Smokers Hit With Fees On Health Insurance

A survey done by Hewitt Associates reveals that the trend is growing. Nearly half of 600 large U.S. employers around the country either do, or plan to penalize employees who engage in unhealthy behavior.

Pat Mione is an insurance expert in Houston. She says the idea behind turning up the heat on smokers is simple.

“From a claims perspective, if you can get people to get healthier, you will have an impact on premiums, on claims — and that’s the driver,” Mione said. Source: Smokers Get Hit with Extra Fee on Health Insurance.

This is bull! They’ve done this in the past and I guess they’re still trying; anything to squeeze a buck out of customers. It makes me mad that it’s smoking – ’cause it’s not like we don’t have enough “sin taxes” – but the principle stinks. The article had another quote that said, “you know after you open up the floodgates, where do you stop at?” Exactly!

Another quote makes my argument even stronger. “Since smoking is considered a behavior and not a medical condition, companies don’t have to butt out.” By this logic insurance companies can rape customers for just living. Life is a behavior, or a choice, if you will. It’s optional. You don’t have to live. Do you breathe? Well smog in the air kills people everyday. Do you drive a car? You are contributing to the smog not to mention the danger of accidents. Do you bike to work? Then you are a hazzard to the people that are making smog; that’s “unhealthy behavior.” Where does it end?

Smoke out – Opinion

Now that the regular session is done here’s a juicy, hot-button topic that could make or break a congressman’s campaign.

Senate Bill 368 proposed by Senator Rodney Ellis, D-Houston) and House Bill 9 (HB 9) proposed by Representative Myra Crownover, R-Lake Dallas. SB 368 and HB 9, identical pieces of legislation, would have banned smoking in all public places and all work places. I say would have, because these bills had the good graces to die in committee and die without final vote at the close of the session, respectively.

It looks like this legislation” was a poorly written to start with. If you ask me, someone just wanted to make a name for themselves – “yeah I introduced the following legislation SB368, SB3…”

Here is a short list of who represents. Try to give’m a call (collect).

U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison 202-224-5922
U.S. Senator John Cornyn 202-224-2934
U.S. Congressional District 17 Chet Edwards 202-225-6105
Texas Senate District 5 Steve Ogden 51-463-0105
Texas House District 17 Robert Cook 512-463-0682
Texas State Board of Education District 9 Don Mcleroy 979-255-2538

There is a district map problem in Texas, so the state representative usually changes every session.

Source: The Battalion