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Obama Smokes but Doesn't Want You To Smoke

Permalink 01/25/13 17:38, by OGRE / (Jeff), Categories: Background, Health Care
No Smoking
No Smoking

Obama's still smoking, but that's a big No-No for you. Why does any of this matter? Well lets take a look at what has been found in the new health care law. Obamacare penalizes smokers with decidedly higher health insurance premiums.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Millions of smokers could be priced out of health insurance because of tobacco penalties in President Barack Obama's health care law, according to experts who are just now teasing out the potential impact of a little-noted provision in the massive legislation.

The Affordable Care Act — "Obamacare" to its detractors — allows health insurers to charge smokers buying individual policies up to 50 percent higher premiums starting next Jan. 1.

For a 55-year-old smoker, the penalty could reach nearly $4,250 a year. A 60-year-old could wind up paying nearly $5,100 on top of premiums.

Nearly one of every five U.S. adults smokes. That share is higher among lower-income people, who also are more likely to work in jobs that don't come with health insurance and would therefore depend on the new federal health care law. Smoking increases the risk of developing heart disease, lung problems and cancer, contributing to nearly 450,000 deaths a year.

Insurers won't be allowed to charge more under the overhaul for people who are overweight, or have a health condition like a bad back or a heart that skips beats — but they can charge more if a person smokes.

Several provisions in the federal health care law work together to leave older smokers with a bleak set of financial options, said Pollitz, formerly deputy director of the Office of Consumer Support in the federal Health and Human Services Department.

First, the law allows insurers to charge older adults up to three times as much as their youngest customers.

Second, the law allows insurers to levy the full 50 percent penalty on older smokers while charging less to younger ones.

And finally, government tax credits that will be available to help pay premiums cannot be used to offset the cost of penalties for smokers.

Don't think that you can just lie to your doctor either. Insurers will test you to determine whether or not you are a smoker, then they will hit you with the penalties.

Keep in mind this is while there is still private insurers. What do you think will happen when the government finalizes the takeover of the health care industry?

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