I was listening to the Brad and Britt Show last week and they were discussing the proposed changes to North Carolina public employee’s health insurance payments. Currently the State pays 100% of the health care premiums for its employees. The new proposal would require employees to contribute $11 per month this year and then $22 per month next year.
Further, premiums would be subject to individual conditions as it relates to weight and smoking habits of those employees. For example, if an individual was over weight, they may find that their premium would be higher than their svelte co-worker. Similar to that concept is the idea of determining the premium based upon smoking habits. A smoker would face a higher premium than a non-smoker.
Given the Left-leaning tendancies of our hosts, I felt for sure that they would be against such discrimination.
I was pleasantly surprised.
It turns out that the fellas support the idea that folks who lead unhealthy lifestyles should have to contribute more for their insurance.
The implicit message? Folks who are unhealthy will generate higher medical costs than folks who ARE healthy. The way to offset those costs so that plans remain affordable for the healthy people?
Charge the unhealthy people more money to partake in the insurance plan.
The irony of the whole thing? The point at which I chuckle at my intrepid radio hosts? The point where it becomes clear that they, as does virtually everyone I know, support the concept of a “pre-existing condition” when it comes to medical or health insurance.
See, there is no difference in principle when you discriminate on the basis of smoking or on the basis of cancer. There is no fundamental difference between charging an obese man more for his coverage than charging a diabetic more for his. The only difference is the cost.
When trying to determine how much more to charge the smoker, the insurance actuaries identify the increased medical costs associated with those folks who develop medical conditions attributed to smoking. Then they “divide it out” among those who smoke.
In a similar manner, an insurance actuary would identify the increased costs associated with those folks who have cancer, or diabetes or any other such condition. Then, in exactly the same manner as for the obese and the smoker, he would spread those costs out to those who carry such conditions.
Again, here is a clear case where common sense is defeated by blind idealistic tribalism. I just wish more of my Liberal friends on the Left could finally come to the same conclusion as Britt.