Tag Archives: Smoking

Obamacare so confusing, government computers can’t handle it

obamacare smokersDue to contradictory requirements, government computers get confused when trying to enforce the smoker’s provision in Obamacare.

The anti-smoking provision allows insurers to charge as much as 50% more to those who use tobacco products.

To lure in younger consumers, insurers were expected to penalize them less and hit older smokers with the full penalty. This will lead to situations where an older smoker could have premiums more than three times those of younger consumers.

Another provision in the law does not allow premiums for any consumer to be more than three times those of any others.

When older smoker premiums are submitted to the system, it rejects them. The system has to enforce all provisions of the law – which is impossible to do and have everyone covered by health insurance.

While the government tries to work out it’s glitch, which will take upwards of a whole year, insurance companies will have to create their own solutions. Whether they decide to apply a 20-25% smoker’s penalty across the board regardless of age or hit younger smokers with a much heavier penalty remains to be seen.

Imagine how much fun this will all be when beef consumption, sodas, alcohol and other things become 50% premium risks? Premiums may “necessarily skyrocket” as we speed on our way to a single-payer, fully government-run healthcare system.

Russia Eyes Higher Taxes, Price Controls to Curb Smoking

www.express.co.uk (cc)

www.express.co.uk (cc)

Strict new guidelines on where Russians can and cannot smoke, which Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law late February, went into effect Saturday.

 BBC News reports:

Smoking will be banned at workplaces, housing block stairwells, buses and commuter trains and within 15m of train stations and airports.

From 1 June 2014, all cafes, bars, restaurants, hotels, shops, markets, shopping centres and long-distance journeys on ships and trains will become smoke free.
The sale of tobacco will also be prohibited at street kiosks and minimum prices will be set for cigarettes.

But a government official told Bloomberg.com that its goal of cutting smoking in half, in a country where 40 percent of the citizens light up, might require more encouragement:

 

“The health ministry will be pushing for faster excise-tax growth,” Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets said in an e-mailed answer to questions from Bloomberg. “Our goal is a radical reduction of smoking. That could be reached by economic measures.”

The Health Ministry proposed raising the tax to 4,000 rubles ($125) per 1,000 cigarettes by the end of 2015, from 510 rubles, according to a letter dated Sept. 22 from Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova to Golodets obtained by Bloomberg News.

The Government approved a Finance Ministry proposal last week with a tax as high as 1,250 rubles in 2015.

 

In its current form, the law has no teeth–  until lawmakers approve amendments sometime next month, police can’t give tickets or impose fines for public smoking.

 

Individual Liberties and the Slippery Slope

Ah, the “slippery slope” metaphor.  Over-used, sometimes misused and rarely is it effectively used – I hope I don’t manage to make those same mistakes.

Individual liberties were of prime concern to the founding fathers.  The Constitution makes it difficult for the government to infringe upon the rights of the individual and progressives find this incredibly frustrating.

So what is a progressive liberal to do?  Grit their teeth – nah, might ruin that new retainer Mom and Dad got ’em.  Whine and complain?  Sure, but that’s pretty much a constant noise the rest of us have now tuned out – much like MSNBC.  No, they chip away at the offending freedom until there is nothing left.  This practice has been used as long as there have been those that would strip away a liberty from one citizen in the name of safety, security, or well-being of another.  More correctly, they take the liberties of a group of Americans in the name of the greater good – that’s not Marxist..

Examples of this practice are easy to find.   The second amendment guarantees the right to bear arms.  Progressives know that any attempt to repeal that amendment would meet the kind of resistance that would destroy their little movement.  Instead, they have attempted to dismantle the right slowly, through regulation.  They outlawed high-capacity mags where they could, the assault weapons ban, a recent attempt to outlaw lead for fishing and shooting – it’s a constant assault.

The liberals are also attacking smoking.  I don’t smoke cigarettes, but the attack on another’s freedom are too much to bare.  Certainly, I don’t need anyone blowing smoke in my face, that’s my right, but recently, there are boards in North Carlina trying to get smoking outlawed in open air parks and greenways.  For Pete’s sake, if someone wants to smoke in the wide open space of a park, certainly I can find my own clean air.  Sure, the libdergarderners make the argument that smoking causes cancer and that society pays the price.  I say, only because of the terrible regulation of the insurance industry.  If rates weren’t so tightly controlled, smokers would pay through the nose for insurance – an outcome of their own choice to smoke.  My rates would be unaffected.  If the government is so concerned, they could do the same with Medicare.

The real question is at what point will most Americans realize that the next freedom to go might just be one they like.  The whole chip-away strategy goes after a total goal – let’s say the eradication of guns in America.  What is done is to segment the kinds of gun owners and take rights from each group in a successive manner.  First, those that really like high-capacity mags.  The occasional target shooter or hunter may not ever buy a high capacity mag and could easily just let this regulation go by without putting the fear of re-election into the Representatives.  Next would be those that like semi-automatic rifles with clips (detachable magazines).  An article on about.com demonstrates the skewed definition of an assault rifle as it was put in the Clinton-era Assault Weapons Ban (AWB):

In general, the AWB defined any firearm with a detachable magazine and at least two of certain other characteristics as an assault weapon.

For rifles, those characteristics included:

  • Telescoping stock
  • Pistol grip
  • Bayonet mount
  • Grenade launcher
  • Flash suppressor

A pistol grip and flash suppressor could easily be found on a competition gun (which would have clip).  But most hunters and shotgun sports enthusiasts might let this go.  Now we have dolts like Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) would limit the size of ammunition magazines.  What would be next?  In 2009 McCarthy wanted to ban on anything that remotely resembles a military rifle.  That definition won’t get misused by the courts or regulators at all ..

So you may not be a smoker or a gun enthusiast, but what happens when  a freedom you appreciate comes under fire because someone in the government doesn’t like it?  If you don’t stand up for the rights of gun owners, smokers, the religious, etc – who will stand up for you when your favorite liberty gets stepped-on?  You cannot pick and choose, defend every liberty offered by the Constitution or be willing to lose them all.

Why the NY Outdoor Smoking Ban Should Matter to Everyone

Years ago when the ban of smoking near entrances to building took hold, you were warned.  Either help the smokers or you will be next.

Am I advocating smoking?  Of course not.  But as a true Conservative, the freedoms of the individual are central to my decision making processes.  I certainly agree that they don’t have the right to smoke in your face or in close proximity to you – and most wouldn’t.  Now, New York Mayor Michael (build the Mosque at Ground Zero) Bloomberg is pressing for regulations that would make it illegal to smoke in .. public open-air areas.  These areas include parks, beaches, boardwalks and pedestrian plazas (that could mean just about anything) like Times Square.

Certainly everyone can get on board with this right?  I mean .. seriously, let’s eliminate smoking everywhere.  Cars next, then your own home.  There is no reason for you to get involved in stopping this because it’s good for the country .. or something.  It promotes a healthier lifestyle .. it cleans the air for others .. it .. well, that’s pretty much it.  So why would anyone, other than smokers, oppose such a ban?  Perhaps because your vice is next.

Alcohol will most-likely be next.  They can’t prohibit it (everything becomes fashionable again at some point) without a Constitutional amendment, but they can tax the living crap out of it, restrict it’s use to a small closet in the back of your house, or refuse to let you into the government health care insurance exchange if you choose to imbibe – which you will if this administration keeps at its craptastic policies.

Once alcohol has been turned into the evil monster, they’ll attack sodas .. wait .. that’s already happening.  Next!

Tsarina Michelle is already attacking meat, salt, fast food and anything else that tastes good.  Wait until they outlaw good tasting food.

What after that?  Video games?  Blogging? Internet use? TV watching?  All of those things may make us less productive Americans so why wouldn’t the government want to limit how much time we spend doing those things or wholly prevent them?

If we don’t fight the oppressive, intrusive government elitists at each attempt to dictate to us what we should or should not do, a freedom we cherish will be next on the chopping block.  Those who have already lost theirs due to our inaction .. will feel no compunction to help us in our fight.