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Comments about ‘Do penalties for smokers and the obese make sense?’

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Published: Sunday, Jan. 27 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

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JSB
Sugar City, ID

I agree that insurance companies should be able to charge extra for smokers. Why should non smokers have to pay for their treatment? To smoking I think should be added obesity, alcohol use, drug abuse, sexually promiscuity and driving record. These are all controllable behaviors that run up the cost of medical treatment.

worf
Mcallen, TX

Smokers supply high tax revenue. Why would the feds discourage smoking? Soon obesity will be taxed for the sake of health.

joseywales
Park City, UT

Instead of a "sin tax" for those who smoke, drink, eat poorly, etc., I would like to see those who live healthy lifestyles get discounts. It's positive motivation instead of negative. Long term, I think it is better for all. Those who have bad habits pay more, and those who don't pay less.

worf
Mcallen, TX

We should tax politicians who lie. We'd go from a deficit to surplus.

happymomto9
Saratoga Springs, UT

i agree with joseywales
our insurance company DOES give discounts for healthy lifestyle. our premiums are reduced if we have lower body fat percentages and exercise etc.
it has saved us thousands! and in the long run made our lives better.
and i must say without the cast incentive i'm not sure that i would have lost the weight. i received $1200 in cash! plus they paid for weight watchers.

HotGlobe
SAN RAFAEL, CA

Healthy old people soak up retirement funds for many years without contributing. Smokers tend to die soon after retirement. Who is a greater burden on society?

techpubs
Sioux City, IA

@ HotGlobe:
It depends on the actual cases themselves.
If an unhealthy person draws $10,000/yr in SS and costs $50,000/yr in Medicare for 10 yrs.
And a healthy person draws $25,000/yr in SS but only costs $10,000/yr in Medicare and lives 20 yrs the healthy person has used more. But that changes if the unhealthy person draws $15,000/yr in SS and costs $60,000/yr in Medicare. Or what if the healthy person needs a hip replacement at 16 yrs or if either one beats the odds and lives an extra 7 yrs?
So there are a lot of variables to be considered.

But it does seem apparent that it would be more beneficial to promote a healthier lifestyle so that people would be able to work later in life.

JSB
Sugar City, ID

Joseywales: I agree with you.Discounts for healthy living probably is a greater motivator than penalties for unhealthy lifestyles. But, either way, it's a win/win with more people living a healthy life style and extra funds coming in from those that choose to live an unhealthy lifestyle.

Western Rover
Herriman, UT

What are these "very high cigarette taxes" used for, if not for the extra costs on the public treasury from smoking? Dedicate the cigarette taxes to this purpose, and adjust the rate continually based on the cost of the needed care.

Likewise, there's an ongoing debate about restoring the sales tax on food. Restore it, but base it on calories rather than sales price, and dedicate the revenue to the public cost of obesity. Then you wouldn't need a ban on large drinks.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

We all have an expiration date. How we live this life is a choice. I don't know when my expiration date is nor do I want to know. Some things aren't worth thinking about. I want to love the life I live. We have laws that help make me more considerate of others. I think that free agency is ours to decide what we do. I ain't hurting no body I ain't hurting mo one. Sure hospital's have a corner on the market and can charge e nor mas amounts of money for the aspen. I for one don't want to condone it and be penalized if I don't.

doingmyway
Salem, UT

If you look up the EGW Subsidies report, it shows that the U.S. Government still subsidies the tobacco farmers. They received 1,329,776,055.00 from 2000 to 2011 thats 1.3 billion that could be saved and be used to pay for the health problems that their products cause. Its time that the government got out of the farming business.

If you are a user of products that cause health problems, then may-be, you need to be charged more up front to help pay for the health issues you will surely have during your life time.

joseywales
Park City, UT

hotglobe- first, how did these healthy old people not contribute? I'm guessing they paid into SS and taxes just like the rest of us. Also, it's proven that the healthier individuals make more in their lifetimes than their non-healthy friends. Maybe this is because they work harder or are more motivated, but either way, your thinking doesn't add up. A smoker or obese person will cost insurance companies way more than a healthy person. Just the same as a bad driver costs more than a good driver.

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

We can always wait around and see if Obamacare does to smokers and the obese what England's healthcare system has done for thier smokers.

They simply don't pay for their smoking related illneses.

Imagine the liberal utopia, where the ill are forced to suffer because they are not productive enough to work in a meaningful way to pay for their own care.

Allisdair
Thornbury, Vic

@ Redshirt1701

"We can always wait around and see if Obamacare does to smokers and the obese what England's healthcare system has done for thier smokers. They simply don't pay for their smoking related illneses".

That is NOT the experience of my wives parents in England. Please provide a reference

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To "Allisdair" read the following:

"Lung cancer victims denied lifesaving scans" The Telegraph.

"Patients 'denied intensive care'" BBC news. That was is great because they state quite clearly "Patients with chronic lung disease are being denied intensive care treatment because doctors are too pessimistic about their chances, research suggests."

"The breast cancer patients TOO OLD to save: Thousands are being denied surgery by 'ageist' doctors" Daily Mail

While you have been lucky, these are the realities of the UK system.

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

JSB said: To smoking I think should be added obesity, alcohol use, drug abuse, sexually promiscuity and driving record.

Too funny...Utah Conservatives just love sharia law (Mormon Style)

Why don't we tax those who have to many children?

I thought there was already to many taxes?
Probably not if your voting to tax someone else, or does that only count for the sacred wealthy?

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