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Do penalties for smokers and the obese make sense?
AP ^ | January 26, 2013 | MIKE STOBBE

Posted on 01/29/2013 7:10:13 PM PST by walford

Faced with the high cost of caring for smokers and overeaters, experts say society must grapple with a blunt question: Instead of trying to penalize them and change their ways, why not just let these health sinners die prematurely from their unhealthy habits?

Annual health care costs are roughly $96 billion for smokers and $147 billion for the obese, the government says. These costs accompany sometimes heroic attempts to prolong lives, including surgery, chemotherapy and other measures.

(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: health; obamacare
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When health care is collectivized, it is increasingly easy to make the case for government involvement in ANY personal choice that Our Betters would determine increases health care costs for the collective.

That is why New York Mayor Bloomberg considers himself entitled to tell people what size sodas they can drink or turn away food donated for disaster victims and the homeless.

But are ALL health-undermining behaviors going to be subject to government sanction? What about other choices such as promiscuity, substance abuse, dare-devil stupidity or risky late-term abortions?

I seriously doubt it.

When the government is the arbiter of what unhealthy behaviors are harmful to the collective, the decisions will necessarily be politicized. Politically favored groups that are over-represented with respect to unhealthy practices are going to be exempt, I promise you.

1 posted on 01/29/2013 7:10:20 PM PST by walford
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To: walford

Do penalties for drinkers make sense?

Its easy to feed the alligator in the beginning but he’s greedy.


2 posted on 01/29/2013 7:12:39 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: walford
Anti-Freedom facism is an unhealthy lifestyle that can lead to early death. For historic reference, I give you Benito and Adolph.

/johnny

3 posted on 01/29/2013 7:14:05 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: cripplecreek

I wonder how many tax dollars are raised from smokers?


4 posted on 01/29/2013 7:14:42 PM PST by Steve Newton (And the Wolves will learn what we have shown before-We love our sheep we dogs of war. Vaughn)
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To: walford

As long as you include all the unhealthy life style choices, like homosexuality, and abortion.


5 posted on 01/29/2013 7:16:39 PM PST by Yogafist
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To: JRandomFreeper

Snicker

How true


6 posted on 01/29/2013 7:16:43 PM PST by Steve Newton (And the Wolves will learn what we have shown before-We love our sheep we dogs of war. Vaughn)
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To: walford

Hey, what about other risky lifestyles where one might get STDs?

It is a known fact that your chances of getting STDs (AIDS, etc.) increase dramatically with the number of partners and certain types of.... well you know what... increase your chances of infection.

We have all heard about how serious the AIDS epidemic is and it is easily prevented.

/sarc

Lemme guess. AIDS won’t be on the “hit” list.


7 posted on 01/29/2013 7:17:26 PM PST by dhs12345
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To: walford

I thought that smokers, aside from the excessive per pack tax; also REDUCED the need for government assistance due to shortened life expectancy.

Something like $0.40 per pack.

Now, obesity is another story. That is a much slower death with special needs of medicine and equipment. Not so much a shortened life, but an expensive life. Healthy people pay.


8 posted on 01/29/2013 7:17:51 PM PST by cicero2k
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To: cripplecreek

If we’re gonna refuse medical care to smokers and the obese, then we also need to refuse medical care to women who abort as well as anybody who gets an STD. Also anybody who doesn’t wear a seatbelt, drives over the speed limit, or doesn’t attend church regularly. And people who choose to live on a fault line or near the ocean - let all of the coastal people just die when earthquakes, hurricanes, etc hit, because it was their own darn choice to live there...

Let’s just deny medical care to anybody who’s ever done anything stupid, how about?


9 posted on 01/29/2013 7:18:17 PM PST by butterdezillion
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To: Steve Newton
I wonder how many tax dollars are raised from smokers?

A lot. In 2009 the tax on loose cigarette tobacco went up by 2300%. I have to wonder what other products could face that kind of tax hike with barely a whimper?

I don't think you can touch a pack of cigarettes these days for less than $6 or $7 (some states far more) and its mostly tax.
10 posted on 01/29/2013 7:19:25 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Steve Newton
I wonder how many tax dollars are raised from smokers?

Not too many from me. I don't buy the nasty commercial product.

But I can look up and slightly to the left at the sun-shelf where 3 flats of tobacco seeds are recently started and expected to be planted after the last frost. ;)

I will not submit. Tobacco is a plant that can grow almost anywhere.

/johnny

11 posted on 01/29/2013 7:21:20 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: walford

For years private insurance companies have charged smokers higher premiums for health insurance.

I would expect the government to follow that same business model.


12 posted on 01/29/2013 7:21:48 PM PST by OKRA2012
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To: cripplecreek

True

I smoke junk. And still pay through the nose


13 posted on 01/29/2013 7:24:43 PM PST by Steve Newton (And the Wolves will learn what we have shown before-We love our sheep we dogs of war. Vaughn)
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To: walford

Smokers are penalized plenty already.


14 posted on 01/29/2013 7:24:59 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: JRandomFreeper

Aww johnny me lad

Tis nice to have a fellow FReeper with such a stash.

Seems a visit is reguired in the near future to learn a little

And maybe smoke a little


15 posted on 01/29/2013 7:26:48 PM PST by Steve Newton (And the Wolves will learn what we have shown before-We love our sheep we dogs of war. Vaughn)
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To: walford
Annual health care costs are roughly $96 billion for smokers and $147 billion for the obese, the government says.

Sounds like Fatty needs to pay more Twinkie Tax.

16 posted on 01/29/2013 7:27:14 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: cripplecreek

Less than $5 per pack in NC for major brands such as Marlboro or Camel, less than $4 for discount brands.


17 posted on 01/29/2013 7:28:20 PM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: walford

How about people with genetic diseases? How far are we from Aktion T 4?


18 posted on 01/29/2013 7:29:19 PM PST by DBrow
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To: Steve Newton
This is a hoe. It is a stick with a blade on one end. It is your friend.

You will keep the blade sharp, and the handle smooth. You will not cut anything but weeds with it.

Sure, come visit. I can always use the labor.

I don't always act like an NCO. Sometimes I sleep. ;)

/johnny

19 posted on 01/29/2013 7:31:40 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: JRandomFreeper

LOL

Humm

Now if yea only had a still

Uh

Never mind

Something tells me yea might


20 posted on 01/29/2013 7:33:28 PM PST by Steve Newton (And the Wolves will learn what we have shown before-We love our sheep we dogs of war. Vaughn)
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To: walford

The question should be: do we want to live in a free society? Apparently, a lot of people don’t.

It’s really about controlling other people’s lives, the cost excuse is pure bogus hooey. Carried to its logical extreme (and that is exactly what they intend to do), a government board of our betters would be micro managing every single aspect of our lives.

If the nanny stater’s motives were so pure, they would be limiting what all these EBT cards could buy. Ever noticed the mountains of unhealthy crap people on food stamps buy? Or the obesity level of those same people? A protected constituency.


21 posted on 01/29/2013 7:35:10 PM PST by ChildOfThe60s (If you can remember the 60s.....you weren't really there)
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To: Steve Newton
Stills are unlawful at this time.

I do make my own beer, within legal guidelines.

I would never extend a digit or two at John Law and try to get around the legal guidelines.

Honest. Really, really.

/johnny

22 posted on 01/29/2013 7:36:28 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: DBrow

$35.00 of every carton sold in MA is tax and our
ghastly governor,Devil Patrick,wants to add another $10.00 a carton.

To add insult to injury,they tax the tax.(Sales tax)

.


23 posted on 01/29/2013 7:38:51 PM PST by Mears
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To: walford
"Faced with the high cost of caring for smokers and overeaters, experts say society must grapple with a blunt question: Instead of trying to penalize them and change their ways, why not just let these health sinners die prematurely from their unhealthy habits?"

Taken as a group, they do anyway! The author assumes medical intervention has more of an impact than it really does. Once the disease has taken root, it's a little late to start thinking about changing the 50 years of unhealthy habit that got one to that point. The intervention -- paid for by many without the habit -- might help one to live a little longer, but it's not ever going to be possible to undo all the damage.

24 posted on 01/29/2013 7:43:45 PM PST by Sooth2222 ("Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of congress. But I repeat myself." M.Twain)
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To: mylife
My great great grandfather died at 89 and smoked for his whole life. Prostate cancer and old age got him just a few years after this photo was taken.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
25 posted on 01/29/2013 7:44:58 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: butterdezillion

Let us appoint a commission and evaluate all possible unhealthy lifestyle choices. You might choose to live in Tornado Alley near railroad tracks, a factory or along the Gulf of Mexico. Maybe you watch TV more than read or wear non-hypo-allergenic makeup. Maybe your exercise habits need to be monitored to determine if it is adequate. Maybe your eating bleached flour rather than whole wheat flour. Maybe you’re drinking non-organic milk or drinking from plastic bottles rather than glass.


26 posted on 01/29/2013 7:50:37 PM PST by walford (http://natural-law-natural-religion.blogspot.com/)
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To: walford
if govt has sanctioned the goodliness of homosexual anal intercourse, despite the evidence about domestic violence,suicide, drug abuse, alcohol abuse and rampant deadly and debilitating diseases that are endemic to the homosexual community, then why worry about smoking and obesity...

most of the world is obese...most of the world smokes....

27 posted on 01/29/2013 7:52:15 PM PST by cherry
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To: cripplecreek

Stylin’ in da camp!


28 posted on 01/29/2013 7:55:13 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: cripplecreek
Cut down in the prime of life by that filthy nicotine habit.

There's been a lot of griping about cigarettes over the years. Mash here to hear Tex Williams explain it.

/johnny

29 posted on 01/29/2013 7:58:47 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: walford

Maybe you’re not eating enough cabbage or getting enough sleep. Maybe you don’t do Michelle Obama’s regular purges. Maybe you worry too much. Maybe you live with people who don’t cover their face when they sneeze. Maybe your pants are too tight or you wear high heels. Maybe the botox treatments don’t allow your eyelids to properly close, or maybe your lying is causing your eyelids to blink too much. Maybe you don’t go to the bathroom soon enough after coitus. Maybe you have coitus too frequently or too seldom. Maybe you don’t take power naps every day. Maybe you let your toenails grow too long before trimming.

For all these and many other instances of negligence or sloth - you shall die!


30 posted on 01/29/2013 8:02:09 PM PST by butterdezillion
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To: walford

People dying earlier save the government money. I don’t understand their logic at all.


31 posted on 01/29/2013 8:09:21 PM PST by dila813
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To: walford
Instead of trying to penalize them and change their ways, why not just let these health sinners die prematurely from their unhealthy habits?

This is why private health care is so important. You might not like smokers, fat people, tall people, etc., but it is not the government's job to decide whether or not they should get health care. That's between them, their wallet, and their doctor.

32 posted on 01/29/2013 8:09:53 PM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! True supporters of our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: Steve Newton

To the best of my recollection the tax revenues from smokers far outweighs any drag they have on the system from their “unhealthy choice”. Last I heard it was at least double what the supposed health costs are...


33 posted on 01/29/2013 8:11:00 PM PST by jurroppi1
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To: walford
When the government is the arbiter of what unhealthy behaviors are harmful to the collective, .....

....you are already living in a totalitarian dystopia.

Remember that in Thomas More's original "Utopia", people who didn't "get thar MAHNDS RAHT" </off Strother Martin> were simply put to death.

34 posted on 01/29/2013 8:14:35 PM PST by lentulusgracchus
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To: Steve Newton

Millions.

http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=403


35 posted on 01/29/2013 8:15:01 PM PST by Mears
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To: walford

Tough call. I am going to have to think on this one, but first I’m gonna have a smoke then finish my triple chocolate sundae.


36 posted on 01/29/2013 8:16:27 PM PST by Michael.SF. (Obama lied, Stevens died.)
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To: jurroppi1

See Post # 35


37 posted on 01/29/2013 8:16:50 PM PST by Mears
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To: butterdezillion
For all these and many other instances of negligence or sloth - you shall die!

That's right, slothful people don't deserve to live.

......What do you mean, you didn't get the memo? That's no excuse!

38 posted on 01/29/2013 8:17:42 PM PST by lentulusgracchus
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To: lentulusgracchus

Furthermore, short people got no reason to live.


39 posted on 01/29/2013 8:22:38 PM PST by butterdezillion
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To: ChildOfThe60s
A protected constituency.

What, are you complaining there, cracka?

You sounding kinda uppity to me, judging your betters. Don't you make me go get a rope!

40 posted on 01/29/2013 8:24:00 PM PST by lentulusgracchus
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To: butterdezillion
That's right, that's right! But never fear .... Here come da Judge!!
41 posted on 01/29/2013 8:25:16 PM PST by lentulusgracchus
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To: Michael.SF.

I think there was some study that found that a disproportionate number of obese women are Black. I remember an article by a professional woman who said her husband didn’t want her to lose weight. She said Black men like their women large.

I guess nobody thought about whether it would be racist to let Black women die simply because they adhere to the “Black culture”...


42 posted on 01/29/2013 8:27:27 PM PST by butterdezillion
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To: walford

It is more expensive for people to live to 95 and not smoke, and get Alzheimer’s, than for smokers to die young. They are LYING if they say smokers cost more.


43 posted on 01/29/2013 8:45:14 PM PST by PghBaldy (12/14 - 930am -rampage begins... 12/15 - 1030am - Obama's advance team scouts photo-op locations.)
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To: walford

Sure if we penalize the underweight, those in high risk professions, those with high risk hobbies, those who use any recreational drugs, those who drink to excess (TBD), and those who have sex outside of

MONOGAMOUS HETEROSEXUAL MARRIAGE.


44 posted on 01/29/2013 8:48:56 PM PST by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: walford

how about we let gang bangers die of GSWs right in the ER too, I mean as long as we’re singling out unhealthy lifestyles and all.


45 posted on 01/29/2013 8:54:44 PM PST by RC one (.From My Cold Dead Hands.)
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To: walford
Of course, citizen! Must stay fit for Der Fuehrer!
46 posted on 01/29/2013 9:10:35 PM PST by Slings and Arrows (You can't have IngSoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: walford

Better yet.. from today forward everyone will be issued a 500 square foot apartment with no windows so you won’t be able to hurt yourself by jumping out. We will provide you with government approved furniture so you don’t have to worry about product defects. Your food will be provided according to national health standards. Media will be provided for you so you don’t have to worry about seeing offensive material. A job will be provided at a set wage regardless of your skill so you don’t have to compete with co-workers. Health care will be free as long as you are able to contribute to our society. After useful age, a panel will determine your date of death so you have time to wrap everything up before you leave.
You can live in our world completely free from any choices. You are free to live without having to worry about making bad decisions that will destroy your life. We will care for you.


47 posted on 01/29/2013 9:17:36 PM PST by Axamari
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To: JRandomFreeper

Why of course!

I would expect no less from a law abiding citizen


48 posted on 01/29/2013 9:18:21 PM PST by Steve Newton (And the Wolves will learn what we have shown before-We love our sheep we dogs of war. Vaughn)
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To: Mears

WOW


49 posted on 01/29/2013 9:19:52 PM PST by Steve Newton (And the Wolves will learn what we have shown before-We love our sheep we dogs of war. Vaughn)
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To: jurroppi1

Humm

Funny

Someday they will wonder where all the revenue went.


50 posted on 01/29/2013 9:21:40 PM PST by Steve Newton (And the Wolves will learn what we have shown before-We love our sheep we dogs of war. Vaughn)
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