Smokers and Obama Care.

Posted in the Blairsville Forum

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Since: May 12

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#1 Jan 25, 2013
Just finished reading an article that smokers may end up have to pay an additional $3000 a year to get insurance. What are you thoughts on this. For the record, I am not a smoker.

Since: May 12

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#2 Jan 25, 2013
copay

Carnesville, GA

#3 Jan 25, 2013
Trying to pay for the near impossible task of providing smokers, overeaters, and dying elderly with medical care is the major component of what Obama calls 'the 500 lb gorilla in the room' of our economic problem. This is his first effort to force pooled insurance economics to provide for their care, and shift the burden away from uninsured programs.

I'm not sure it can be done. I think it would be fair to deny/restrict public assistance for medical care to people who are obese or smoke. Those conditions can be curtailed with personal effort. Not to say the government should control overeating or smoking; only that the rest of society should not be forced to foot the bill for the consequences of those voluntary personal actions.(Gluttony is also a moral issue for Christians).

Dying elderly medical care is a seperate complicated issue.

How a society cares for it's sick and aged, is a good barometer of the caliber of that society. So it's an important issue to deal with.

Since: May 12

Location hidden

#4 Jan 25, 2013
How a society cares for it's sick and aged, is a good barometer of the caliber of that society. So it's an important issue to deal with.

I agree.
Not the Average Local

Blairsville, GA

#5 Jan 25, 2013
First thing to do would be to phase out any governmental assistance for farmers growing tobacco. I think we've learned enough to know that the negative effects of smoking tobacco far outweigh the positive impacts (cash crop) for farmers.

Since: May 12

Location hidden

#6 Jan 25, 2013
Not the Average Local wrote:
First thing to do would be to phase out any governmental assistance for farmers growing tobacco. I think we've learned enough to know that the negative effects of smoking tobacco far outweigh the positive impacts (cash crop) for farmers.
Not to mention all the tax dollars that the states get. Of course they would just find some where else to tax.
Really

Dawsonville, GA

#7 Jan 25, 2013
Why weren't drinkers included?

“Dont care how you did it in FL”

Since: Oct 11

Location hidden

#8 Jan 25, 2013
turniptown wrote:
Just finished reading an article that smokers may end up have to pay an additional $3000 a year to get insurance. What are you thoughts on this. For the record, I am not a smoker.
Society discriminates against baccor users.
Not the Average Local

Blairsville, GA

#9 Jan 25, 2013
Timmy_ wrote:
<quoted text>Society discriminates against baccor users.
As well we should, little Timmy. All the cancer and health problems you smokers are creating is costing the rest of us an arm and a leg ('course, it's costing you your lungs).
Yup

Blairsville, GA

#10 Jan 26, 2013
Let them die their trying to kill themselves anyway.

“Dont care how you did it in FL”

Since: Oct 11

Location hidden

#11 Jan 26, 2013
Not the Average Local wrote:
<quoted text>
As well we should, little Timmy. All the cancer and health problems you smokers are creating is costing the rest of us an arm and a leg ('course, it's costing you your lungs).
What about smokless baccor? What about fat people pigging out on candy and fast food?
R E Lee

Carnesville, GA

#12 Jan 26, 2013
Timmy_ wrote:
<quoted text>Society discriminates against baccor users.
You can voice your rebel opinion by refusing to accept taxpayer $ to pay for your cancerous lung removal to save your life. If you can't voice it due to throat cancer's toll, then just tap morse code on your bedpan.
R E Lee

Carnesville, GA

#13 Jan 26, 2013
Rebs couldn't stop him, but 'baccor' did:

U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant smoked cigars heavily, an estimated up to 12 a day. In late 1884, Grant was diagnosed with an oral cancer consisting of malignant squamous cell carcinoma. With his health failing, Grant devoted his time to his autobiography; five days after finishing it, he became the only U.S. president to die of cancer.

Sigmund Freud, the founder of Psychoanalysis, smoked 20 cigars a day, despite health warnings from colleagues.[13] Because of his frequent references to phallic symbolism, it is often claimed that his colleagues challenged him on the "phallic" shape of the cigar. Freud is supposed to have replied "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar," however, there are no records of such a conversation ever having taken place.[14] Initially concealing a cancerous growth in his mouth in 1923, Freud was eventually diagnosed with the same cancer as Grant's. Despite over 30 surgeries, and complications ranging from intense pain to insects infesting dead skin cells around the cancer, Freud smoked cigars until his life ended. Freud died at age 83 in a morphine-induced coma to relieve the pain from his cancer.

“Dont care how you did it in FL”

Since: Oct 11

Location hidden

#15 Jan 26, 2013
R E Lee wrote:
<quoted text>
You can voice your rebel opinion by refusing to accept taxpayer $ to pay for your cancerous lung removal to save your life. If you can't voice it due to throat cancer's toll, then just tap morse code on your bedpan.
I quit awhile back and I pay for my health insurance. God has the final say so of when you die whether you smoke a carton of cigarettes a day.
Jive Talker

Blairsville, GA

#16 Jan 26, 2013
Timmy_ wrote:
<quoted text>I quit awhile back and I pay for my health insurance. God has the final say so of when you die whether you smoke a carton of cigarettes a day.
Say isn't there something in the Bible about the body being the "Temple of Christ"? I don't think he likes all that smoke in there.
Floridian

Orlando, FL

#17 Jan 26, 2013
Timmy_ wrote:
<quoted text>I quit awhile back and I pay for my health insurance. God has the final say so of when you die whether you smoke a carton of cigarettes a day.
If you REALLY believe that then step in front of a bus and see what His decision is 100% of the time.
Jive Talker

Blairsville, GA

#18 Jan 26, 2013
Floridian wrote:
<quoted text>
If you REALLY believe that then step in front of a bus and see what His decision is 100% of the time.
True. God gave us brains enough to not step in front of a moving vehicle and to not put things into our body which are harmful.
Informed Opinion

Alva, FL

#19 Jan 26, 2013
A fascinating viewpoint;

It’s a common enough argument around the world at the moment, that various unhealthy behaviours increase the costs to health care systems. Thus those unhealthy behaviours should be taxed more heavily so as to pay for the costs to those health care systems. The only problem with the argument is that it is entirely gibbering nonsense, unhealthy behaviours reduce costs to health care systems: if we are to accept the initial logic then we should subsidise them, not tax them.
We see it in my native UK over smoking, alcohol and obesity. Rarely does a week go past without there being another report about how much this or that activity costs the NHS and thus taxes must be raised.
Now there is no doubt at all that these unhealthy behaviours do have costs, that’s not at issue. The major cost is of course to the imbiber, smoker or lardbucket in the form of a shorter lifespan.
But what about these costs to the health care systems? Well, the clue is in that shortened lifespan. Yes, certainly, there are costs to treating the diseases brought on by too much booze, tobacco or food. But there are costs to treating all diseases, all modes and methods by which we might possibly reach that undoubted destination, the grave.
The question is, are the costs of treating the illnesses and deaths brought on by those three indulgences higher or lower than the costs of treating those who live healthily but still inevitably die? We could argue it either way: Alzheimer’s costs more to manage than lung cancer costs, the cracked hips of age related osteoporosis perhaps more or less than fried livers from excessive bourbon. What we need to do is actually go and tot up the figures. Fortunately, that has been done:
Obesity is a major cause of morbidity and mortality and is associated with high medical expenditures. It has been suggested that obesity prevention could result in cost savings. The objective of this study was to estimate the annual and lifetime medical costs attributable to obesity, to compare those to similar costs attributable to smoking, and to discuss the implications for prevention.
….
Although effective obesity prevention leads to a decrease in costs of obesity-related diseases, this decrease is offset by cost increases due to diseases unrelated to obesity in life-years gained. Obesity prevention may be an important and cost-effective way of improving public health, but it is not a cure for increasing health expenditures.
The actual numbers for lifetime from 20 years old medical costs were:
The lifetime costs were in Euros:
Healthy: 281,000
Obese: 250,000
Smokers: 220,000
There are excellent arguments in favour of taxing in order to reduce the occurrence of smoking, excessive boozing and obesity. We humans are subject to hyperbolic discounting, not taking full account of long distant future costs for current pleasures, sometimes those running the public health system really do know more than us, there are externalities associated with these behaviours (late night drunks, passive smoking and the visual pollution of someone 300 lbs overweight perhaps). But the argument we cannot use is that these behaviours increase the costs of health care.
The reason we cannot use this argument is that it simply isn’t true. Those who die young save health care systems money, not cost. Thus, if we really are to accept the argument about taxes and the costs of health care then we should be subsidising puffing, browsing and sluicing.

Since: Oct 11

Wildwood, FL

#20 Jan 26, 2013
Good for you on quitting. The good book does say that you can shorten or lengthen your days so if you smoke a carton a day I would guess that would shorten them a bit.
Timmy_ wrote:
<quoted text>I quit awhile back and I pay for my health insurance. God has the final say so of when you die whether you smoke a carton of cigarettes a day.
obese smoker

Toccoa, GA

#21 Jan 27, 2013
Instead of trying to penalize them and change their ways, why not just let these health sinners die prematurely from their unhealthy habits.
Smokers tend to die 10 years earlier on average, and the obese die five to 12 years prematurely.
If 1 in 5 U.S. adults smoke, and 1 in 3 are obese, why not just get off their backs and let them go on with their (probably shortened) lives?

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