Obamacare burns smokers with big penalties

Penalty for SmokersSmokers have become a cash cow for government, as evident in New York City where a single pack of cigarettes can cost as much as $12 due to state and local excise taxes equaling $5.85 a pack.

A fact not lost on the Obama administration as they scramble to find ways to pay for Obamacare.

In the nanny state we live in today, lawmakers have little hesitation to hit smokers with punitive taxes and justify it by saying it’s for their own good. Under the Affordable Care Act, such penalties could subject millions of smokers to fees costing thousands of dollars.

From AP:

The Affordable Care Act – “Obamacare” to its detractors – allows health insurers to charge smokers buying individual policies up to 50 percent higher premiums starting next Jan. 1.

For a 55-year-old smoker, the penalty could reach nearly $4,250 a year. A 60-year-old could wind up paying nearly $5,100 on top of premiums.

The law does allow for younger smokers to be charged lower penalties under rules proposed last fall by the Obama administration.

“We don’t want to create barriers for people to get health care coverage,” California state Assemblyman Richard Pan told AP. “We want people who are smoking to get smoking cessation treatment.”

Penalties can be avoided by joining smoking cessation programs, but this applies primarily to those covered on the job because employer plans operate under different rules than those who purchase coverage individually.

Conveniently, older smokers who can’t afford health insurance add another brick to the path that leads to a single payer system, the ultimate goal of the Democratic Party.

Nonetheless, smoking contributes to nearly 450,000 deaths a year, so we should all be grateful for a benevolent Uncle Sam willing to exert a little tough love to discourage us from making bad decisions.

And things could be worse, a member of the Oregon State Legislature just introduced a new bill that would classify cigarettes as a Schedule III controlled substance, making them illegal to purchase without a doctor’s prescription, according to Reuters.

Of course, smokers who have trouble kicking the habit still have the option to kick themselves if they voted for Obama in November.


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11 thoughts on “Obamacare burns smokers with big penalties

  1. FRED BUCK says:


  2. Jason says:

    Great read Tom. The assault continues. As the Affordable Care Act onslaught continues I think we're going to see even more of these little surprises (I call them surprises, but nothing surprises me anymore with this act) . My content partner and I have been building a website for the last few months just on the basis of the penalties that are involved with the act. We're definitely going to write and article on this topic because the law's been written for a "Long" time as we all know, and we're just getting the details now.

    Another surprise is what's being spent to develop the state exchanges. There's not even a working model to copy or the IT infrastructure to support the exchanges. The administration is throwing money at it willy nilly to see what works. It won't be long until people start seeing how unfeasible this monster is.

  3. Randy says:

    The affordable Care Act is also raising the rates for healthy people too. The affordable Care Act has determined through statistics that non smokersl live an average of 10 years longer than their smoking counter parts. At an average medicare cost for nursing homes at 6500.00 per year with and expected rise of 10 percent per year. Healthy individuals will cost the taxpayers almost 100,000.00 thousand more than the dead smoker. Read it, it is in there!!!!!

    1. Norm says:

      So by your reasoning, you want all people to die ten years before regardless of being a smoker? Smoking is a privalage, you more than likely were not forced to breath in toxins that can cause an early death. If you want to smoke go ahead and pay for your smokes at with the heavy tax. – I am not republican or a democrat, I am for justice and what seems fair. If it was me, I would have baned smoking years ago, it kills non smokers aswell. my grandmother is a prime example, she never smoked in her life and had lung cancer. She did not deserve an early death, the smokers that smoked, that was there choice to murder my grandmother.

  4. Big Dem says:

    All part of the plan, folks. The federal government is grabbing control of all aspects of our lives, and those things they cannot convince us to change, they will force us to change. Still prefer a 100 watt incandescent light bulb over the CFL version for 100x's more money? They just outlaw the incadescent bulbs (bulbs formerly made in America in favor of CFL bulbs made in China…by GE, the company of Jeff Immelt, Obama's Job Czar!!! Obama's Crony Capitalism !). Like your SUV or pickup truck? Obama will prevent oil extraction in the US and force gas prices to soar ($1.89 when he took office, $3.40 now). Still want your SUV? Obama will punish car companies who don't meet his unrealistically high fleet mpg average, thus forcing them to stop making the vehicles you want so they are unavailable. Don't want socialized medicine and elect a Republican to Ted Kennedy's seat to prevent it? Obama just rammed OvbamaCare through before Scott Brown took his oath and could vote against it! Like your gun for sport, protection or as a collector? Too bad. Big Brother says no, only criminals and cops can have them.

    Want to eat what you like, drink an occasional beer, or not exercise? Not your choice! ObamaCare means every American is paying for your health care now, so the government can force you to be "healthy," all according to Michelle Obama's definition of healthy, of course! Think this is bad? Just wait and see what this tyranny has in store if we do not stop it now.

  5. Alan Mowbray says:

    "…so we should all be grateful for a benevolent Uncle Sam willing to exert a little tough love to discourage us from making bad decisions."


    Seeing those words – even though I know you wrote them tongue-in-cheek – still gave me a case of the heeby-jeebies.



    1. Tom Tillison says:

      AL, I was channeling my inner-Ho Chi Minh when I wrote that…

  6. Karen M says:

    I HOPE very Soon on all three.

  7. Jeff says:

    Yep, nothing like taxing the addicted more. Next will be obesity (we'll be charging 10.00 for a Big Mac) then they can start working on other diseases/conditions. Guess next will be alcohol. Great way for the government to correct there addiction to over spending. Welcome to the Socialist party.

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