Study says: Healthy people raise overall health care costs!! - Page 2 - VeggieBoards
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#31 Old 02-07-2008, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Red View Post

So how does this:





contradict this?



it doesn't SUPPORT the conclusion. it says that obesity prevention doesn't decrease health costs in the long run. however, preventative care does not just include obesity prevention. it includes early detection and treatment of disease. therefore, conclusions drawn from a study which studied obesity prevention intervention can't be generalized to all preventative care. furthermore, the further stretch that was made to somehow make universal care sound untenable was just extending the unsupported conclusion to a ridiculous length.
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#32 Old 02-07-2008, 08:55 PM
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cool, thank you. their conclusion is as follows:



Although effective obesity prevention leads to a decrease in costs of obesity-related diseases, this decrease is offset by cost increases due to diseases unrelated to obesity in life-years gained. Obesity prevention may be an important and cost-effective way of improving public health, but it is not a cure for increasing health expenditures.



so, again, Kraut's argument that somehow the 'plank is rotten' concerning universal coverage is not even the subject of this paper.



Yes, the study is not about universal health care but I think you're missing the point. If the study is correct, you can conclude that healthier populations have increased total lifetime health care costs in some or maybe all cases. Therefore, one can apply that conclusion to weaken/disprove the oft repeated notion that the universal coverage will drive down total costs due to the increased availability of preventive care which keeps people healthy.
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#33 Old 02-07-2008, 08:59 PM
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Yes, the study is not about universal heath care but I think you're missing the point. If the study is correct, you can conclude that healthier populations have increased total lifetime health care costs in some or maybe all cases. Therefore, one can apply that conclusion to weaken/disprove the oft repeated notion that the universal coverage will drive down total costs due to the increased availability of preventive care which keeps people healthy.



preventative care does not just include obesity prevention. the prevention and detection and treatment of disease is also what preventative care is about. one cannot apply the conclusion that only studied obesity prevention to disprove that preventative care could lower health care costs. you are making a leap that the study you cited does not support.
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#34 Old 02-07-2008, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Savannah View Post

preventative care does not just include obesity prevention. the prevention and detection and treatment of disease is also what preventative care is about. one cannot apply the conclusion that only studied obesity prevention to disprove that preventative care could lower health care costs. you are making a leap that the study you cited does not support.



Yes, preventive care is more than obesity prevention. However, in my *opinion* there is every reason to believe the generalization beyond obesity & smoking is valid. You may have an *opinion* that the generalization is not valid and you haven't referenced any *study* that conflicts with either this study or my generalization. Absent any additional studies, all we can do is continue repeating *opinions* which further benefits no one.
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#35 Old 02-07-2008, 09:37 PM
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Yes, preventive care is more than obesity prevention. However, in my *opinion* there is every reason to believe the generalization beyond obesity & smoking is valid. You may have an *opinion* that the generalization is not valid and you haven't referenced any *study* that conflicts with either this study or my generalization. Absent any additional studies, all we can do is continue repeating *opinions* which further benefits no one.



my opinion regarding your generalization of this study's conclusion to all preventative care is simply that your making a big, unsupported stretch, finding support for your conclusion where it doesn't exist.



furthermore, what you seem to be forgetting is that many of the uninsured use emergency rooms as doctor's offices, thereby using the most expensive form of care. that is something that is quite well known. the study you cited was conducted in the Netherlands and i don't believe they are dealing with that kind of phenomenon at all. so the cost factors used in the study might not be applicable either.



altogether, while in a limited way it might call some assumptions into question and might cause some to really study preventative care, it just doesn't have the impact you seem to believe it does.
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#36 Old 02-07-2008, 10:47 PM
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Link to the study:



http://medicine.plosjournals.org/per...l.pmed.0050029



"Conclusions



Although effective obesity prevention leads to a decrease in costs of obesity-related diseases, this decrease is offset by cost increases due to diseases unrelated to obesity in life-years gained. Obesity prevention may be an important and cost-effective way of improving public health, but it is not a cure for increasing health expenditures."



"This work was funded by the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports. The funder did not have any role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript."
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#37 Old 02-08-2008, 12:39 AM
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I don't know enough about money (or taxes/retirement in the US) to even guess at the answer, but my first thought/question is... I wonder if 'healthier' people do/could work for enough time longer than 'unhealthy' people that they would pay the difference in cost of medical care in their taxes? In an overall healthier society, would the cost of healthcare increase, but the length of someone's working life increase too, perhaps enough to make up for it?



disclaimer: this isn't rhetoric to say it WOULD, I seriously don't know. I'm just pondering.
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#38 Old 02-08-2008, 05:28 AM
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good point isowish
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#39 Old 02-08-2008, 07:31 AM
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And how many times have you heard people advocating policy (like tobacco taxes) based on the notion that smokers cost society more, so they should be forced to pay for it?



Maybe smokers should actually get tax rebates and there should be a non-smoker tax? I mean, if your gonna be selfish and live longer (thereby increasing societies costs), it only seems fair.



Smokers can cause others to suffer disease that they otherwise wouldn't have. Healthy people suffer from diseases that all people will (or at least have a good possibility of having). Big difference there. One's the natural course of human life and development. The other's an outside influence that's beyond some people's control. People don't (generally) blame or punish someone for living -- of course that's debatable considering how the world runs, but in theory at least.



But your point (and the part of my post you quoted) aren't related. My point was they tested the obvious. Like saying a 50 year old will statistically eat less food in their lifetime than a 100year old. Or saying that statistically people go to the bathroom three times a day, with most going at least once. Or that water is required for life. Or that statistically more people in the United states live in a form of shelter than those that don't.



They could've done a lot better and more conclusive study that was actually worthwhile... like the quality of life of healthy vs. obese people vs. otherwise non-healthy people (including mental states). Whether preventative care changes the lifespan of people with a health problems (or obese people). You know, something that actually matters? Not something that's obvious and probably no one other than insurance companies care about, since they'll think of doing a "obese? lower rates. Healthy? Double/triple rates."

And here's the thing. If someone pays around $200 for insurance a month, that's $60,000 in 25 years -- that much more than someone who dies at year 0 (say at 50 instead of 75). Add any medical visits for the natural course of human life -- and you've added even more money. Any work the person does contributes to society; any funds they receive offsets the overall society burden for health costs (since they'd be paying in one way or another to their own health costs). Their study was obvious in the grand scheme of things (longer you live, the more costs you can have), and it could've been done better to show the actual costs of living longer. There's just a lot of things they didn't test in their groups that could of influenced the results (job for instance, living situation, mental health, etc).



The study itself could easily be used to justify "unofficially" promoting people to die young to save the government and insurance companies money. And considering the study's own reasons for doing it, that is a possibility.
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#40 Old 02-08-2008, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by isowish View Post

I don't know enough about money (or taxes/retirement in the US) to even guess at the answer, but my first thought/question is... I wonder if 'healthier' people do/could work for enough time longer than 'unhealthy' people that they would pay the difference in cost of medical care in their taxes? In an overall healthier society, would the cost of healthcare increase, but the length of someone's working life increase too, perhaps enough to make up for it?



disclaimer: this isn't rhetoric to say it WOULD, I seriously don't know. I'm just pondering.

excellent point, the study seemed weak in connecting the financial costs to longevity. another demographic trend seems to be that smokers and the obese are more likely to make less money. Though smokers pay enough taxes on cigarettes they easily cover associated health costs.

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#41 Old 02-08-2008, 09:24 AM
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Smokers can cause others to suffer disease that they otherwise wouldn't have.



This point is contentious and likely not true. Even if we accept the somewhat questionable claims about SHS what about second had car exhaust? I don't drive but I have to endure all those pollutants at street level? Let's start tacking HC costs onto gas taxes.



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Originally Posted by JLRodgers View Post

They could've done a lot better and more conclusive study that was actually worthwhile... like the quality of life of healthy vs. obese people vs. otherwise non-healthy people (including mental states). Whether preventative care changes the lifespan of people with a health problems (or obese people). You know, something that actually matters? Not something that's obvious and probably no one other than insurance companies care about, since they'll think of doing a "obese? lower rates. Healthy? Double/triple rates."



What's wrong with that? If you drive a Ferrari you might not be more likely to have an accident, but you will cost a lot more is you do.



Quote:
Originally Posted by JLRodgers View Post

The study itself could easily be used to justify "unofficially" promoting people to die young to save the government and insurance companies money. And considering the study's own reasons for doing it, that is a possibility.



Is that a problem? Are you afraid that they will start handing out smokes in elementary schools and injecting saturated fat into vegetables? We have all read the study, now it's up to the individual to decide what to do with that information.
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#42 Old 02-08-2008, 09:35 AM
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Are you afraid that they will start handing out smokes in elementary schools and injecting saturated fat into vegetables?

wouldn't a more sensible solution be to have a red LED implanted in everyone's palm that starts flashing at an age appropriate to ritual suicide?

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#43 Old 02-08-2008, 09:36 AM
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Even if we accept the somewhat questionable claims about SHS what about second hand car exhaust? I don't drive but I have to endure all those pollutants at street level?

Im really sick of smokers saying things like

But car pollutants are worse than second hand smoke, etc.

Two wrongs dont make a right!

Sorry, off-topic mini-rant.
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#44 Old 02-08-2008, 09:42 AM
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wouldn't a more sensible solution be to have a red LED implanted in everyone's palm that starts flashing at an age appropriate to ritual suicide?

The LED implantation could be financed by a tax on breathing.
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#45 Old 02-08-2008, 09:42 AM
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Im really sick of smokers saying things like

But car pollutants are worse than second hand smoke, etc.

Two wrongs dont make a right!

Sorry, off-topic mini-rant.



1. I am not a smoker

2. I am sick of non-smoking zombies regurgitating falsehoods.



Quite a few studies have shown that car exhaust is much worse than cigarette smoke, and much more prevalent, but because it's easier to bully smokers than drivers we hear about one and not the other. Give it some thought.
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#46 Old 02-08-2008, 11:19 AM
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This point is contentious and likely not true. Even if we accept the somewhat questionable claims about SHS what about second had car exhaust? I don't drive but I have to endure all those pollutants at street level? Let's start tacking HC costs onto gas taxes.



What's wrong with that? If you drive a Ferrari you might not be more likely to have an accident, but you will cost a lot more is you do.



Is that a problem? Are you afraid that they will start handing out smokes in elementary schools and injecting saturated fat into vegetables? We have all read the study, now it's up to the individual to decide what to do with that information.



There'd be nothing wrong with doing a more conclusive study that actually showed results of things -- but that's just not what they did. They only looked into a small thing relating to health and money, and not the whole picture.

However, there's a difference between the car and health analogy for insurance. For one, the cost of replacing a car is a lot higher for a more expensive car; even the cost of a minor accident would be higher. An expensive claim could hit any second of any day. You wouldn't even have to be driving to have a claim filed (storms, hit while parked, etc).



For a person, a healthy person and a smoker/obese person -- both go to the doctor and they have the same bills if they had the same tests. Healthy people (during the years they're alive with the "unhealthy") wouldn't pay any more than them overall*. So there'd be no reason to charge them more when there's no additional cost. When people get older, they DO increase the rates to cover extra costs (and about every 5 years, and more if you have more claims as I was told by mine). There'd just be no reason to punish young people with a greater chance of living longer.









* that is to say that both groups would have an equal chance of having illiness/disorders that people have unrelated to the "unhealthy" people's conditions.
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#47 Old 02-08-2008, 11:28 AM
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Smokers can cause others to suffer disease that they otherwise wouldn't have. Healthy people suffer from diseases that all people will (or at least have a good possibility of having). Big difference there. One's the natural course of human life and development. The other's an outside influence that's beyond some people's control. People don't (generally) blame or punish someone for living -- of course that's debatable considering how the world runs, but in theory at least.



It's not about blaming or punishing. But if your are one to frame your policy arguments in "you cost us more, therefore you have to pay more", than why the resistance when things get turned on their head?



And if you don't like the smoking example, how the the fast food taxes that people like to trot out? Maybe we should be subsidizing fast food to the extent it saves us on health care dollars?
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#48 Old 02-08-2008, 11:32 AM
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When people get older, they DO increase the rates to cover extra costs (and about every 5 years, and more if you have more claims as I was told by mine). There'd just be no reason to punish young people with a greater chance of living longer.



That's not punishing - that's just the way insurance works. You make an educated estimate on the risk and cost, and charge accordingly.
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#49 Old 02-08-2008, 11:45 AM
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That's not punishing - that's just the way insurance works. You make an educated estimate on the risk and cost, and charge accordingly.



I never said that part was punishing -- just pointing out that insurance companies had no need to raise insurance rates because of the study, because they already compensate for the rising costs (which also kind of proves the study never needed to take place since the people already knew).



There's a thing called "what if"; my entire way of posting here asks that question: what if companies/governments used that bit of information to "encourage" people to lie about smoking or gain weight by punishing people for being healthy.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Red View Post

It's not about blaming or punishing. But if your are one to frame your policy arguments in "you cost us more, therefore you have to pay more", than why the resistance when things get turned on their head?



And if you don't like the smoking example, how the the fast food taxes that people like to trot out? Maybe we should be subsidizing fast food to the extent it saves us on health care dollars?



Just read the part about about the "what if". That's the one thing people don't do enough of these days. They read something, then pass judgment/laws on it based on what they see -- never asking "what if" first. Like with the fast food, what type of people eat it, the rich or the middle/lower class? What if you did raise the price? What will people do that are fired because of the higher prices? (no answer needed, just pointing it out as an example for my "what if" part for how I think).



Things aren't always a simple cause/effect type of thing. It's more like a rock dropping into water: the effect ripples out touching more and more things, and sometimes ripples back.
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#50 Old 02-08-2008, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by isowish View Post

I don't know enough about money (or taxes/retirement in the US) to even guess at the answer, but my first thought/question is... I wonder if 'healthier' people do/could work for enough time longer than 'unhealthy' people that they would pay the difference in cost of medical care in their taxes? In an overall healthier society, would the cost of healthcare increase, but the length of someone's working life increase too, perhaps enough to make up for it?



disclaimer: this isn't rhetoric to say it WOULD, I seriously don't know. I'm just pondering.



I agree with you that its a complicated issue with huge $$$ involved. Lots to ponder.



As another data point, smoothing each group's lifetime HC costs over each groups lifetime, you get the following monthly health care expense:



healthy - $543/month of life

obese - $515/month of life

smoker - $476/month of life



Interesting that the HC costs were not higher simply due to longevity differences as food costs probably would be.



These monthly cost also hint at what people would need to pay as HC insurance premiums or HC taxes. Each person would have to pay over $500+/month for the Netherlands' HC program to be fiscally sound.
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#51 Old 02-08-2008, 01:10 PM
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Things aren't always a simple cause/effect type of thing. It's more like a rock dropping into water: the effect ripples out touching more and more things, and sometimes ripples back.



Economists call it the 'Law of Unintended Consequences', however if we take your position on things, always worrying about 'what if?', we begin to suffer from 'paralysis by analysis'.



We will never have the 'whole picture' so we make decisions based on the information we do have. If we wait and wait we never make a decision then everybody suffers.



There is no difference between health insurance and car insurance. Rates are based on risk factors and projected pool costs. Risk factors are calculated based on studies such as the one in question here amongst other things.



Think big, we are discussing policies which will affect millions of people, anecdotes and 'what ifs' (outliers) aren't considered because they aren't relevant to the group being protected with either auto insurance or health insurance (public or private).
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#52 Old 02-08-2008, 01:57 PM
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Well I guess I'm fairly unique then. I quickly analyze up to ten side effects for all situations I do on a daily basis (from what to eat, when to leave, what card to throw during cards, etc). Almost treat life like a chess game. And it doesn't bother me in the slightest on any emotional level, nor take more than a few (well, under 10) seconds to a minute. On any given day I play out almost every imaginable situation while talking to someone. And there's no fear of anything from it, things happen, you can't stop that; but you can influence the end goal.



But with things that matter, it's more important to seek out the side effects before acting -- if you don't you'll end up with, well,





Car and human insurance is similar in general function, but the items they cover operate completely differently in similar situations. A car costs a lot more to get replaced if it's new than old. A human's medicine, doctor's visit costs the same no matter what the age, weight, or smoking status (overall, exceptions might be raised with complications, but assuming it's the same condition). Have different models of a car (or different years in some cases), and you'll have different prices even with identical damage because the parts aren't the same.

Based on your comment about insurance, the same can be said for loans, business startups, new project development, changing jobs, attending college, or even having children (well, not rates so much directly, but it does alter your tax rate). It's just a general comment that fits to cover many things (well, the word "rates" would have to be changed to fit better with some things). They're all just risk factors, projected costs, and rewards that are analyzed to get the best return for the least expense.
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#53 Old 02-08-2008, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sketchy View Post

2. I am sick of non-smoking zombies regurgitating falsehoods.

Kind diction.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Sketchy View Post

Quite a few studies have shown that car exhaust is much worse than cigarette smoke, and much more prevalent, but because it's easier to bully smokers than drivers we hear about one and not the other. Give it some thought.

I can't. A working day in a room filled with SHS has reduced my brain capacity too much...

By the way, I am not a driver, and never have been.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Sketchy View Post


There is no difference between health insurance and car insurance.

There is a difference between people and cars though...



Further info on the Dutch Health Care System for whoever is interested:

http://www.minvws.nl/en/folders/z/20...-languages.asp

(mind the illustrations )

http://www.minvws.nl/en/nieuwsberich...le-choices.asp

(even though this was published before the study, I doubt that the Dutch government will start promoting smoking and obesity now, in order to reduce costs...)
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#54 Old 02-08-2008, 02:03 PM
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Quite a few studies have shown that car exhaust is much worse than cigarette smoke, and much more prevalent, but because it's easier to bully smokers than drivers we hear about one and not the other. Give it some thought.

I'd be curious for a link to those studies. I walk frequently, so does it cause health problems if there are frequent cars in the area?
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#55 Old 02-08-2008, 03:02 PM
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It would cause quite a lot of problems for city people yes?.
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#56 Old 02-08-2008, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by rainforests1 View Post

I'd be curious for a link to those studies. I walk frequently, so does it cause health problems if there are frequent cars in the area?



Check out this thread:



https://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...smoking&page=2



You can search yourself but be careful - google links to a lot of ant-smoking zealot propaganda.



One quick test for determining the difference in smoke and exhaust is stand in a room with a cigarette burning and a car running. See which one kills you quicker.
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#57 Old 02-09-2008, 06:12 AM
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but because it's easier to bully smokers than drivers we hear about one and not the other.

And why do you think it's easier?

"and I stand

upon a mountain

made of weak and useless men"

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#58 Old 02-09-2008, 06:16 AM
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Maybe because only 20-25% of adults smoke while a much larger % drive.
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#59 Old 02-09-2008, 06:19 AM
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And why do you think that is?

"and I stand

upon a mountain

made of weak and useless men"

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#60 Old 02-09-2008, 06:20 AM
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Wild guess. Health concerns?
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