Oh yeah, it's all cause I'm a smoker. Well, I think it's wrong to assume dat all smokers think this new health bill is fair. I bet tons of smokers are peed off at the new discrimination against em behind this bill.
What's next? Stores charging me more for what I paid for cause I smoke? Just cause I smoke doesn't mean my rights shouldn't be snipped away every year!
Based on how much tobacco costs and how much the govt depends on tobacco taxes, smokers oughta get free premium health care 4-eva! Smokers oughta get some kinda benefits for filling politicians' wallets! >:(
Tobacco Use—Not Promiscuity or Drug Abuse—Will Be Only Vice Legally Punishable by Higher Under Senate Health Care Bill
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
By Terence P. Jeffrey, Editor-in-Chief
Accompanied by congressmen and medical professionals, President Obama talks about health care reform, July 15, 2009, in the Rose Garden of the White House. Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., acting chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, is second from left. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
(CNSNews.com) - Under the terms of the health-care reform bill approved by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, the legal use of tobacco products is the only vice for which insurance companies will be able to charge their customers higher premiums.
The summary of the bill published by the committee specifically states that premiums may be varied to account for tobacco use, but any other use of a person’s record of medical history will be forbidden., health status or
In other words, a person could have been admitted to hospitals three times for heroin overdoses, or been pregnant five times out of wedlock, or been treated for venereal diseases at least once per year for the past five years, but none of these factors could be used to charge that person a higher .
If they smoked a pipe it would be a different story—depending, of course, on what was in the pipe. They could be charged a higher premium if it was tobacco—but apparently not if it was marijuana, hashish or crack cocaine.
“Health status underwriting and the imposition of pre-existing condition exclusions are prohibited in all individual and group employer markets,” says the committee’s summary. “Rates within a geographic region may only vary by family composition, the value of the benefits package, tobacco use, and age by a factor of not more than two to one. Guaranteed issue will be required for all insurers operating in the individual and group health insurance markets.”
The summary does not explain what “family composition” means, but whatever it is, it will in fact be permissible grounds for insurance companies to alter premiums, while other factors such as whether a person’s nose has decomposed from snorting too much cocaine or their liver has decomposed from excessive alcohol use will not be legal grounds for varying insurance premiums.
“Subtitle A will reform the individual and group health insurance markets in all 50 states to promote availability of coverage for all individuals and employer groups,” says the committee summary. “Under these new requirements, premium payments for insurance policies within each market will be permitted to vary only by family structure, geographic region, the actuarial value of benefits provided, tobacco use and age. Rates specifically will not be permitted to vary based on gender, class of business, or claims experience. Rating by age will be permitted to vary by no more than a factor of two to one.”
One section of the bill’s summary is entitled, “Prohibiting Discrimination Based on Health Status.” It says: “In issuing , insurers will not be permitted to establish terms of coverage based on any applicant’s health status, (including physical and ), claims experience, prior receipt of health care, medical history, genetic information, evidence of insurability (such as being a victim of domestic violence), or disability.”
But tobacco use is a different story.
Nannyism is no better now that it was then: