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Debate: Denying smokers access to Medicare

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This House would deny smokers access to Medicare.

Background and context

Cigarette smoking added $20.5 billion to the nation's Medicare tab in 1997, according to researchers from the University of California, San Francisco.If a person needing the transplant has a psychological problem or any types of mental illnesses which would require them to do group therapy or see a psychologist. They would also have to have a severe and rare illness in order to be put at the very top. People that receive the transplants almost immediately are typically going to die within the day.

Cigarette smoke is a complex mixture of over 4000 chemicals. Many of these chemicals come from burning tobacco; the remainder come from burning cigarette paper, agricultural chemicals left on the tobacco leaves, and chemicals added during the cigarette making process.

Once inhaled into the lungs, many of these chemicals pass through the lung walls into the blood stream, and are pumped around the body.

Many chemicals in tobacco smoke have a role in causing disease. These include the cancer causing substances in tar, radioactive compounds, hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide and other noxious gases. Thirty metals have been detected in tobacco smoke.

Nicotine is a drug that occurs naturally in tobacco and causes addiction in smokers. It has a number of immediate and long-term effects on the body.

'Light' or low-tar cigarettes are not less dangerous than regular cigarettes. There is no evidence that smokers of 'light' or ‘mild' cigarettes have less risk of smoking caused diseases than smokers of other cigarettes.

While manufactured cigarettes are the most popular form of tobacco, other tobacco products include cigars, pipe tobacco, bidis, kreteks or clove cigarettes, water pipes and roll-your-own. These products also cause smoking related disease, although some risks may differ from cigarettes. Other substances that are smoked include herbal cigarettes and cannabis.

Contents

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Unfair pressure

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Pro

A common argument is that they are putting unfair pressure on the health services because they get sicker than non smokers. Since it's their choice to smoke and therefore get sick, they should pay for it. However, this doesn't take into account the fact that they already are paying for it with the huge taxes on cigarettes, as well as a host of other economical benefits of the tobacco industry and of dying younger than non-smokers.

Smokers are paying about $3.7 billion more into the tax system than they

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Con

" we all feel pressure from time to time, and these people are using smoking as a release of stress.

some prefer a bath, others prefer a beer, but cigarettes are apparently shunned upon for being a vent of frustration.

making them pay extra, is like charging extra for an alcoholic, who has a headache, or doubling dental prices of people who eat more. "


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it would be an incentive for them to quit smoking

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Pro

  • The government should be holding people's health at Ransom in order to control their lives though. If the government doesn't let the smokers access medicare it might even persuade the smokers to give up smoking to be able to access medicare.
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Con

"One of the main incentives to smoke is stress. smokers feel alot more of it than non smokers, due to the large amounts of non natural chemicals in the body system. if medicare is taken, they will have no "safety net", and this would most likely cause them to SMOKE! "


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higher priority

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Pro

In the case of transplant lists, the people that need it most are put to the top of the list. Unfortunately these people are often smokers, knocking people who haven't inflicted any harm on their own behalf to the bottom of the list.


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Con

If we took Medicare from smokers, we might as well take it from anybody whose activities might elevate their risk of illness or affliction. This would have to include those with poor diets, those who have strenuous exercise routines, anybody who's family has a history of morbidity, people with arthritis, people who drive cars...What part of universal healthcare do you not understand?


See also

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