Saturday 15 September 2012

Drink, Be Merry, Get A Better Pension

"Invest in another glass, gorgeous"

Those with prohibitionist fantasies can bang on as much as they like about costs to the NHS of unhealthy lifestyles, but then it's not their own money which is being discussed, is it?

If their salaries were linked to truthfulness of their statements, I think we'd see an entirely different rhetoric. After all, their current abject failure is simply not being punished, sadly.

The opposite applies to industries where proper, accurate economics - as opposed to the fairy tales told by ASH and Alcohol Concern, for example - decide what level of profit and pay actuaries are entitled to.
Binge drinkers are to be given better pension payouts by insurance companies, it emerged last night.

Those who swig more than four bottles of wine or 15 pints of beer a week could qualify for up to £2,000 a year more than someone who is clean living.
Set aside, for a minute, the laughable emotive claim that someone drinking just over two pints a day is a 'binge-drinker'. The point here is that insurers have identified, quite rightly, that those who enjoy a drink here and there are - on a macro-economic scale - less likely to live as long as health nuts and are therefore a better financial risk.

By extension, the NHS should be very happy that the highly expensive parts of their creaking system - geriatric care - are lessened by those of us who enjoy life to the full and are quite happy to take the risk of careering into our box sozzled and stinking of cigars. The fact they are not just shows why we don't go to our local surgery if we want a financial adviser.

It might help to explain why the NHS is bankrupt in many areas too.
Edmund Tirbutt, a health consultant and author of Help Them Beat the Booze, said: ‘There is a real danger of insurers sending out the wrong message.

‘It might make perfect commercial sense to offer more to drinkers, but it will verge on the irresponsible if insurers now start using it as a selling point.’
This is probably one of the most stupid things I have ever read from any health dickhead anywhere.

Safe in the knowledge that it isn't his money he is risking (it never is with these people, is it?), he is adamant that the irresponsibility is with those who understand money and risk; who are the world's prime experts at it; and realise that the insurance industry would collapse if they took idiot advice like this regularly.

Beggars belief, doesn't it? The arrogance of the health lobby never ceases to amaze as they stray from their core knowledge base into professing themselves global experts in anything from market economics to global trade. When did the concept of doctors restricting themselves to what they are trained at, that is curing people when they are ill, cease to be applicable?

Remember, too, that insurers do not benefit from hugely inflated monetary contributions from smokers and drinkers like our government (and by extension, the NHS) does. The bonuses are being paid out despite all policy-holders paying an identical premium.

Next time you see the regular sheep-like refrain from some dull-headed online commenter that the NHS suffers financially from those who choose a lifestyle which includes booze or baccy, spark up a tab, pop open a cool one and toast their generosity in exhibiting their hilarious ignorance to the world.

Cold, hard, unbending numbers expose them as being weapons grade deludos.


SteveW said...

Note the morphing of language in there, now we're onto a 'recommended daily allowance'.
Allowance, really? That's what we're 'allowed'?

I'm sure you can guess my two word answer to that.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Good spot, I hadn't noticed it.

"One in five Britons now drinks more than the recommended daily allowance
Should we now consider ourselves as state chattels? Part of the nation's inventory?

banned said...

I've thought for a while that our alcohol will soon be rationed, just like methadone is and for the same 'reasons'.

Ivan_Denisovich said...

I like the post but have problems with the words "core" and "knowledge". These people do not deserve to be regarded as having any understanding of anything other than how to get their next grant. They are of course happy to champion the lie of "cost to the NHS!" when it suits them but cry foul when people better qualified than them make real cost judgements based on a less dogmatic and more analytical approach. How does the public health industry live with its dishonesty?

Sam Duncan said...

“RDA” originally stood for “Recommended Daily Amount”. Given the sort of people who usually cite it, it's extremely hard to tell whether it's being transformed into “Allowance” through stealth or ignorance. Or both.

Pogo said...

I was under the impression that moderate drinkers lived, on average, longer than tea-totallers - and 15 pints = 30 units = very moderate in my book. Even the sainted Richard Doll came to the conclusion that it took 63 units a week to reduce your life-expectancy to that of a poor benighted TTer.

Maybe we'll get enhanced pensions AND a longer life! :-)

John Holmes said...

Professor Finch on why it costs more to treat people with a healthy lifestyle

Elsie said...

Indeed. From
Four ("OR MORE") drinks daily! Considering there is no definition of what constitutes a "drink" here, this could mean anything from at least 28 UK to units up to 56 or so. Oh Noes!
men and women 30 to 59 years old who were at low
risk for cardiovascular disease, the rates of death
from all causes among those reporting four or more
daily drinks exceeded the rates among nondrinkers
(J-shaped pattern). In the two subgroups at intermediate
risk for cardiovascular disease (30 to 59 years
old with cardiovascular risk factors and 60 to 79 years
old without cardiovascular risk factors), the rates of
death from all causes among persons reporting four
or more drinks daily nearly equaled those of nondrinkers
(U-shaped pattern). In the subgroup at highest
risk for cardiovascular disease (60 to 79 years old
with preexisting risk factors), the rates of death from
all causes among drinkers remained significantly below
those among nondrinkers, even for subjects reporting
four or more drinks daily (L-shaped pattern)."