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View Diary: Can Democrats Really Afford To Forfeit The Votes of 46 Million Smokers? (226 comments)

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  •  Sorry, you're just wrong. (10+ / 0-)

    As a health professional, I've actually had classes on treating older adults, and the honest truth is that much of the ill health issues we as a society consider 'normal' to aging, simply aren't.  They're the result of long term exposure to unhealthy environments or chronic conditions established in prior years, not a function of aging itself.

    Many older people stay healthy to the day they die, and the 'secret' to that is a healthy life all along, so that you don't have to treat the resulting problems from an unhealthy youth.

    •  Wow You Are Really Putting Yourself Out On A Limb. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril

      ....here.

      Are you seriously telling me that a nation poised to quadruple its incidence of Alzheimer's disease because of its unnaturally expanding life expectancy will actually SAVE money as a result of that?  And the decades per person worth of intensive nursing home care that will result in that?  While smokers and overweight people who die at 65 is where our real health care costs are?  

      Unfortunately, it's pretty clear we're gonna have to learn this lesson the hard way.....the VERY hard way where a nation of bean-sprout eating Mike Bloomberg followers are told the day they turn 65 that the Social Security and Medicare money is all gone....and they'll have to fend for themselves.  That's the nation's future if we keep living in this fantasy world.

      •  Well, for one, I'm telling you I don't think (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wu ming, allergywoman, ER Doc, skohayes, fluffy

        Alzheimer's is a function of the aging process.  Last I'd heard, they hadn't traced it back to original antecedents, but not everyone who lives 'X years' automatically gets it, which pretty much means it's either genetic or environmental in nature (or some mix of the two).  Finding the actual causation will determine whether or not there's an easy way to reduce incidence, and therefore costs.  Simply killing everyone who reaches a certain age to 'save money' is the laziest way to solve any problem.

        And now you've morphed onto the 'OMG, there's no more SS money' argument.  You're really cleaning up on putting out those RW talking points today.

        •  It's Hardly A Right-Wing Talking Point...... (0+ / 0-)

          It's simple math.  Are you implying the money will all be there for Social Security and Medicare if we go on autopilot?  Just trying to get a handle on your level of alternative reality here.  I don't think there's a single Democrat in Washington who doesn't think these programs have pending funding problems....or that a glut of more old people living longer will expedite those funding problems.

          As for the "simply killing everyone who reaches a certain age to save money" meme, it's not a matter of killing people, it's a matter of allowing people to a live a risky lifestyle at their discretion, which just happens to offer the fringe benefit of lower costs to society.  Understand that I'm not advocating smoking and obesity, only the freedom to engage in them without unjust state persecution based on lies about costs to society.

          •  It's a temporary demographic bulge issue (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            allergywoman, a gilas girl

            and can be completely 'fixed' simply by raising the SS income cap.

            And if we can get a handle on obesity, we can drastically cut medicare spending to boot.  A hell of a lot of healthcare dollars are blown on treating individuals with chronic conditions that are preventable, but not prevented simply because 'freedom!'.  

            We make a big deal over individual rights, such as the right to be suckered by corporations into indulging or overindulging in their products through slick ad campaigns and research into how to make their products ever more irresistible.  Is the freedom to be treated like a rube and parted from your money for things that you're being told you want really that important?

            What if, instead, we tried telling people how to enjoy life in ways that didn't lead to self-destruction, rather than cheering on the 'freedom' to go to Hell in a handbasket simply to fatten corporate profits?

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