ObamaCare charging 7 TIMES coverage amounts for smokers.

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ObamaCare charging 7 TIMES coverage amounts for smokers.

Post  Anti Federalist on Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:20 pm

Now, of course, the first thing you say is, "well, I don't don't smoke, so it doesn't effect me."

The second thing you say is, "well, good, screw those smokers anyway, disgusting habit."

And then I say:

Oh, Comrades, this is just but the beginning. I tried to warn you about this, many years ago (back me up here again NH, please). I tried to tell you what was going to happen and to do everything you can to stop it. I was dismissed as a crazy man, mostly.

So, here's how it's gonna play out. Smoking is just the first step. Soon there will be surcharges and penalties for all manner of "unhealthy lifestyles"...obesity, dangerous sports, not getting enough government mandated exercise, not eating correctly, regardless of what the law may say now. The insurance lobbies who wrote this Obamination, will just return in year or two and presto, new surcharges.

What's that you say? How can the government monitor my eating habits? Very simple Comrade, they already have a database of everything you buy, through your credit/debit/user loyalty card purchases.

"Screw that, I'll just pay cash" is what you say next.

Oh no, sorry, negative Ghostrider, the pattern is full. As the "REAL ID" and its successors come online, you will be required to swipe your card regardless of payment method, just like they have to do in many states now to buy...tobacco. High blood pressure? No Big Mac for you. Broke an ankle two years ago? No ski lift ticket for you. Had eye surgery? No driving for you.

The examples of control and surveillance are, quite simply, limitless.

All while bankrupting you.

Sounds like freedom to me.

Enjoy your Brave New World, Comrades.

ObamaCare slams smokers with sky-high premium costs, could backfire


ObamaCare may have backfired in its goal of making smoking so expensive that users quit, public health experts say, as sky-high insurance premiums force smokers to drop coverage altogether and lose smoking cessation programs along with it.

"Tobacco surcharges are not proven to help tobacco users quit and there are major concerns that they will prevent people from getting health care coverage," the American Lung Association's Jennifer Singleterry said.

The ALA supports the Affordable Care Act, as does the American Cancer Society, but both oppose the tobacco penalty because they believe it makes insurance unaffordable for smokers.

"Charging tobacco users more in health insurance premiums, sometimes thousands of dollars more, studies have shown, will price smokers out of the market," says Singleterry.

Unlike drug addicts, alcoholics, or the obese -- all of whom represent higher-than-average medical costs -- smokers are the only such group with a pre-existing condition that ObamaCare penalizes. It allows insurance companies to charge smokers up to 50 percent more than non-smokers for an identical policy, depending on the state and any subsidies the person might qualify for.

For example, premiums for a 64-year-old non-smoker, according to the Kaiser Health Calculator, cost $9,000 a year for a standard "silver" insurance plan.

The same policy for a smoker could cost $13,600.

"I can't afford any insurance at that rate," smoker Don Hampson said. "I thought that was what ObamaCare was about, to stop all this."

Eleven states stepped in to prevent the surcharge, but a majority have not. In those, insurance providers will decide the surcharge.

But most concerning to public health advocates is the surcharge's effect on low-income earners, since federal subsides cannot be used to offset the penalty.

A study by nonpartisan Institute for Health Policy Solutions found some smokers could pay as much as 33 percent of their income in health care premiums, well in excess of what ObamaCare considers "affordable" health care.

The study presented three scenarios:

1. The premium for a young, non-smoker earning roughly the minimum wage will cost $708. The same policy for a smoker would cost $3,308, or up to 400 percent more.

2. Before subsidies, a non-smoker who is 59 or older would also pay $708 for a "silver" or mid-level policy. However, a smoker of the same age would pay $5,908.

3. In a worst-case scenario, an older couple who smokes could be "literally impoverished" by ObamaCare premiums, said the report. That couple could pay an $11,352 health care premium, or one-half their annual income of $23,000. By comparison, a non-smoking person over 59 years old would pay 90 percent less, or just $952 after federal subsidies.

"There are certainly cases where the insurance company is applying the maximum significant surcharge where someone could be paying a significant share of their income toward health insurance," said Larry Levitt, a Kaiser Family Foundation senior adviser.

Some smokers are feeling burned.

"Alcoholics, people who are terminally ill; I just feel like everybody should be treated equally," said Carmen McCullum, a smoker in Los Angeles.

Thirty-four percent of the lowest-income Americans smoke, compared with only 13 percent of those earning $90,000 or more per year. Those who designed ObamaCare imposed the surcharge hoping it would convince users to quit -- or price them out of the market. It also reflects the higher costs smokers present to insurers.

"There are competing goals here," Levitt said. "There's the goal of getting people insured and certainly the lower the cost of insurance, the more likely it is people will sign up. There's also the goal of allowing insurance companies to recover their cost of covering certain kinds of people and the smoking surcharge is one way of doing that."

However, some see smoking as an addiction, not a choice, and it is no different than any other pre-existing condition. Most state exchanges ask the question up front, "Are you a smoker?" Experts say users may try to lie, but insurers can file fraud charges if they learn a patient is lying.

Smokers may escape the penalty in the first year of ObamaCare thanks to another computer "glitch" in the federal website which can't seem to charge older smokers the proper amount. That, however, isn't necessarily true in all states.
Anti Federalist

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Re: ObamaCare charging 7 TIMES coverage amounts for smokers.

Post  WHL on Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:50 pm

I remember years ago when we first heard rumblings about high taxes on cigarettes and such. Rush Limbaugh said you wait, someday they will tax fatty and sugar foods, they will start dictating what foods we can eat. I remember thinking that couldn't possibly happen, but look where we are today!!!

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Link added if you want to read the rest of the story.

Post  fshnski on Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:04 am

Obamacare applicants across the country are finding their premiums are tripling, their favorite doctors aren't available, the physicians they can see are often far away and many prestigious hospitals offering specialized care are off-limits to them, according to a Washington Examiner survey of health insurance agents and brokers across the country.

Agents associated with the National Association of Health Underwriters were contacted in 16 cites across the country.

The agents were all certified by state insurance regulators to sell health insurance policies within and without the Obamacare exchanges.

Their responses provide an alarming picture of the profound changes Obamacare is forcing on patients and health care providers.

In parts of California, for example, low reimbursement rates have resulted in a doctor rebellion, as nearly seven out of 10 doctors refuse to participate in the exchanges.

San Diego broker Neil Crosby told the Examiner that "65 to 70 percent of the providers have declined the reimbursement schedules the carriers are offering. They will not be providers in the exchange marketplace.”

Similarly, agent David Fear in Sacramento said, "Roughly a third of the doctors are going to be accepted in the networks. I’m finding very few specialists in either the Anthem or Blue Shield networks.”

Larry Harrison, an agent in Las Vegas, said the “lion’s share” of doctors there are staying away from the exchanges.

On the other side of the country, broker Carol Taylor of Roanoke, Va., estimated that participating doctor networks there are shrinking by 70 percent in the exchange plans.

Meanwhile, nationally known health insurance providers like United Healthcare, Aetna, Cigna and Coventry are staying out of the Obamacare exchange marketplaces.

Other well-known companies such as Blue Cross Blue Shield are in, but are sharply narrowing their networks to exclude many doctors, as well as elite hospitals.

As a result, well-known hospitals like Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai, New York's Memorial Sloan-Kettering and the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital will be out of reach for many exchange patients.

In Naples, Fla., Physicians Regional Hospital will not be available to exchange enrollees. Its parent company purchased the former Cleveland Clinic's Florida facility in Naples in 2006.

In Georgia, Humana exchange patients are discovering the insurer operates only one approved hospital in the entire state.

The changes wrought by Obamacare are especially hard on patients in rural areas because the new program often puts available medical help far away.


"If you like your health care plan … you can keep your health care plan! … Period!"

If you like your Doctor, you can keep your Doctor.

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