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….
There are a couple of things about this. One is singling out a particular group for special treatment. This is what the Obama administration does routinely, though. Equality under law simply is inconceivable to President Barack Obama and his cronies.
The other is that “[Obamacare] allows insurance companies to charge” bit. Big Government knows best. Heaven forfend that a market solution, with individual Americans making our own decisions in an environment where businesses compete for customers without government interference, should be allowed. Likely at lower cost to us, to boot.
And this double whammy especially hurts the poor, whom Obama studiously ignores in his drive to…deal with…the middle class. The same high premiums hammer these poor—their low incomes are a major part of why they’re in that “47 million” who don’t have insurance, in the first place—but the subsidies for which they’re eligible cannot be used on the smoker surcharge, which is the mechanism by which the insurer is permitted to plus up the basic premium.
For instance, 64-yr-old non-smoker can get a Silver health “insurance” plan for $9,000 (!) per year. A 64-yr-old non-smoker will pay $13,600 for the same plan. Both non-smoker and smoker of an income level can get a subsidy for the $9,000 basic premium, but the smoker is on his own for those additional $4,600.