiction, and it used to be a
prominently advertised addiction. People are paying the price for getting hooked in childhood. I still remember kids in 6th grade trying cigarettes, and by high school at least half the school smoked, and that was the 50's and early 60's.
Health Care is Health Care. You may not realize you've been exposed to asbestos (know I have) but 30 years later along comes Mesothelioma the only known cause of which is Asbestos exposure, or Lung Cancer or Emphysema. Do you think that people exposed to asbestos should be denied because they "weren't careful enough".
Roger has it exactly right. You can't go around cutting people off because their life style choices were made at a time when the health effects weren't known.
Additionally as a personal example. I was exposed to second hand smoke for much of my life, particularly in childhood with my parents both of whom smoked, even though they knew I was asthmatic. They did so because there was no data on the effects of second hand smoke. Lots of folks smoked at University, and not just "wacky tobacky". I just got sicker and sicker until I ended up in hospital at the age of 26 for a significant period of time. You want a fun procedure, try a lung lavage. That's where they stick a Y shaped tube down your throat into your lungs and rinse out one lung with saline to loosen phlegm and get rid of other particles, while piping oxygen to the other lung to keep you alive. Then about a week later they do the other lung. Imagine waterboarding, only one lung at a time, and you can't object because it's a medical treatment that will make you better for a time. Thank God for the new generation of drugs, Advair I love you. I may not be able to run, but I can get through my weeks without living on Ventolin every 4 to 6 hours, and it's rare for me to end up breathless.
And yet, you still can't show
anyone that's actually cut off from health care. They may not have the epitomy of the best health care, but they still get it.
So let them pay the price.....
No point in charging me for any of it. Just because people made bad choices doesn't mean they should be entitled to share their consequences with me.
Now the other way around. Everybody pays for a life insurance or a pension (that is, if you are insured). Smokers, on the average, die earlier. So on the average, they get less then non-smokers.
You don't smoke, so smokers pay part of your pension or what you get from your assurance. Using the same logic, you should pay more for your pension if you live healthy.
You can't have the cake (I live a healthy live and I don't want to pay for the health care of people who don't) and eat it too (I live a healthy live so the people who don't should pay for me).
Smokers may die earlier because they get sick earlier
and it's those last years that drain the health care system, isn't it? I could guess that, by the time they are treated for cancer, emphysema, and other smoking related issues (including those that might limit their years of productivity), they've already dug well into the money pot being created by the more healthy. I don't know if it's possible to put figures to this but it makes good sense to me.
The problem is ...
by Kees_B - 4/13/11 2:41 AM
In Reply to: Smokers may die earlier because they get sick earlier by Steven Haninger
that it are different money pots. So currently it's all averaged out between all those money pots because all those factors aren't taken into account.
The finer grained the differences and the more interaction between the different systems, the more complex it will become.
Another example: say you have a gene that promotes cystic fibroses. Statistically speaking, you won't reach the 65 years. But you still pay for other persons pension early in your life.
Unfortunately, not true
It so happens I have two nephews with CF who will be in their 20s and 30s by now. The cost of their health care has been astronomical all of their lives and will continue as long as they are around. For us not afflicted, it appears to be a horrible way to live. I hate to consider these circumstances in terms of money but there's no way a person with CF, unless they strike gold in some way, will pay for the entire cost of their own health care and have enough left to cover someone else. I did, BTW, exclude cases with genetic involvement in my first post of the thread.
That's a strawman argument. We're talking about health insurance, not life insurance. Please read the OP and try again.
Second of all, life insurance companies routinely charge extra premiums for smokers!
Total posts: 43 (Showing page 1 of 2)