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Anti-cancer activists go in to bat for smokers over health insurance costs

| February 19, 2013

Big tobacco companies and anti-cancer activists are each opposed to a part of the US’ Affordable Care Act that allows insurance companies to charge smokers 50 per cent more than those who do not use tobacco, according to a piece by Sarah Kliff published in the Washington Post.

Cigarette manufacturers say the policy amounts to discrimination against smokers.

And the American Cancer Society is concerned that the high surcharges could make health insurance unaffordable to cigarette smokers, who are disproportionately low income.

“We’re anti-smoking, not anti-smoker,” said David Woodmansee, the society’s associate director for state and local campaigns.

Kliff explained that, unlike other groups that had failed to get a divided Congress to kill off parts of President Obama’s signature legislative accomplishment, these unusual partners could have a shot at success because they can take the battle to individual states, which have the authority to bar health insurers from considering tobacco use in setting subscriber premiums.

Category: Breaking News

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