Tuesday, May 31. 2011
Harris Interactive reports that the frequency of unhealthy behaviors such as nicotine use and conditions such as obesity have continued at a steady rate, according to the results of its poll on lifestyle trends, which was released this week.
The Harris Poll found that while 18 percent of adults smoked, a whopping 78 percent of Americans over the age of 18 were overweight or obese. Obesity and smoking can lead to a myriad of health problems,which has prompted may companies to consider shifting the financial burden of increasing health insurance costs to those who partake in bad habits.
For example, the state of Arizona is contemplating charging vice-ridden hyphenate residents fees for their bad behavior, according to The New York Times. Due to gaping holes in its Medicaid program, the state's Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) has proposed levying penalties for smokers and diabetics who do not follow their primary care provider's recommendations to shed pounds, according to the news source.
Monica Coury, a spokesperson for the AHCCCS explained the agency's reasoning.
"We’re not going to prevent you from smoking, but you have to put a little bit more into the system because it costs us more," Coury said, quoted by the news source.
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