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Technorati is indexing me again! They had to make a code change to fix the problem with my blog getting stuck in their queue. Kudos to Eric M. and the guys at GetSatisfaction.com where they have "community powered support for Technorati".
Well, they're "sorta, kinda" indexing me anyway. It's on a 24 hour tape delay or something. So I never get picked up by Memeorandum because they pull from Technorati and Technorati has stuff I posted yesterday listed as my latest blog entry. And that's old news to Memeorandum.
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Starting next year health insurers can charge smokers 50% more.
Millions of smokers could be priced out of health insurance because of tobacco penalties in President Barack Obama's health care law, according to experts who are just now teasing out the potential impact of a little-noted provision in the massive legislation.
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.
Younger smokers could be charged lower penalties under rules proposed last fall by the Obama administration. But older smokers could face a heavy hit on their household budgets at a time in life when smoking-related illnesses tend to emerge.
And if you thought that the health insurance tax credit Dear Leader promised you would help here, you're sadly mistaken.
First, the law allows insurers to charge older adults up to three times as much as their youngest customers.
Second, the law allows insurers to levy the full 50 percent penalty on older smokers while charging less to younger ones.
And finally, government tax credits that will be available to help pay premiums cannot be used to offset the cost of penalties for smokers.
So let's see. Health insurance premiums are already doubling. And a 50% surcharge on smokers really puts the affordable into the Affordable Care Act! Aren't you glad they passed the bill so you could find out what's in it?
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