Will ObamaCare punish lifestyle choices?

Smokers, obese Americans cost billions in medical care


This is a rush transcript from "The Five," January 29, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: So, with the high cost of caring for the sick shoulders by us all -- thank you, Obamacare -- experts say society must now wrestle with whether to let the sick live or die.

A recent A.P. story interviews bioethicists about how to treat fat people. "Your freedom is likely to be someone else's harm," said one expert. I wonder if he'd say the same thing about free love or mountain climbing.

Anyway, now, it's time to start shaming obese since they cost us billions in medical care. Where is this headed? Well, government pays for their healthcare, then they could decide who lives or dies based on what behavior they dislike.

If you cannot be penalized to lose weight, then to quote the piece, "Why not just let the health sinners die? Annual healthcare costs are roughly $96 billion for smokers and $147 billion for the obese, the government says." And that's the big point -- the government says.

When everyone else pays for your care, withholding care is their call.

Your death improves the bottom line.

But maybe one way we can conserve our health care resources is to eliminate bioethicist. Now, I never met a bioethicist and I'd like to keep that it way. I'm sure you feel the same.

So, let's invite them all to Camp David. I'm sure the president could use a few running targets. We'll just tell them it's the FOX News company picnic.

Dana, if you look at rationing of care in the U.K., it's inevitable that someone is going to determine who gets a new hip and who doesn't.

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: Where did you get that line?

GUTFELD: From you. You said, hey, could you ask me this question?


PERINO: Also, like -- I didn't say ask me that question, I said you should add it to your monologue because it was such a brilliant point.

But that's true. I mean, the older -- somebody -- there is a limited amount of resources. They can tax everybody however much they want, there will become a point when the government, the panels are going to have to decide -- OK, well, then we should get a hip for this person, not for this person.

And what I wish they had done is put more -- allowed more competition into the system, because then we could all decide for ourselves whether or not we want to pay for a hip or not. Rather than let the government decide for us.

GUTFELD: There should be hips "r" us. I'll take that. No, try this hip, take it for a spin.

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: Buy two get one free.

GUTFELD: Exactly. Or buy three get four free. And then you have hips all over the place.

BOB BECKEL, CO-HOST: You know what they don't say? First of all, this argument is going on before Obamacare. So, I wouldn't bring Obamacare in this necessarily. But those of us who smoke and are fat, if we're going to die earlier, we're going to save you a lot money, OK? Because you keep people who stay healthy, these runners, these marathoners, they're going to get old and they're going to have Alzheimer's.

BOLLING: No, no, no.

BECKEL: And they cost a lot of money.

BOLLING: They cost us a lot of money in the five years before you die in healthcare. It's, obviously -- obviously proven people who smoke use up a lot of healthcare.

GUTFELD: Not really.


BOLLING: Really?

GUTFELD: Not really.

BECKEL: If I drop dead tomorrow, then that means someone who lives old --

BOLLING: If that's the case, then why wouldn't health insurance premiums be lower for smokers? Not life insurance. Health insurance premiums? They would be lower.


GUTFELD: Maybe -- you know why? They are consistently probably sicker or more sick, maybe they get more flus, I don't know, whatever.

PERINO: Sinus infections.

GUTFELD: Yes, because that's what I get. Although I'm quitting.

Andrea, should --


GUTFELD: I technically quit on Sunday.

BOLLING: Promise?

BECKEL: Don't push it over the edge, will you?

GUTFELD: I never say I'll quit smoking because I know around Friday I'm smoking again.

BECKEL: Have you know that there are reports out, one says if you are slightly obese, you live longer.


BECKEL: And number two, I think if you smoke, you actually live longer.

GUTFELD: Yes. Or else, it just seems like it's more fun.

BECKEL: Yes. I mean, why be so bummed out to give up something you like? I don't understand that.

GUTFELD: Good point.

I hate the fact that Andrea -- it's not about the health, that it's your health, they are implying that you are hurting other people's health -- like smoking outside affects people.

TANTAROS: I actually this is beyond the smokers. I mean, the point is real. President Obama came out and he said there's going to have to be a difficult conversation that takes place which means cut and reimbursement to doctors and hospitals. Maybe smokers but also cancer patients, disabled. They are the most expensive.

Smokers are expensive. Long-term care for in these cancer drugs for lung cancer are extremely expensive. Dana points out, you already see that happening in England. But this is the biggest issue, the cost containment.

And even President Obama said maybe my grandmother, maybe she didn't need the hip. He said that about his own grandmother. So, it's a very real -- it's a real concern.

GUTFELD: She was the first under the bus.

BECKEL: That's for sure.

BOLLING: Over the cliff, right?

GUTFELD: Over the cliff, or under the bus.

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