An all-around gut-punch story from Martin Salazar at the Journal this morning on probable increases and decreases in NM public school employee health insurance.
- Increases: Everything involving teachers paying money
- Decreases: Everything involving receiving actual health services
Your basic win/win for Satan here. The best line in a story full of horrible bottom lines:
The Insurance Authority said it would also have to consider imposing a surcharge on covered employees who are overweight and those who use tobacco.
One can just imagine the folks at the “Insurance Authority” (and who wouldn’t want to wake up every weekday and go to work at a place called the “Insurance Authority”?) having a staff meeting deciding which unhealthy groups would be the easiest to morally/financially ostracize/discriminate against:
Staff Member #1: How about we cut to the chase this morning…let’s raise premiums on cancer patients! The costs there are astronomical! And many of them undertook behaviors that led to their cancers!
Staff Member #2: Hmmm…good idea, but some folks still have the opinion they don’t “deserve” the cancer. You know?
Staff Member #3: Yeah, let’s hold off on that idea until at least 2012 or so. Who can we single out now..this year?
Staff Member #1: Okay, gotcha…too much, too soon. We’ll let’s go easy and pick on the drunks! Put out a survey of the insured asking who has, say, 7 or more drinks a week and POW hike premiums fifty percent!
Staff Member #2: Ummm…only one problem with that idea. I think you just managed to hike the premium of every single “Insurance Authority” employee by 50%. I mean, given that we work at a place called the “Insurance Authority”, aren’t we all drinking way more than seven drinks a week here?
(long period of uncomfortable silence)
Staff Member #3: Okay, cancer patients and drunks are out. I think it’s time to go to our traditional insurance fall-back. Let’s single out the fatties.
Staff Member #1: And the smokers!
Staff Member #2: Good ideas! All smokers, or just the cigarette smokers?
Staff Member #3: (looking around conference table) Better to just go after the cigarette smokers, doncha think? And those Skoal dippers and Red Man chewers…man, that is disgusting.
Staff Member #1: How about we put it like this: “those who use tobacco”?
And they say the health care system is broken…