Skip to comments.Penalty could keep smokers out of health overhaul
Posted on 01/25/2013 8:15:46 AM PST by Orange1998
WASHINGTON (AP) 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 "Obamacare" to its detractors 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 last fall by the Obama administration. But older smokers could face a heavy hit on their household budgets at a time in life when smoking-related illnesses tend to emerge.
Take a hypothetical 60-year-old smoker making $35,000 a year. Estimated premiums for coverage in the new private health insurance markets under Obama's law would total $10,172. That person would be eligible for a tax credit that brings the cost down to $3,325. ..........
But the smoking penalty could add $5,086 to the cost. And since federal tax credits can't be used to offset the penalty, the smoker's total cost for health insurance would be $8,411, or 24 percent of income.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
After you pay Federal Income Tax, State Income Tax, Social Security Tax, Medicare Tax, Property Tax, Sales Tax, Medical Device Tax you will be at poverty collecting Food Stamps.
Welcome to the USSR of America. One Nation under Obama.
They came for the smokers but I wasn’t a smoker so I didn’t say anything.
Then they came for the gun owners but I didn’t own a gun so I didn’t say anything.
Then they came for the obese but I am not obese so I didn’t say anything.
Then they came for me and there was no one to speak in my defense.
And all these years smokers have been paying high taxes on the cigarettes because of their healthcare.
I’m guessing somehow that potheads and meth heads will still be fully covered...
Isn’t this discrimination? they didn’t touch drinking, drug use, risky sex, junk food.
You got that right! The communists network is expanding.
—New York Times, 3-29-87
Nicotine addiction should be classified and treated the same way other forms of chemical dependency are approached in ObamaCare.
Again, it's evident that this law was written by people with no knowledge of how health care works in the real world.
Yet... alcohol will NEVER be included as a substance of issue in this "law" because it's "protected" by the Bill of Rights.
Bunch of petty tyrants, the lot of them.
So, smokers should just pay the “penalty” and then obtain insurance only after they get cancer, because cancer is a pre-existing condition that cannot be refused.
See the looking glass yet?
How will they determine that you are a smoker? Send an inspector to smell your house? When your Dr. asks you questions..smoke? drinks? guns? No No No.
A virtual Pandora’s Box of unintended consequences here. Either all of the state CHiP programs (which are funded by obscenely high cigarette taxes) go broke and leave THE CHILDREN without coverage, or smokers decide just to pay the penalty and buy coverage only after they get sick (as Obamacare gives them the right to do)
Either way the popcorn sales should be brisk.
Oh boy! For later.........
what about the osmokers that are already on Medicaid and SSDI.
Any requirements or restrictions on them?
Percentage wise, I would wager that there are more smokers on government assistance than not.
Since I don’t smoke the point is Obama lied about healthcare. If Obama said smokers will pay 25% of income for Obamacare it would have NEVER passed. What else is buried in the paperwork that will effect us.
“How will they determine that you are a smoker? Send an inspector to smell your house? When your Dr. asks you questions..smoke? drinks? guns? No No No.”
Routine blood test looking for elevated nicotine levels. Insurance companies use it all the time. As a matter a fact, the insurance company that did mine called the test,are you ready, an Enitocin test.
Discrimination? Its been a mute issue ever since they passed double digit Tanning Salon Bed Tax. The IRS expects to collect some $2.7 billion in taxes from tanning salons over the next decade.
How can a RACE specific tax be constitutional is beyond me.
However, where is this going: Guns are a health risk to everyone, so if you have guns, you will pay a 50% penalty to have health insurance. Now, are you interested? Can you forget this one?
Give up your guns and your insurance policy will be low enough you can buy it - keep your guns and you don't have enough money to pay for healthcare due to your penalty for having a gun.
What will you do?
The rot they drip everywhere they go can't be cured, only treated costing millions so the filthy bastards can live to spread it.
Obama argued Obamacare is NOT A TAX and got it passed. The Supreme Court ruled it is a tax so it’s constitutional. The system was played pure and simple. Just think what would happen if the Democrats controlled the House.
Well... now you understand why the National Health Database is being built.
Chances are, the FEDS already know whether you smoke or not.
It’s all theoretical for me. We couldn’t begin to afford the premiums anyway, subsidy or not.
Well... now you understand why the National Health Database is being built.
Chances are, the FEDS already know whether you smoke or not.
I can see people being charged with a federal felony for lying on their application or lying to their doctor. They could devise tests to see if you’re eating candy or beef brisket or potato chips or soda. It won’t stop with smoking. They could make cigarettes illegal right now if they wanted to, if it weren’t for the money they collect on taxes.
Surprise!!! One of many to come
On "guaranteed issue" policies they don't ask health questions. In fact it is not an insurance company's business
If you smoke and have guns, just turn all your money over.
I’m going to be a lone dissenter here, but I don’t care.
You get charged more for insurance if you drive recklessly and get tickets or have accidents that are your fault.
You get charged more if you have a lot of homeowner claims resulting from negligence or disrepair.
We decry that hospital cost shifting occurs and people who have insurance and are of some means are charged exorbitant amounts to subsidize the care given those who have no insurance.
Personally, I don’t give a whit whether someone smokes or eats like a horse or engages in all sorts of risky and unhealthy pursuits, but why should others who try to stay as safe and healthy as possible have to pay for it?
We might as well demand that we can consistently drive 20 miles over the speed limit and dodge and weave in heavy traffic and expect to be charged the same for car insurance as the most conscientious defensive driver.
A person’s freedom to live his/her life any way he/she wants should stop when they reach into my wallet to pay for their poor choices.
Just because it is guaranteed issue doesn’t mean there can’t be tiered premiums based on smoking or anything else.
“Is not one of tenants of conservatism the idea of personal responsibility for your actions? Yes, Obama lied, but personal choices have consequences.”
We have transitioned health insurance from a transfer of risk, to a collectivist system. It is not possible to have individual responsibility in a collective system, which is shown by your cry for individual responsibility by dictating collective behaviour.
Someone just said as much, “Individual liberty requires collective action.”
They will take nicotine blood tests. A family member had to take one to work at his new job at a casino. They don’t want smokers working there who might need to take a smoking break at the wrong time.
“They will take nicotine blood tests. A family member had to take one to work at his new job at a casino.”
I’m curious, what’s the name and location of this casino?
So, with millions of potential customers, there will surely be some large company that will cater to this group’s insurance needs. Because of sheer volume, they will probably have to pay lower premiums than the poor saps forced into CommieCare, and they will get better treatment. Another case of unintended consequences caused by the most feckless government in recorded history.
Guess what? Smokers have always paid higher premiums than non smokers. Smokers, through specific taxes, also pay for all the children’s healthcare through the CHIP programs.
So just like everything else you list, smokers not already pay - but pay more above and beyond what is for themselves.
“but why should others who try to stay as safe and healthy as possible have to pay for it?”
Insurance was designed as an opportunity to transfer risk from one party to another. The party that was willing to take the transferred risk specifically set up business models to ensure that they could maintain financial viability and reap a financial reward for assuming that risk. Their business models assumed that some small number of high risk folks would be offset by a much lager number of small risk folks.
The individuals willing to pay them for assuming the risk of a catastrophic financial event understood this business model. Then we had wage caps and employers had to find another way to attract the most qualified job candidates, so they started offering health insurance as a benefit package and over time many services were rolled into that benefit.
Now we have transitioned from INSURANCE to CARE and that benefit is utilized for all sorts of basic medical industry services. We have completed the transition from a transfer of risk product to a complete medical care benefit package and then we are shocked that the costs have skyrocketed!
Ask yourself about car insurance. We buy auto insurance to protect ourselves from financial ruin in the case that we have a catastrophic unforeseen event. What would happen to the cost of your auto insurance policy if society decided that it should cover regular maintenance as well as catastrophic events? If we transitioned auto insurance to include oil changes, repairs, new tires, etc. then we would have unaffordable auto insurance policies!
Then everyone would scream that we need to dictate the type of gas you use or frequency of your long trips to ensure that your maintenance costs did not effect the collective costs!
The transition from health insurance to “health care” has been a wonderful training tool to get folks to agree with collectivization! Don’t fall for their trickery.
Yes tying health insurance to employment (as you said an artifact of WW2 price controls) resulted in a bad outcome.
It divorced the covered person from the costs.
Absolutely right! This country built on individual choices but Obamacare is MANDATORY. You have no choice.
You’re correct. I assume anyone who has had any type of blood test is categorized as yes / no.
With Obamacare you don’t even have the option for high deductible catastrophic care only policies. If you are a male, you can’t even chose to foregoe pre-natal coverage, post natal (??) coverage, etc.
The most expensive drag on health insurance risk pools are generally young women with young children. Yet, with Obamacare their benefits were expanded and are now supposed to be supplemented by “targeted” behaviours.
Don’t worry, we’ll be able to smoke in the camps they send us too.
Like my friend’s dad, he never smoked until he ended up in the brig in the Navy (why, I don’t know) and then he started smoking, solely because it was forbidden.
Ina free market, that’s fine. This is not a free market enterprise, this is government intrusion.
Well, to be fair, it’s not that hard to tell. Most smokers reek.
I understand what you are saying.
But how can you voice a consistent conservative message if, on the one hand, you’re assailing the food stamp nation and the Obamaphone takers, yet on the other hand you’re championing the cause of people who abuse their bodies and expect others to pay for their resulting health problems?
In both cases, there is no free market. Taxes to prop up the 47% are just as mandatory as those we’re going to pay for Obamacare. And those who live on the government largesse are required to jump through hoops to qualify.
I’m struggling to find a consistent, across the board stance on all this stuff. The minute the government gets its hands on a program which impacts you, you no longer have the ability to march to your own drum. They call the tunes.
I guess it’s all in the semantics. Obamacare is not insurance in the traditional sense of risk sharing. It’s just universal health care posing as insurance in order to close the sale.
Insurers who provide health insurance have always had the right to charge “smokers” and others with self-inflicted health risks more for an insurance policy and some employer health plans have done the same by way of offering discounts to those who don’t smoke (which over time produces increases on those who do, as the plan’s experience dictates).
Either the health non-reform law is limiting what those increases may be, or it is allowing such increases to be “after the fact” - after someone was already previously allowed into a plan, when the person was not asked if they smoked and/or without previously charging higher premiums for smokers.
I do not oppose health care insurers charging more for smokers (many life insurance policies do as well - the average smoker dies sooner, having paid premiums a shorter time), but I would oppose such penalties against someone who had already been accepted into a plan without penalties against smoking assessed from the beginning. Looking ahead, yes; retroactive, no.
Well aren’t you just a sweet thing?
You did miss the point, which is very likely because you have been so ingrained with collectivism. That is not unusual and is the goal of the left.
What I propose is to remove the government from these systems, then we can all go back to being responsible for our own liberty. So long as we give in to the collectivists, then we will be constantly moving to dictate all sorts of behaviors that are deemed costly to the collective.
I fear that it is to late to save the republic. Too many in America have already been conditioned to accept being part of the hive and too few even understand true freedom.
Everyone seems to have already forgotten the 50 MSA’s that were supposed to have taken care of the supposed “extra health care costs for smokers.”
In addition, no one ever seems to be able to tell me how they can blame smokers for driving the costs of health care up, while at the same time they brag about the “great reductions” in smoking that have been accomplished via government demonization. So, as they take credit for the declines in smokers, they also complain about health care costs increasing and then blame the fewer and fewer people smoking.
Then the sheeple go baa, baa, baa.
I cannot quarrel with that. The only problem is that it's not going to happen anytime soon. So what can be done in the meantime to stop or at least slow the behemoth from consuming everything and everyone in sight?