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

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  •  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.

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