Smoking a Preexisting Condition?
When you think of preexisting conditions when talking about health care, one would normally think of cancer or a condition a child is born with. Most wouldn’t think of smoking though right? Well, ObamaCare does view smoking as a preexisting condition. According to National Review, the D.C. Health Exchange Board has proclaimed smoking a preexisting condition.
The District of Columbia’s Obamacare czars — the board that sets rules for the phony insurance marketplace, or “exchange,” that the law creates — have decided that henceforth insurers shall be forbidden by law to charge smokers higher rates than non-smokers. Smoking, as it turns out, “is a preexisting medical condition,” according to Dr. Mohammad Akhter, the chairman of the D.C. Health Exchange Board. Two liberal states, California and Connecticut, have decided likewise, while Colorado and Alaska have rejected the idea.
As expected, the definition of “preexisting condition” is proving infinitely malleable, with behaviors born again as conditions. If smoking is a condition, then drug addiction is a condition, self-mutilation is a condition, a penchant for BASE jumping is a condition, juggling ampules of penicillin-resistant syphilis — practically anything qualifies as a condition under such a plastic understanding.
There are many ways to implement a bad idea. For instance, Congress might have passed a law requiring that all U.S. insurance companies no longer charge smokers more for their coverage. The state of Connecticut might have passed a similar law. New York City might have passed that law. But in each case, voters who saw that stupidity for what it is would have somebody to vote against. Obamacare eliminates the option for democratic response. Instead, it creates a body of political appointees immune from being held accountable at the ballot box. And who are those appointees? In the case of D.C., you will find few surprises: The SEIU has a man on the board, along with a lot of time-serving political types, a fellow from the Brookings Institution, a lobbyist, etc. Don’t like their boneheaded decisions? Too bad.
And this is just the beginning.