Friday, January 25, 2013
Yahoo! Nooze item: 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.
I was unfortunate enough to grow up at a time when cigarettes were cheap, people generally carried "hospital" insurance but didn't need comprehensive coverage, and the Marlboro Man was riding the range.
That good old macho, mucho-tatted roughrider, the Marlboro Man. He was quite a role model for a 14-year-old weighed about 75 lbs soaking wet kid who couldn't get any girl to acknowledge his existence. But I digress.
Long story short: I became addicted, and I'm still a practicing addict today, although I've smoked very little and most of the time not at all these past five years. Since the damage is done by the delivery system, I take the drug daily through a skin patch, with no adverse effect except remaining addicted.
Back in the day, the only visible penalty for smoking was the rattling cough most heavy smokers had. Everybody did it and everybody stunk. I wish to God or Bog there had been more penalties on cigarettes like what we have today.
If cigarettes cost $100 apiece and an addict really has to have one, the money could be got.
Growing up in a world of dope addicts was weird. Today's restrictions and financial penalties are rational and just.