Yesterday on The Daily Weekly Nina Shapiro looked into an interesting situation that has popped up in the aftermath of the legalization of recreational marijuana use for adults in our state and also the passage of the Affordable Care Act - otherwise known as Obama-Care. Under the Affordable Care Act, tobacco smokers can be charged up to 50 percent more for health care coverage.
This raises the question: Does the same hold true for pot smokers?
As Shapiro's post notes:
Stephanie Marquis, spokesperson for the state Insurance Commissioner's office, says the federal rules aren't entirely clear yet. The feds are in the process of creating a definition for smoking, which Marquis expects will mostly tackle issues like how often you need to smoke to be labeled a smoker. Once in the last twelve months? Once a day? But she doesn't expect that the feds will delve into whether there's a difference between tobacco and pot.
Nor does Washington state law, which already allows insurance companies to charge smokers more, although only by up to 20 percent. "My understanding is that smoking is smoking--whether it's cigarettes, cigars or pot," Marquis says.
To which commenter Jan Fogel replied:
If pot smokers do, then so should drinkers. Actually, it should be mandatory. Drinkers get FAR sicker than pot smokers ever will. Ever heard of cirrhosis? I appreciate the fact that now it's legal all these moronic questions keep popping up, but this is getting stupid. People have been smoking pot for thousands of years. You're not going to get a bunch of sicknesses now that it's legal.