Skip to main content

View Diary: SCHIP: The GOP Campaign Against Children (312 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  quit smoking (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DHinMI, mcfly

    and quit bellyaching. the funding will come from where ever it needs to come from if funds fall short. Unlikely, though (see blockquote).

    It is amazing what people latch onto as a complaint. Smoking is indefensible from a public health standpoint. Smokers cost us billions, hurt children and the unborn, and kill people very dead. Some stats (health stats are here):

    In 2002, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that each pack of cigarettes sold in the United States costs the nation more than $7 in medical care and lost productivity.[104] That's over $2000 per year/smoker. Another study by a team of health economists finds the combined price paid by their families and society is about $41 per pack of cigarettes.[105]

    Substantial scientific evidence shows that higher cigarette prices result in lower overall cigarette consumption. Most studies indicate that a 10% increase in price will reduce overall cigarette consumption by 3% to 5%. Youth, minorities, and low-income smokers are two to three times more likely to quit or smoke less than other smokers in response to price increases.[106][107] Smoking is often cited as an example of an inelastic good, however, i.e. a large rise in price will only result in a small decrease in consumption.

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 08:24:20 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I Don't Smoke... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greeseyparrot

      If you care about expanding children's health care as much as your rhetoric claims, why don't you?
      One can always come up with a self-righteous nanny-state justification for why others should pay their taxes for them, but it only makes sense that those pounding their fists hardest be the first in line to finance what they claim to hold so important rather than creatively justifying why you should bespectators from the bleachers watching lower-income taxpayers pay your tax bill for you.

      It boils down to this.....if people quit smoking as you claim to want to happen, SCHIP funding evaporates and children still don't have health care coverage.  Why is that so hard for you nanny-state thugs to wrap your minds around?!?!

      •  see comment above (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zinger99, land of the free, echatwa

        and drop the nanny-state bullshit if you want to debate policy. Smoking cost taxpayers and the economy 2000 per person per year. It hits small business hard, and any other business which pays for health insurance.

        If you care about expanding children's health care as much as your rhetoric claims, why don't you?

        We are going to, over your beloved conservative ideology's dead carcass if necessary, even if it has to wait until 2008. And, we will do it with the support of the public.

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 08:39:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I Think What We Have Here Is An... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mcfly

          The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

          by Dana Houle on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 08:42:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  ah... (0+ / 0-)

            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

            by Greg Dworkin on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 08:45:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  This problem could be solved (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              greeseyparrot, Mark27

              by non-smokers buying cigarettes and then throwing them away.  This could also be a boon for makers such as Tarelton and Viceroy.

              Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them - T Paine

              by breezeview on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 08:54:27 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  now there's a thought! (0+ / 0-)

                Highly unlikely to happen, but maybe as a transition for the tobacco companies, the Coors and Scaife foundations could fund the acquisition and destruction of cigarettes, instead of trying to destroy America.

                "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                by Greg Dworkin on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 08:58:24 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I've Mentioned That Too..... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                greeseyparrot

                ....even if these guys who claim to want to expand SCHIP exclusively with regressive cigarette taxes don't smoke, they should at least be buying cigarettes and throwing them away so they don't look like total hypocrites, right?

          •  evidently since there appears to be little (0+ / 0-)

            knowledge of the actual way the tobacco industry works. For example, the companies are now involved in a buy-out of the Stabilization Program, which involves a ten year payment to farmers who formerly held a tobaco quota.
            The companies merely increased the price per pack by 5 cents and covered the cost of the buyout which will save them billions over a few years. Now if there were not room for more taxes, how did the companies manage to raise the price and still hold market share and why didn't anyone protest about the poor smokers then?

            •  Five Cents Per Pack? (0+ / 0-)

              As opposed to the much more massive taxes imposed upon cigarettes by gluttonous states (and now the feds).  My state just raised their tax a buck a pack and the Feds are planning to up the ante another 61 cents.  Combined, that's 32 times as much as the nickel-per-pack increase you claim the tobacco companies recently imposed.  Kind of like comparing a firecracker to a hydrogen bomb, isn't it?

              •  This is referring to about four years ago (0+ / 0-)

                and the five cent increase was just a single example. There have been several other increases as tobacco companies have reached various settlements. I believe the net effect of their deal with the states resulted in a twenty five or thirty per cent increase in the price of a pack of cigarettes. This is exclusive of the nickel increase mentioned earlier.
                By the same token, going back several years, when it appeared the tide of litigation was going to go against them, tobacco companies went on a spending spree to diversify their holdings and to wall off past profits against future claims.
                Tobacco companies have raised the price of their product pretty much at will, enjoying a virtual monopoly over the market, even if you look back to the days of Stabilization and the auction system.  

      •  You're Being a Jackass (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zinger99

        "Nanny state?"  WTF, are you getting your talking points from Rush Limbaugh?

        It's not a fucking "nanny state" to tax risky behavior that's paid for by the entire society, and it's not a nanny state to use that tax revenue to pay for health care for children.

        The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

        by Dana Houle on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 08:39:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That's BS (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greeseyparrot, Mark27

      a two pack a day smoker for 40 years costs $204K in medical expense?  What about a non-smoker, do they not get medical care as they age?  Smoking is a bad habit and should be discouraged, but blather like you (and anti-smokers) consistently spout is hogwash.

      Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them - T Paine

      by breezeview on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 08:36:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  incremental costs (0+ / 0-)

        sorry, but those are the facts.

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 08:40:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Who Do You Think Ran Up The Highest.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          greeseyparrot

          ....lifetime health care bill?  Ex-President and long-time Alzheimer's patient Ronald Reagan or ex-Beatle and short-term lung cancer patient George Harrison?  There will be far more Ronald Reagans in the generation ahead than George Harrisons, so we shall soon find out.

          •  your opinion vs the facts (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elfling

            which are a bit more nuanced than you are.

            The Health Care Costs of Smoking

            Health care costs for smokers at a given age are as much as 40 percent higher than those for nonsmokers, but in a population in which no one smoked the costs would be 7 percent higher among men and 4 percent higher among women than the costs in the current mixed population of smokers and nonsmokers. If all smokers quit, health care costs would be lower at first, but after 15 years they would become higher than at present. In the long term, complete smoking cessation would produce a net increase in health care costs, but it could still be seen as economically favorable under reasonable assumptions of discount rate and evaluation period.

            Conclusions If people stopped smoking, there would be a savings in health care costs, but only in the short term. Eventually, smoking cessation would lead to increased health care costs.

            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

            by Greg Dworkin on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 09:34:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The problem with the NEJM article (0+ / 0-)

              is that even if you stop smoking, there are residual effects which do not go away or ameliorate. Therefore, in a population of ex smokers you still have people who are sicker.

              The study from the clip, seems to not to take into account second hand smoke. If second hand smoke is deleterious to the health, then it is reasonable to postulate again a population of ex passive smokers, who will have health problems not abated by cessation.

              Therefore, if the conclusion that any gains would be short term,it would seem that that period would still be a minimum of twenty years for active smokers and forty or more years for passive smokers before healthcare costs would rise again.

              •  true and it's not the only study (0+ / 0-)

                but it puts the brakes on the idea that smoking cessation would bankrupt us.

                "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                by Greg Dworkin on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 09:51:05 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  You Seem Intelligent..... (0+ / 0-)

                .....which makes me wring my hands in exasperation that you're drinking the purple Kool-Aid insurance industry hacks are peddling that would have us believe that it's the diminishing ranks of smokers, and not the exploding ranks of geriatrics, that are raising health care costs in this country.

                •  separate issue which this doesn't solve n/t (0+ / 0-)

                  "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                  by Greg Dworkin on Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 10:09:40 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Not Separate At All..... (0+ / 0-)

                    ....if fewer and fewer people smoke, life expectancies will continue to lengthen, and the per-person lifetime health care bill will expand.  Whatever the ethics of this may be, I won't let people get away with the erroneous claim that smoking represents this oversized burden on health care costs.  I can assure you without a shadow of a doubt that if smoking went away tomorrow, health care costs would NOT go down in the years ahead.

                •  ever stop to think maybe I have (0+ / 0-)

                  a background in both areas and some expertise? As far as geriatrics, middle aged in 1900 was 35; now people expect to work and produce into their seventies. People are living longer and in better health to enjoy it.  In the meantime, we are better able to deal with catastrophic diseases such as CVAs. The healthcare cost remains in the area of chronic illnesses, many of which are preventable or least manageable.  The problem is that we do not know how a healthy population will age.  The current nursing home population is WW2 and pre WW2 and their upbringing was completely different from the present generation when preventive medicine was unknown.  
                  Demogaphically, many of those geriatrics who are now confined are the ones who did smoke and who are now costing the dollars due to COPD, CHF, multiple CVAs and other smoking related diseases.

                  •  Let's Get Past the Spin..... (0+ / 0-)

                    ....and focus on a single yes or no question.  If smoking were to go away tomorrow, can you tell me with a straight face that you believe long-term health care costs would go DOWN?

                    In a nation that has just added a brand new prescription drug entitlement that allows billions of dollars of new investment in the prescription drugs for disproportionately nonsmoking seniors, there is no way I can accept the idea that the shrinking demographic of smokers wields that damn much influence on rising health care costs in this country.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site