Michael Hiltzik (Los Angeles Times)
Did you know that the Affordable Care Act may be the single most important anti-smoking initiative in the country?
Of course not. That’s because Obamacare’s supposed friends, the Democrats, have been too craven to talk about its benefits, while its enemies, the Republicans, want only to depict it as a “disaster” without addressing its many provisions.
“If the ACA’s tobacco-cessation provisions are fully implemented, they could turn out to be one of its greatest legacies.”
– Tim McAfee, et al, New England Journal of Medicine
But the New England Journal of Medicine in its latest issue sets the record straight. The authors, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the University of Wisconsin, point out that the poor uptake of smoking cessation programs has much to do with their expense and the only spotty coverage by health insurance plans. They say ACA makes this coverage mandatory, without co-pays, cost sharing, or the requirement that doctors get prior authorization from insurers before prescribing. (See accompanying graphic.)
The anti-smoking initiative is just one of many provisions of the ACA that are little-known but likely to have a significant impact on Americans’ health. That underscores the fatuousness of much of the anti-Obamacare campaign. When Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., expresses glee at the prospect that the Supreme Court may yet “take down” the law because he doesn’t like anything that has President Obama’s name on it, these are the babies he’s willing to throw out with the bathwater.
Under the ACA, the NEJM authors write, smoking cessation must be treated as one of the preventive services that private health plans are required to cover without cost-sharing or prior authorization.
THIS INFURIATES ME!! Not this wonderful provision, but the glee at which people like McConnell and other Republicans hope that this signature and historic achievement for the American people, gets gutted! FOLLOW THE FUCKING MONEY….these RWNJ’s care nothing about people. they never did. Never will. They care about money and access and greed…and sucking every last breath from ordinary people just so they can have even MORE! Because to them, this is a win/lose game. If you win, THEY LOSE…and we can’t have that now, can we? Rather than we all want the best for ALL Americans, they don’t subscribe to this. Not even close.
Why do I say this? What the blue fucking blazes set ME off?? I was a smoker. I smoked for 38 years of my life and i loved it and hated it. I was killing myself slowly and I felt guilty as sin for forking over more and more murder money for the tobacco company every time I wanted to feed my addiction. I knew it was bad..I wanted to stop but I was so afraid…thinking of how hard it would be…or gaining some weight…or, or, or…the days went to weeks, weeks to months, months to years and I somehow excused myself. I was a “polite” smoker. Never in my car. Never in the house, Never around those that didn’t smoke. There were never ashtrays all over the place, overflowing with the cancerous remains….I was a one ashtray girl and cleaned up after myself. In fact, I got so good at this deceit, that most people had no idea I smoked at all. But I knew. I was ashamed and embarrassed to be so beholden to this toxic mess. Did you know that these tobacco companies but in things like oven cleaner, DDT and a shit ton of awful, awful stuff. (Cigarette Ingredients)
But look here ( from this piece)
The CDC estimates that about 42 million Americans, or 18% of all adults, are smokers. The highest rate belongs, as it happens, to McConnell’s home state of Kentucky, at 28.3%.
The ACA takes special aim at the Medicaid population. That’s wise, because smoking in the U.S. is especially prevalent among lower-income groups. The law makes no-fee smoking cessation programs and medications a part of Medicaid for new enrollees in those states that have accepted Medicaid expansion, prohibits states from excluding smoking medications from traditional Medicaid, and requires smoking cessation coverage for pregnant women in traditional Medicaid. That’s key, because 20% of pregnant women on Medicaid use tobacco, according to a 2012 study by researchers from UC Berkeley and UC San Diego.
Mitch McConnell would be SO FINE with the people of KY continuing to kill themselves! Continuing to give the tobacco companies money they really don’t have to spend….THIS is what makes me livid!
I have to tell you what made me stop. My son. My son and the perfect storm of his pleading and my readiness to take responsibility for my health and no longer making excuses. I need to tell you something else. It wasn’t hard. After 38 years…it wasn’t hard. I chose to vape my way off nicotine for good and I literally weaned myself off nicotine in about 3 months. None of the side effects that we all worry about…just relief and me being proud of myself and feeling better than anyone can imagine.
So when I see just how far these people (I use that term loosely) would go to have this all go away, AND BE HAPPY ABOUT IT! I want to scream.
America needs to Wake Up…those that feel “guilty” for voting for Republicans because they ” always have”…need to take a cold shower, admit they fucked up badly, and vow to be smarter and more aware in 2 more years. This is UNSAT. Unsatisfactory. Unacceptable. Unfuckingbelieveable that people could ever take pleasure in other people’s pain or want to keep them doing the very things that hurt them and not let them be better or flourish for the rest of their good long lives.
THIS is what pissed me off tonight. That these people hate this President and the American people SO MUCH, they would hope for the demise of something that would help people stop smoking.
If this doesn’t anger you into stopping, into thinking, into honest evaluation of so many things….I don’t know what will. This says they care NOTHING about you.