John and Carl are identical twins. John exercises, eats well, doesn't smoke, and gets plenty of fresh air. Carl smokes, eats McDonalds, sits around all day on the couch watching his Soaps.
Is there any reason why anybody thinks that John and Carl should pay the same amount of money for health insurance?
No, but the chances of them paying the same are almost nil, Carl will probably get free health care while John pays for his.
When I was a kid, their names were Goofus and Galant.
I have to say yes on that one. Unless maybe you can provide more balanced info.
You haven't given enough specifics to compare the two.
It's an unhealthy thing for Carl to smoke, yes. But it's very possible that John has some habits that could make him a high risk too. Insurance companies, for instance, used to ask if a person engages in risky sexual activity like multiple partners and/or homosexual activity. I'm not sure if they ask those questions now or not! But they should, since they ask about smoking and drinking. (Dunno if they ask about drinking or not, come to think of it).
And McDonalds is simply under attack by competitors and/or health-food nuts who think they should be able to tell everyone what to eat now. However, it might equal out if they also monitor who goes to those insect bars and how often they eat raw fish and who doses themselves with energy drinks, etc.
What I'm saying is that your scenario is too vague. And rather biased, I think, since you mentioned McDonalds and smoking and yet omitted other possibilities.
Carl can't pay anything for health insurance because he has no job and spends what money he sucks off the government (probably from welfare or unemployment) so the left says Carl shouldn't pay anything for healthcare because the government can tax John's income to pay for his brother - that's only fair and isn't that what government is for?
I'm sorry if you can't understand the concept of the hypothetical. The concept is that one person tries to keep from harming himself, and the other person constantly harms himself.
The question is, should people pay the same for insurance and healthcare if they take care of themselves, as people who don't?
I'm sure you knew that, but you just want to complain that I didn't outline each person's attitudes toward every possible dangerous/harmful scenario? Get real.
If they receive the same coverage, they should pay the same amount of money for it.
Even though, statistically speaking, the one is going to be a much larger burden on the insurance company? That doesn't make any sense, why shouldn't the insurance company be allowed to adjust for risk?
What you are talking about is subsidizing, forcing someone to pay for someone else.
How would you like it if you had to pay higher home insurance rates because everybody else refused to lock their doors and got robbed every month?
I like the "John gets plenty of fresh air"....I know what you mean, its just funny because it makes him sound like a pet or something
Anyway, being serious now...
Brenda is right that there are a lot of factors that we don't know about here.
What is Carl's BMI?
What does he eat at McDonalds?
How much does he smoke each day?
What is their family history? If there is a history of heart disease or other health problems, they could both be equally prone to certain types of health problems no matter what they do.
The only thing I think Carl should have to pay for is his smoking habit. Other than that, its a pretty vague scenario.
Again, this isn't a discussion about specifics, but concepts. Should healthcare costs be the same for people who take care of themselves as they are for people who damage themselves?
Well, people assume that exercising will keep you in better shape and lower your risk of health problems. However, recent studies have shown that the only thing that matters is what we put in our body.
Therefore, the fact that John exercises could be meaningless. Again, the only thing I would charge Carl more for in this scenario is smoking because it has been proven that smoking even a few cigarettes can lead to permanent damage in the future.
Unless a doctor has examined the two people in this scenario, you can't assume one is healthy and one is not based on assumptions.
What about health issues that are not dependent on your actions? Plenty of health conditions are genetic, should you be charged more based on the fact that your dad had a heart attack or your mom had breast cancer at 50? What if you were born with a hereditary disease? In the past insurance companies were allowed not only to charge more, but to deny coverage at any price, to people they defined as high risk.
Because no one deserves to die for making dumb choices. Because our lives are not a commodity to trade for value like so much rice. Because ultimately the value of an innocent human life is worth infinitely more than your concept of fairness in insurance payment plans.
I can go on all day.
This is sanctimonious rhetoric. Yes, nobody deserves to die because of poor choices. Conversely, nobody deserves a free ride because of poor choices. Compassion isn't giving, giving, giving. Compassion is helping people get out of poverty in the first place. Once people are out of poverty, they can afford health insurance, IF they want it. We'd be far better off developing a robust economy where more people are employed and have insurance. Then, we'd be better off focusing on why our healthcare and insurance are so expensive. Instead, how's our job growth? Have you seen the last numbers? I know (sigh), the sequester, George Bush, COMPASSION, racism, and uneducated conservatives. . . Unemployed and underemployed people typically don't have health insurance.
How can you be against helping people out of poverty so they can afford health insurance IF they want it? Doesn't that beat having socialized healthcare for people still in poverty? People in poverty deserve better than this kind of "compassion."
Just curious. How do you help people out of poverty by charging them more for their health insurance if they eat at McDonald's?
They should pay the same amount, period. Lifestyle background check is already included in applying for health insurance? Oh no. The causal factors which will make that other person to be a burden to the health insurance company is obscure because there are many factors to consider. What if the other one pays more tax, etc.
I recently purchased a new health insurance policy. They took a complete medical history, asked about smoking and drinking, drug use (prescribed, OTC, and recreational). Blood pressure, cholesterol etc. But no questions about diet or exercise at all. If the twins in question were both signing up for this insurance, the one who smokes would pay more. It would only matter what he ate if it showed up on his medical tests. I guess that was the question. BTW, there are plenty of people with good jobs who smoke, don't get any exercise, and eat poorly.
They don't sit around all day on the couch watching Soaps!
Maybe they work at night. Besides, it seems to me that there are two separate issues here. If a person was on public assistance, but lived a healthy life, would that make a difference to you?
The original question asked if they should pay the same, that seems to indicate that they are both going to be paying.
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