By Ben Cohen
If I lived in a poor neighborhood with high crime, I could make a lot of money selling guns. If I were a particularly astute business man, I'd probably invest in a funeral home as well. Think about it - you supply people with the means of killing themselves (for profit), then make more money off them when they die! This isn't illegal either, so technically I wouldn't be doing anything wrong. I wouldn't be the most popular person in the area, but I'd be rich.
Same goes for those in the health care insurance business. If they were really smart, they'd get into something that would guarantee customers. Like the Tobacco industry.
And of course, it turns out they are. Via the Scientific American:
Health and life insurance companies in the U.S. and abroad have nearly
$4.5 billion invested in tobacco stocks, according to Harvard doctors.
“It’s the combined taxidermist and veterinarian approach: either way you get your dog back,” says David Himmelstein, an internist at the Harvard Medical School and co-author of a letter published in this week’s issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
The largest tobacco investor on the list, the 160-year old Prudential
company with branches in the U.S. and the U.K., has more than $1.5
billion invested in tobacco
stocks. The runner-up was Toronto-based Sun Life Financial, which
apparently holds over $1 billion in Philip Morris (Altria) and other
tobacco stocks. In total, seven companies that sell life, health,
disability, or long-term care insurance, have major holdings in tobacco