WASHINGTON--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
Comments: Oh, what a slippery slope! First--I thought taxes on cigarettes went, if only partly, to paying for any damage smokers are said to cause to themselves. Will smokers then be treated as "victims" of drug abuse? After that it´s almost certain that those designated as "obese" will be the next group ordered to pay 50% more. Skiiers and others involved in "dangerous" sports to follow. Those who own motor bikes? Those who eat "too much" meat? The mind well and truly boggles.
This will certainly open up penalties on other lifestyles. My own company is easing into premiums based on BMI. The funny thing is that I don´t believe actuaries omit these people when they determine premium rates. Insurance companies are the winners.
While I loath smoking, and agree with the meme that "80% of health problems are caused by overeating and under exercising", I agree that this is a VERY slippery slope.
We all know a universal health care law was the Holy Grail for liberals. They don´t really care about health. These freaks only care about using it to control other people - and it is already thoroughly underway.
A story out of Oregon earlier this week suggested the state is considering making tobacco ´prescription only´.
That´d be a real hoot. On top of your ´augmented´ premiums - wait for $40 per pack taxes to kick in - for a $55 a pack total - then of course some sort of government ´assistance´ to help the ´indigent´ afford smokes.
Humorously, no mention of the health premium that *gays* would be forced to pay for *their* lifestyle choices...or as #1 points out - the rest of the ´unhealthy slobs´ in society. No telling if ´bias discrimination´ will be covered under new mental health treatment regs...
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 — but they can charge more if a person smokes.
But smokers die young--thereby saving the rest of us for the years of their demise. Their premiums should be LOWER. Smoking should be ENCOURAGED for the good of non-smokers. Ditto people who live on ice cream.
This is a foray into risk-based premiums. Much of my insurance premiums over the trajectory of my life has been risk-based. Of course, there are other, and perhaps more substantial risks. The risk of age, for example: OCARE charges the young and hale a lot of excess premium to pay for the older and sicker. My current life policy also rated drinking, risky life-style choices, presence of certain diseases ... all of these factor into proper premium charges.
The best comment made here was great - so you thought OCARE would be free?
How will this be enforced? Wiith underover smoking police? I think smoking is really disgusting, and like most ex smokers, I hate the smell of it. But how can an employer, or the government, enforce that rule on premium? If someone is smoking an e cigarette, are they exempt from the rule?
Those who are so indignant at this, should realize that this is all good for private industry, the insurance industry. Look at the way this is all set up - it´s totally insurance methodology, the same as if you were talking about your house or your car. Except this is talking about you.
Sure, they made the pre-existing conditions thing part of the whole political deal that just had to be in there. So yeah, the insurance industry loses out on that one tiny miniscule piece of their business, but they´ve been given the keys to this whole thing. The government´s not going to run the health care system; the insurance industry is going to run the healthcare system.
This is why Zippy´ EO directed the CDC to study gun ownership as if it were a disease. It´s a foregone conclusion that thier "studies" will show increased risk of injury if you live in a home with a gun. Then presto they´ll make owning guns unaffordable by hiking your premiums through the roof.
A new downtown location will be available to help people apply for health insurance at the healthcare.gov website, officials said. [Snip] State Rep. Wendell Gilliard, D-Charleston, said that on opening day he will bring a Christmas tree to the center to decorate with ornaments symbolic of people signing up for insurance through the Affordable Health Care Act. Each decoration will represent an individual who was able to get coverage with the assistance of the center’s navigators or application counselors. The tree is scheduled to go up at 10 a.m. Monday. Gilliard said South Carolina has more than 700,000 uninsured residents.
Soil from the First World War battlefields of Flanders was yesterday blessed and scattered in a memorial garden which will mark next year’s 100th anniversary of the start of the conflict. Seventy bags of “sacred soil” which arrived in London yesterday were taken by gun carriage from HMS Belfast to Wellington Barracks, where the “Flanders Fields 1914-2014” Memorial Garden is being created, designed by Belgian architect Piet Blanckaert. Eight-year-old Patrick Casey, of Barnet, north London, given the honour of pouring a casket of soil from all the battlefields into the garden, said: “It made me proud and excited.”
In this week’s Spectator Diary, Lord (Nigel) Lawson, chairman of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, partly lifts the veil on a curious “secret meeting” held at the House of Lords between a team from his GWPF and six scientists from the Royal Society. This arose from a bizarre personal attack made on Lord Lawson as a “climate denier” at an Australian university, by the Royal Society’s president, Sir Paul Nurse--a geneticist who has publicly shown that he knows little about climate science, but who believes that rising CO2 is disastrously causing the world to warm. After Lawson pointed out to
Thirty days and counting until the influx that the Government dreads either does or does not materialise. The massed Romanians and Bulgarians, who may or may not be waiting for the magic date, present a terrifying political prospect not just to the Conservatives but to Labour as well, who tend to be blamed retrospectively for unlimited immigration even when they are out of office. The only party leader who can benefit from another wave of Eastern European migrants is Nigel Farage. If I were to suggest that he might be relishing this prospect I would probably hear from Mr Farage’s
Barack Obama’s deals with Iran and Syria may protect us for now, but US pragmatism does not bode well for tomorrow. Geopolitics is an inexact science, but the off-the-scale responses to the events of the past few months in the Middle East should send any sensible analyst rushing to double-check their data. How is it that a putative nuclear deal with Iran can be welcomed as a “historic” opportunity in Washington and Tehran, but as a “historic mistake” in Jerusalem and “more dangerous than 9/11” in Riyadh, in the phrase of one leading Saudi Arabian commentator? At the very least
At least six people are feared dead and more than 30 people were injured when a police helicopter crashed into the roof of an iconic pub in Glasgow city centre last night. Emergency services had to drag customers out of the premises after the aircraft fell from the sky ´like a stone´. A police officer at the scene said there were a ´few confirmed deaths´ but could not say how many. Sky News is reporting that a source has said that at least six people were killed in the incident. Police Scotland have confirmed that 32 people have been taken to hospital to treatment
When Laszlo Andor, the EU Employment Commissioner, said this week that Britain risked becoming a “nasty country” because of its attitude to immigration, I happened to be in Paris. I was exercising the right of freedom of movement, due to me as an EU citizen, to make a speech there and visit some archives. Paris is strangely empty of French people these days. This is partly because an estimated 300,000 of them are currently in the capital of the newly nasty country, London. The French Lycée in South Kensington is grossly oversubscribed. Educated French people have fled President Hollande’s punitive
So I´m a speaker at this conference, a month or two ago, and I´ve just delivered my spiel about the global warming hysteria being a classic example of the madness of crowds. The audience are gratifyingly impressed: some of them have never heard this stuff before, certainly not expressed in quite so forthright a way. Now there are questions from the floor and one of them comes from a university professor. Actually--I´ve seen this before, all too many times: it´s how the Warmists roll--there´s no question being asked, it´s more of a rambling, grandstanding statement. The professor roots his statement
Britain’s immigration row escalated on Friday after the leaders of four Eastern European countries jointly criticised David Cameron for attempting to limit migrants’ benefit entitlements. A statement by the governments of Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary warned the prime minister against a “selective application” of European Union rules on free movement of labour. The quartet added that migrants from central and Eastern Europe, at least a million of whom are believed to be working in Britain, had been greatly beneficial to the British economy overall. [Snip] Mr Cameron responded by saying that it was “inappropriate” for an unelected
A moonwalking Shetland pony that shot to fame after being seen by millions in a TV advert for a mobile network is set to return to our screens. The video of Socks dancing to the tune of Fleetwood Mac´s 1988 hit Everywhere became an internet hit earlier this year, with more than seven million people viewing it on YouTube. It has now been announced that Socks has been called back to star in a second commercial for the mobile phone network Three, again set on the windswept beaches of Shetland. [Snip] Socks will be kitted out in a Fair Isle
A British soldier was set upon by Muslim converts like a butchers "attacking a joint of meat" as they tried to hack off his head, the Old Bailey heard. Footage of the moment two men allegedly ran down drummer Lee Rigby before attacking him with a cleaver and knives was shown to the jury in his murder trial. The CCTV clip showed the car, allegedly driven by Michael Adebolajo swerve across a road and hit the 25-year-old from behind as he crossed the road. Mr Rigby was knocked unconscious by the collision and his motionless body was then attacked by
Liquidators escorted by police are evicting staff from a public TV station in the Spanish city of Valencia, after an order to shut it down. They moved in after staff at the loss-making station defied the closure order by the regional government and continued broadcasting. Valencia´s government took the decision to close RTVV after losing a court battle to cut staff by more than half. Valencia´s government is run by the conservative Popular Party, which is in power nationally in Spain under Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. In Greece, the conservative-led coalition government shut down the national broadcaster ERT on grounds
A Republican strategist is reminding his party that President Reagan is dead. Ford O´Connell, who worked on Sen. John McCain´s (R-Ariz.) 2008 presidential campaign, says if Republicans want to win the White House in 2016, they need to break free of the "obsessive Reagan disorder." Rule #1 of the political analyst´s newly released book, "Hail Mary: The 10-Step Playbook for Republican Recovery," is: "Ronald Reagan is dead. Accept it." Such a sentiment is sure to be tough to digest for a party insistent on using the 40th president´s legacy as a GOP litmus test to prove conservative credentials. "The Reagan fixation is a drag
The hits to President Obama´s popularity, prompted by the botched HealthCare.gov rollout, are simply a natural fluctuation every commander-in-chief faces, Obama told interviewer Barbara Walters in an interview aired Friday. "If you remember, I´ve gone up and down pretty consistently throughout," Obama said in the ABC interview on Friday. "But the good thing about when you´re down is that usually you´ve got nowhere to go but up." "I got re-elected in part because people did think I was trustworthy and they knew I was working on their behalf," Obama said in the network´s exclusive. A CNN Poll of Polls complied
The human species began as the hybrid offspring of a male pig and a female chimpanzee, a leading geneticist has suggested. The startling claim has been made by Eugene McCarthy, of the University of Georgia, who is also one of the worlds leading authorities on hybridisation in animals. He points out that while humans have many features in common with chimps, we also have a large number of distinguishing characteristics not found in any other primates. Dr McCarthy says these divergent characteristics are most likely the result of a hybrid origin at some point far back in human evolutionary history. What´s more, he suggests,
WASHINGTON — As a small coterie of grim-faced advisers shuffled into the Oval Office on the evening of Oct. 15, President Obama’s chief domestic accomplishment was falling apart 24 miles away, at a bustling high-tech data center in suburban Virginia. HealthCare.gov, the $630 million online insurance marketplace, was a disaster after it went live on Oct. 1, with a roster of engineering repairs that would eventually swell to more than 600 items. The private contractors who built it were pointing fingers at one another. And inside the White House, after initially saying too much traffic was to blame, Mr. Obama’s
The Washington Examiner recently reported on an academic study on the 2008 presidential election entitled "The Palin Effect" that examined the effect of then Gov. Palin on the John McCain campaign. Its conclusions run counter to conventional wisdom. The cliché, advanced by the media and the now infamous HBO TV show "Game Change," was that Palin helped to cost McCain the election because of her "controversial" personality. In fact, typical of most vice presidential running mates, Palin had a marginal but largely positive effect on McCain´s standing with the voters. She certainly did not drive away independents and moderates, who along
An education official at a Texas high school is under fire after telling some female students they have been dressing like ‘hoes.’ According to KRIV Fox 26, School Support Officer Dr. Tameca Richardson made the remark to female students at Jack Yates High School in Houston during an assembly on campus. A spokesperson for the Houston Independent School District confirmed the language used by Richardson, the station reported. Some parents expressed anger over Richardson’s terminology, saying the Ph.D.-level educator should have used language that was less offensive. "That was out of line and she should be disciplined for that,"
AUBURN, Ala. — In a season of miracles for Auburn, all it has taken is one mistake to give the Tigers life. No. 1 Alabama made just enough of them Saturday to change the course of history. With no time left on the clock, Auburn cornerback Chris Davis caught a 57-yard field goal attempt by Alabama in the back of the end zone, ran it out down the left sideline and went 109 yards untouched to beat the Crimson Tide, 34-28.
He´s a proud family man already, but President Barack Obama will turn to his children when it comes to life after the White House. Sasha Obama could be the deciding factor in whether the first family stay in Washington once he leaves office in three years. In a taped interview with ABC News, the President said his now 12-year-old daughter ´will have a big vote in where we are´ because she will be a sophomore in high school. When Obama leaves office in January 2017 after two terms, eldest daughter Malia could be off in college. Both girls attend the exclusive Sidwell Friends School
Sen. John McCain is starting to sound like a Tea Party “wacko bird.” In a new fundraising letter for the Republican National Committee released Friday, McCain lashed out at “Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Washington liberals,” who he claimed are destroying the United States. Liberals, he warned, “have taken us down a dark and dangerous path defined by record levels of debt, ever-expanding government, and a lead-from-behind defense strategy. There´s not much time left to turn things around.” McCain’s name carries a lot of weight in fundraising because he was the 2008 GOP nominee and is a leading voice of
President Obama took part in Small Business Saturday by heading over to Politics and Prose, a locally-owned bookstore in Washington, D.C. Wearing a brown leather coat and tan sweater, the president mingled with customers and wished them happy holidays. He brought daughters Malia and Sasha, who occasionally left his side to shop as he chatted with others. At the register, when asked what books he purchased, Obama said, “it is a long list ... books for every age group, from 5 to 52.” In all, Obama purchased 21 titles, including, “All That Is” by James Salter; “Collision Low Crossers:
The time has come to end presidential term limits, because continuing the restrictions on how long one can serve in the country´s highest office is bad for the United States, a university professor argued this week. In an opinion piece published in the Washington Post, Jonathan Zimmerman, a history and education professor at New York University, says deciding whether a president deserves a third, fourth or more terms should be left to the American people, not the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, which placed a two-term limit on the position. As background, here´s an excerpt from the amendment, ratified in
Former Obama advisor David Plouffe appeared on This Week With George Stephanopoulos Sunday morning and predicted that President Barack Obama’s approval rating would rise over the next few months, following the increasing functionality of the Affordable Care Act. “This has been a tough task,” Plouffe said. “It’s not just health care. The shutdown affected everybody’s confidence in government. But let’s fast-forward to the State of the Union and the months after that. Health care working better, a lot of people signing up. The economy continuing to strengthen. Hopefully no Washington shutdowns.