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(KTEN Texoma)   So you have a cushy county job with benefits? That's great, unless you smoke   (kten.com) divider line 112
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2646 clicks; posted to Politics » on 12 Jul 2014 at 9:32 PM (37 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-07-12 09:14:58 PM  
So, the cost of your healthcare coverage just increased by $25 a month.  From the perspective of a person already addicted to a two pack ($15) a day habit, it's probably considered a minor inconvenience.  From the perspective of this non-smoker, I've been glad I kicked my habit cold turkey 20 years ago.
 
2014-07-12 09:39:07 PM  

Prey4reign: So, the cost of your healthcare coverage just increased by $25 a month.  From the perspective of a person already addicted to a two pack ($15) a day habit, it's probably considered a minor inconvenience.  From the perspective of this non-smoker, I've been glad I kicked my habit cold turkey 20 years ago.


Two packs a day is a pretty heavy smoking habit.
 
2014-07-12 09:41:12 PM  
Good.

Smokers are only costing them more money because of all the health problems that come along with it, not including the loss of productivity for smoke breaks.
 
2014-07-12 09:42:52 PM  
Random question:  Self-harm is against most religions' beliefs I think, so does that mean Hobby Lobby can opt out of covering lung cancer treatment for smokers, since they brought it on themselves with their wicked sinning?
 
2014-07-12 09:43:10 PM  
Intrusive and selectively discriminatory. What could go wrong?
 
2014-07-12 09:47:12 PM  
Lots of places won't hire smokers. One job I applied to wanted me to take a piss test for nicotine.
 
2014-07-12 09:49:11 PM  
Oh and if they are going to make me pay extra (thus discriminating against me) I had better see a benefit above the others in the office
 
2014-07-12 09:52:12 PM  
"Probably quarterly at least, she'll be doing some sort of a walking program, an education program, perhaps a weight watchers program," says Mory.

"Meaning, are we going to attack obesity? Are we going to attack diabetes or other health conditions? And the answer at this point is no, we're doing exactly what has been proven to lower costs," says Mory.


Way to contradict yourself there, Mory.
 
2014-07-12 09:52:12 PM  

Piizzadude: Lots of places won't hire smokers. One job I applied to wanted me to take a piss test for nicotine.


Which job was that?
 
2014-07-12 09:52:54 PM  
First they came for the cigarettes and I did not speak up because I was not a smoker. Then they came for the donuts...
 
2014-07-12 09:53:46 PM  

Codenamechaz: Good.

Smokers are only costing them more money because of all the health problems that come along with it, not including the loss of productivity for smoke breaks.


People who don't smoke don't take breaks where you work? Sounds like a shiatty place to work.
 
2014-07-12 09:58:28 PM  

Bane of Broone: Piizzadude: Lots of places won't hire smokers. One job I applied to wanted me to take a piss test for nicotine.

Which job was that?


Geysinger Health Systems in Carlisle PA. It is a big hospital system in the area, but I was not going to be working at any of them. The IT department is off by itself.
 
2014-07-12 10:00:32 PM  

dookdookdook: Random question:  Self-harm is against most religions' beliefs I think, so does that mean Hobby Lobby can opt out of covering lung cancer treatment for smokers, since they brought it on themselves with their wicked sinning?


No, because Justice Alito assures us their ruling is narrowly crafted to cover ONLY religious exemptions for abortificant birth control methods. If you can't trust the opinion of an US Supreme Court justice, who can you believe?
 
2014-07-12 10:00:50 PM  
This is in no way unusual.  Lots of employers use incentive programs to promote healthy living (and lower insurance costs).
 
2014-07-12 10:02:21 PM  

Stone Meadow: dookdookdook: Random question:  Self-harm is against most religions' beliefs I think, so does that mean Hobby Lobby can opt out of covering lung cancer treatment for smokers, since they brought it on themselves with their wicked sinning?

No, because Justice Alito assures us their ruling is narrowly crafted to cover ONLY religious exemptions for abortificant birth control methods. If you can't trust the opinion of an US Supreme Court justice, who can you believe?


They said the same "narrow ruling" thing about their DOMA decision. How did that work out?
 
2014-07-12 10:04:08 PM  

TwoBeersOneCan: This is in no way unusual.  Lots of employers use incentive programs to promote healthy living (and lower insurance costs).


This is not one of those....
 
2014-07-12 10:04:53 PM  

Codenamechaz: Good.

Smokers are only costing them more money because of all the health problems that come along with it, not including the loss of productivity for smoke breaks.


Smokers die younger, so it probably all evens out.
 
2014-07-12 10:06:01 PM  
One speeding ticket a year.........HIGH RISK
Live in a low income area............HIGH RISK
Drink more than 3 times a week..........HIGH RISK
Family history of cancer................MEGA HIGH RISK
Work hard labor for the county..........HIGH RISK
Cop................MEGA HIGH RISK
Fireman............MEGA HIGH RISK
 
2014-07-12 10:07:07 PM  
Not sure how you can only target smokers for the surcharge and not other lifestyle choices that contribute to health issues, the most obvious being obesity (yes I know for a tiny percentage of people this is beyond their control becuase of thyroid issues or what have you. That can be diagnosed by a doctor and granted an exemption). Generally, we think of protected classes against discrimination as being something that isn't a choice (eg gender, and hopefully soon sexual orientation). But, some protected classes based on choices (eg religion). So, it seems to me vice taxes are the best way to account for this and other issues like obesity without discriminating in the workplace, but actually use that revenue for handling the added healthcare costs.
 
2014-07-12 10:07:58 PM  

dookdookdook: Random question:  Self-harm is against most religions' beliefs I think, so does that mean Hobby Lobby can opt out of covering lung cancer treatment for smokers, since they brought it on themselves with their wicked sinning?


Oddly enough- self harm never made the top ten of things not to do however there were a lot of references to self harm when it was related to non-Christian practices performed in deference to non-Christian gods.  Tatooing and self mutilation to name two.


I'm sure Hobby Lobby could have no problem drumming up support against any activity that knowingly could endanger or inevitably cost their company funds religion aside.

You want to engage in activities where inevitably there will be consequences that will cost, you gotta pay the piper now
 
2014-07-12 10:09:34 PM  
And my employer gives us a $25 a month discount for doing the biometric scan. This county messed up because they didn't call at a discount for the non-smoking employees is all. Especially since enforcement seems to consist of making people check a box stating they don't smoke.
 
2014-07-12 10:09:41 PM  

fusillade762: Stone Meadow: dookdookdook: Random question:  Self-harm is against most religions' beliefs I think, so does that mean Hobby Lobby can opt out of covering lung cancer treatment for smokers, since they brought it on themselves with their wicked sinning?

No, because Justice Alito assures us their ruling is narrowly crafted to cover ONLY religious exemptions for abortificant birth control methods. If you can't trust the opinion of an US Supreme Court justice, who can you believe?

They said the same "narrow ruling" thing about their DOMA decision. How did that work out?


Exactly my point... :^)

Lsherm: Codenamechaz: Good.

Smokers are only costing them more money because of all the health problems that come along with it, not including the loss of productivity for smoke breaks.

Smokers die younger, so it probably all evens out.


Oddly, my friend the neurologist tells me that in the aggregate it all pretty much evens out. Obese smokers do die young, but they roll up similar lifetime bills to healthy oldsters how hang on into their 90s. Weird, eh?
 
2014-07-12 10:10:27 PM  

Apocalyptic Inferno: Not sure how you can only target smokers for the surcharge and not other lifestyle choices that contribute to health issues, the most obvious being obesity (yes I know for a tiny percentage of people this is beyond their control becuase of thyroid issues or what have you. That can be diagnosed by a doctor and granted an exemption). Generally, we think of protected classes against discrimination as being something that isn't a choice (eg gender, and hopefully soon sexual orientation). But, some protected classes based on choices (eg religion). So, it seems to me vice taxes are the best way to account for this and other issues like obesity without discriminating in the workplace, but actually use that revenue for handling the added healthcare costs.


Obese people are being targeted as well.  That is the point of getting a physical.
 
2014-07-12 10:11:30 PM  

Stone Meadow: Oddly, my friend the neurologist tells me that in the aggregate it all pretty much evens out. Obese smokers do die young, but they roll up similar lifetime bills to healthy oldsters howwho hang on into their 90s. Weird, eh?


FTFM
 
2014-07-12 10:12:30 PM  

Prey4reign: So, the cost of your healthcare coverage just increased by $25 a month.  From the perspective of a person already addicted to a two pack ($15) a day habit, it's probably considered a minor inconvenience.  From the perspective of this non-smoker, I've been glad I kicked my habit cold turkey 20 years ago.


If this were a private corporation doing this I would not have a problem with it.  The fact that it's the government doing it should alarm everyone.  The government does not have the right to do things that private companies do when it comes to interfering in your life
 
2014-07-12 10:13:52 PM  

Stone Meadow: fusillade762: Stone Meadow: dookdookdook: Random question:  Self-harm is against most religions' beliefs I think, so does that mean Hobby Lobby can opt out of covering lung cancer treatment for smokers, since they brought it on themselves with their wicked sinning?

No, because Justice Alito assures us their ruling is narrowly crafted to cover ONLY religious exemptions for abortificant birth control methods. If you can't trust the opinion of an US Supreme Court justice, who can you believe?

They said the same "narrow ruling" thing about their DOMA decision. How did that work out?

Exactly my point... :^)

Lsherm: Codenamechaz: Good.

Smokers are only costing them more money because of all the health problems that come along with it, not including the loss of productivity for smoke breaks.

Smokers die younger, so it probably all evens out.

Oddly, my friend the neurologist tells me that in the aggregate it all pretty much evens out. Obese smokers do die young, but they roll up similar lifetime bills to healthy oldsters how hang on into their 90s. Weird, eh?


Most people retire in their 60's so they don't care what happens to you after that.  Smokers, on the other hand, develop all sorts of issues while still employed- as do the obese-- so there is a concern that these foks are identified earlier so that they can pay their share up front
 
2014-07-12 10:15:02 PM  

rudemix: Codenamechaz: Good.

Smokers are only costing them more money because of all the health problems that come along with it, not including the loss of productivity for smoke breaks.

People who don't smoke don't take breaks where you work? Sounds like a shiatty place to work.


Yeah, that's bullshiat. You can use the 15 minutes every 4 hours excuse to fire us. "but but but they'll go outside for cigarettes every five minutes" excuse is bullshiat.

/pack a day smoker


Also, does anyone know how to mediate vaporizer usage?  Trying to convert but I either smoke to little or too much. Any idea how to space things out?  (closet desk vaporizer)
 
2014-07-12 10:19:23 PM  

BSABSVR: And my employer gives us a $25 a month discount for doing the biometric scan. This county messed up because they didn't call at a discount for the non-smoking employees is all. Especially since enforcement seems to consist of making people check a box stating they don't smoke.


My insurance (CHAMPUS/Tricare) asks if one has used "a tobacco product" within the past reporting period (usually a year), with the explicit warning that lying on the form voids one's insurance coverage. Commit fraud at your own risk...I'd rather pay the $25/mo premium so I can enjoy a quality cigar with my favorite cousin at our annual reunion or a few ciggies with my bro, personally. No need to endanger my or my wife's insurance coverage. Just my opinion...ymmv.

(Not intended as a criticism of BSADSVR.)
 
2014-07-12 10:20:04 PM  
Why not do this for people who drink soda, or eat fast food?
 
2014-07-12 10:21:19 PM  

clowncar on fire: Apocalyptic Inferno: Not sure how you can only target smokers for the surcharge and not other lifestyle choices that contribute to health issues, the most obvious being obesity (yes I know for a tiny percentage of people this is beyond their control becuase of thyroid issues or what have you. That can be diagnosed by a doctor and granted an exemption). Generally, we think of protected classes against discrimination as being something that isn't a choice (eg gender, and hopefully soon sexual orientation). But, some protected classes based on choices (eg religion). So, it seems to me vice taxes are the best way to account for this and other issues like obesity without discriminating in the workplace, but actually use that revenue for handling the added healthcare costs.

Obese people are being targeted as well.  That is the point of getting a physical.


Perhaps, but there was nothing in there about a healthcare surcharge for obese people.
 
2014-07-12 10:22:52 PM  
They're using small sticks and puny carrots, but it's a nobel idea and may just work. Baby steps, and all that. Good luck, folks.
 
2014-07-12 10:24:41 PM  
My employer requires you to do a oral nicotine test.If you fail you pay higher premiums for their health insurance. It's called a "Wellness" plan because its supposedly to encourage a healthy lifestyle. But in truth its just to keep the employer's insurance costs down. I don't smoke so it doesn't bother me. But they also require blood tests and weight/bmi. I worry the insurance companies are going to push employers in to increasing stricter requirements to qualify for affordable health insurance. What's next? Required genetic testing to determine if you are predisposed to expensive to treat diseases?
 
2014-07-12 10:29:48 PM  
They've been doing this in the private sector for years.  Costs me 11 a week because I smoke.  Nothing to see here.  Also if you don't take a yearly blood test for cholesterol as well as body mass and blood pressure, you fork out 100 bucks out of your check.
 
2014-07-12 10:30:28 PM  
Do they drug test their employees as well? Are employees penalized for alcohol use? How about if they don't engage in regular exercise or eat a "proper" diet? This is a slippery slope.
 
2014-07-12 10:30:35 PM  

EwoksSuck: . What's next? Required genetic testing to determine if you are predisposed to expensive to treat diseases?


They are working on it.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/genetic-test-use-by-insurance-firms-di sc ouraged-by-privacy-watchdog-1.2703416

http://www.genome.gov/10002328
 
2014-07-12 10:34:05 PM  
Texas already charges over $3000 for ransom to get your license back in addition to court costs, legal fees, fines for many infractions like dwi, insurance violations. The charge is supposed to go to regional hospital support to pay for auto accident trauma facilities. It's considered a special users fee and if you're special enough to get a ticket you're special enough to pay the fee.

Me, personally, I don't mind subsidizing the extras needed to repair drunks, smokers, heroin addicts, and other risky behaviors resulting in health costs of my fellow employees. I'm happy to double up to do their job when they're out sick, too drunk to come to work, in jail, or in the burn ward after a bad attempt to burn down the company. And recreational obesity, bring it on. Why we aren't collectively assessed a monthly charge for bail money or hookers and blow is a mystery.

I can't stand the government company needing to make the workplace safer and healthier just to save money on healthcare.  Actually, for Texas county workers the government is the company.
 
2014-07-12 10:35:47 PM  

Piizzadude: TwoBeersOneCan: This is in no way unusual.  Lots of employers use incentive programs to promote healthy living (and lower insurance costs).

This is not one of those....


I'm not sure what article you read.  The employee is charged an extra 25 bucks for smoking, failing to fill out a health assessment, and/or not taking one's physical.  It is financial incentive from the employer to live a healthier life (or at least three steps they consider helpful for doing so).
 
2014-07-12 10:38:05 PM  

EwoksSuck: My employer requires you to do a oral nicotine test.If you fail you pay higher premiums for their health insurance. It's called a "Wellness" plan because its supposedly to encourage a healthy lifestyle. But in truth its just to keep the employer's insurance costs down. I don't smoke so it doesn't bother me. But they also require blood tests and weight/bmi. I worry the insurance companies are going to push employers in to increasing stricter requirements to qualify for affordable health insurance. What's next? Required genetic testing to determine if you are predisposed to expensive to treat diseases?


Genetic testing is out in a handful of states and tests above a metabolic panel and your vitals (i.e. EKG or a stress test) aren't cost effect for group health policies.  Life insurers can go a bit further for diseases with higher hereditary issues (i.e hemachromatosis, polycystic kidney disease, Huntington's, Marfan syndrome, Sjorgren's, and certain cardiology issues.  Breast and Colon cancer can also be under that cautious umbrella depending on your family history).
 
2014-07-12 10:38:57 PM  

BitwiseShift: Texas already charges over $3000 for ransom to get your license back in addition to court costs, legal fees, fines for many infractions like dwi, insurance violations. The charge is supposed to go to regional hospital support to pay for auto accident trauma facilities. It's considered a special users fee and if you're special enough to get a ticket you're special enough to pay the fee.

Me, personally, I don't mind subsidizing the extras needed to repair drunks, smokers, heroin addicts, and other risky behaviors resulting in health costs of my fellow employees. I'm happy to double up to do their job when they're out sick, too drunk to come to work, in jail, or in the burn ward after a bad attempt to burn down the company. And recreational obesity, bring it on. Why we aren't collectively assessed a monthly charge for bail money or hookers and blow is a mystery.

I can't stand the government company needing to make the workplace safer and healthier just to save money on healthcare.  Actually, for Texas county workers the government is the company.


You're going to need help driving in that third nail.
 
2014-07-12 10:43:29 PM  

Lsherm: Prey4reign: So, the cost of your healthcare coverage just increased by $25 a month.  From the perspective of a person already addicted to a two pack ($15) a day habit, it's probably considered a minor inconvenience.  From the perspective of this non-smoker, I've been glad I kicked my habit cold turkey 20 years ago.

Two packs a day is a pretty heavy smoking habit.


Back when I was a kid, this was small potatoes. You usually met some dude at some point who was like a 4 pack a day guy, and they sure did biatch every time the price went up.
 
2014-07-12 10:47:17 PM  

Piizzadude: EwoksSuck: . What's next? Required genetic testing to determine if you are predisposed to expensive to treat diseases?

They are working on it.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/genetic-test-use-by-insurance-firms-di sc ouraged-by-privacy-watchdog-1.2703416

http://www.genome.gov/10002328



Big Insurance knows whats best for us huh?  I worry how they will use our DNA info. Companies already share/sell ourDemographics and financial information now with organizations we don't know about. Who will get copies of our DNA? How long will they store it and how will they secure it?  I don't want to find out in 2035 they cloned my ass and I forgot to tell me.. Or future employers refuse me employment because I have a genetic high risk of cancer in 10 years.
 
2014-07-12 10:47:54 PM  

Apocalyptic Inferno: Not sure how you can only target smokers for the surcharge and not other lifestyle choices that contribute to health issues, the most obvious being obesity (yes I know for a tiny percentage of people this is beyond their control becuase of thyroid issues or what have you. That can be diagnosed by a doctor and granted an exemption). Generally, we think of protected classes against discrimination as being something that isn't a choice (eg gender, and hopefully soon sexual orientation). But, some protected classes based on choices (eg religion). So, it seems to me vice taxes are the best way to account for this and other issues like obesity without discriminating in the workplace, but actually use that revenue for handling the added healthcare costs.


Man, it's not just thyroid issues.  Every single member of my family contracted type II diabetes, and while obesity can increase your chance contracting it, you can get it regardless.  I'm borderline with a high fasting blood sugar level just over 100 and I'm 5'10", 160 pounds.  I'm not obese by any standard, but it is very, very difficult for me to lose weight.  As my blood sugar keeps creeping up as I get older, I'll get fatter.

I asked my doctor about it and he said they still aren't sure why some people get it and some people don't, but it's almost a certainty that if you do contract it, you'll gain weight without treatment.  So there could be a whole host of people who became overweight because they contracted diabetes and not the other way around. Fat shaming diabetics doesn't work. You need to get your blood sugar down to 80 or below to lose weight, and for diabetics that is very difficult to do. I can fast for an entire day and I won't drop below 100.  A normal person would drop to 70-80 after a few hours of not eating.  Exercise is good for lowering it temporarily, but not eating doesn't do shiat.
 
2014-07-12 10:51:39 PM  
CSB:

My company charges you an extra $50 per month for the healthcare plan if you are a "regular" tobacco user.

/Read the fine print.
//"Regular" does not include the occasional cigar.
///So I have that going for me.
////Which is nice.
 
2014-07-12 10:54:23 PM  

Stone Meadow: dookdookdook: Random question:  Self-harm is against most religions' beliefs I think, so does that mean Hobby Lobby can opt out of covering lung cancer treatment for smokers, since they brought it on themselves with their wicked sinning?

No, because Justice Alito assures us their ruling is narrowly crafted to cover ONLY religious exemptions for abortificant birth control methods. If you can't trust the opinion of an US Supreme Court justice, who can you believe?


Well I happen to believe that smoking is an abortifacient.  It doesn't matter what the science says.  It's a sincerely held belief.
 
2014-07-12 11:03:56 PM  

TwoBeersOneCan: Piizzadude: TwoBeersOneCan: This is in no way unusual.  Lots of employers use incentive programs to promote healthy living (and lower insurance costs).

This is not one of those....

I'm not sure what article you read.  The employee is charged an extra 25 bucks for smoking, failing to fill out a health assessment, and/or not taking one's physical.  It is financial incentive from the employer to live a healthier life (or at least three steps they consider helpful for doing so).


I read the article that says that smokers are getting a $25 penalty. I am not getting an incentive if I quit, I am getting the opportunity to not be discriminated against and pay what everyone else does.
 
2014-07-12 11:26:30 PM  
$40/person/paycheck. Per Person. Not employee.
Folks, the slippery slope is uphill and behind us.

/Get back on that Stairmaster, citizen!
 
2014-07-12 11:31:18 PM  

Warlordtrooper: Prey4reign: So, the cost of your healthcare coverage just increased by $25 a month.  From the perspective of a person already addicted to a two pack ($15) a day habit, it's probably considered a minor inconvenience.  From the perspective of this non-smoker, I've been glad I kicked my habit cold turkey 20 years ago.

If this were a private corporation doing this I would not have a problem with it.  The fact that it's the government doing it should alarm everyone.  The government does not have the right to do things that private companies do when it comes to interfering in your life


Hahahaha
 
2014-07-12 11:36:49 PM  

Codenamechaz: Good.

Smokers are only costing them more money because of all the health problems that come along with it, not including the loss of productivity for smoke breaks.


This.

They're making people who choose to be unhealthy pay for the higher cost of insurance.  I don't see anything wrong with that.  They should do the same for other lifestyle choices that make people have higher healthcare costs... like obesity.
 
2014-07-12 11:39:32 PM  

dookdookdook: Random question:  Self-harm is against most religions' beliefs I think, so does that mean Hobby Lobby can opt out of covering lung cancer treatment for smokers, since they brought it on themselves with their wicked sinning?


I can't think of any religion that is against self-harm. Self-harm is a legal category, though.
 
2014-07-12 11:46:17 PM  
It's herd management.
 
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