Anti-cancer groups and the tobacco industry have effectively joined forces to prevent some of the new insurance exchanges from implementing a surcharge for smokers. Thus, in the name of anti-discrimination (tobacco lobby) and ensuring access for the poor (the anti-cancer groups), non-smokers will be forced to pay higher premiums in order to pay for people's terrible lifestyle choices. That's just grand.
On Monday, the D.C. exchange’s executive board voted to prevent insurers from charging higher premiums to smokers than to nonsmokers — meaning nonsmokers are likely to pay modestly higher rates than if smoking surcharges were permitted. The District joins three states — Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont — that have banned tobacco surcharges on their own exchanges.