Taxing and higher insurance premiums for smokers and the obese? Apparently that is the focus of a new battle brewing.
Proponents want to tax and/or charge higher premiums on insurance plans for smokers and the obese. Already, Obama Care, as the new health act is called, has a statement for including a higher premium, up to $5,400 more, for smokers. Nothing so far has been proposed for doing something similar for the obese but it is being considered.
Personally, I see a flaw in increasing rates on smokers and the obese. While this is widely the rationale for taxes on tobacco and liquor, that is punishing for vices, I see raising insurance rates on those persons as overly restrictive.
Many of those affected are in poverty, thus effectively depressing the downtrodden further.
And, from personal experience, I know that smoking and obesity both go hand in hand with such diagnosis as psychological trauma from the past, depression, and other mental health problems not to mention physical and sexual abuse, even childhood abuse. I would not want to further stigmatize and demand payment for those with mental health problems.
It is thought that those educational programs for weight loss and even smoking have not worked. But statistics show otherwise. Many smokers have curtailed the habit. And programs such as Weight Watchers are flourishing. While there may be a percentage of the population who simply do not care, there are still many who are, as I have indicated, affected by psychological illness.
What is your opinion? Are you in favor of penalizing further those who are smokers and obese?