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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Let the smokers and obese die: when everyone else pays, withholding care based on behavior is inevitable

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?

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.

But despite these rescue attempts, smokers tend to die 10 years earlier on average, and the obese die five to 12 years prematurely, according to various researchers' estimates.

And attempts to curb smoking and unhealthy eating frequently lead to backlash: Witness the current legal tussle over New York City's first-of-its-kind limits on the size of sugary beverages and the vicious fight last year in California over a ballot proposal to add a $1-per-pack cigarette tax, which was ultimately defeated.

14 comments:

  1. Is this going to apply to AIDS victims also?

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  2. And alcoholics, those who want sex change operations, abortions, and any officially disapproved behaviors....

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  3. I agree with this proposal - no reason you should have to pay for my healthcare required because I can't drag myself off the couch and go out for a walk and can't summon the willpower to put down the chips. Likewise if I decide to use drugs. If I want to go skiing and break my leg, why should you pay for it? I get hurt hunting - why should you pay for it? I ride my motorcycle without a helmet and get hit - why should you pay for it?

    Maybe this whole idea of you paying for all the risks I take for my personal pleasure isn't such a good idea?

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    1. Hey now, that might lead to something called "accountability." Be careful with those radical ideas.

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    2. I do have a little bit of sympathy for the obese and to a lesser extent smokers over 60. As to the latter the government spent a great many years enjoying the taxes from cigerettes while making it easy for the tobacco companies to hide the truth. And for the former, its been the government itself that has been flat out lying for the last 50 years about how fats are evil and carbs are good.

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  4. Since they will die so much earlier, they will not use health care resources for those 10 or 12 years, so it might all even out after all....

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    1. It is in fact the case that these folks take far less in pensions, so society "makes" more in tax-paying years, and "loses" less in retirement-cost years

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  5. I wonder how those young obese women smokers in the healthcare field will take this. I wouldn't be surprised if everyone's care is compromised to some degree by this.

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  7. hey isn't this what those evil insurance companies did? basing premiums on risk? denying coverage on pre-existing conditions? it's just that it will be governed by a government bureaucrat now.

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  8. THe cost of helth care for smokers is a fabrication and cannot be supported. Some facts.

    1. We all die.
    2. Smokers pay considerably higher taxes.
    3. If you die at an early age, we don't have to pay your medicare or Social security. We also aren't paying your constant health care cost as you get older. All those little ailments that old people suffer from.
    4. Smokers die quicker and don't linger.

    When you consider the total cost to society, smokers should be paying less in taxes and getting the best care. Smokers are alive and healthy during the most productive times of their lifes and pass away prior to the least productive times. I don't mean to sound morbid, but it is a win-win for society. Why do we continue to persecute these people?

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    1. Yes! And to take it even further, we should encourage every patriotic American to become a smoker and gain weight. In addition to dying early, there is the added benefit of carbon capture with obese people. I also propose that we tax people who exercise and attempt to stay healthy. These selfish people are just striving to bankrupt our country by living longer and making the rest of us pay more for their upkeep in their old age.

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  9. The issue is that the 'oops so called moderately fat people live longer than skinny people' study.

    A pragmatic reason for mercy appears. We aren't always smart enough to know who is a sinful person not taking care of themselves and who isn't.

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  10. The first responder nailed it: what about AIDS? Because gays are liberal mascots and nobody likes fat people. Next question?

    -- Fat person

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