Its for the kids…somebody has to pay for all this pork.
22 Million New Smokers Needed: Funding SCHIP Expansion with a Tobacco Tax
[i]"Members of Congress seeking to expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to cover children from wealthier families are exploring new ways to pay for it. The Senate Finance Committee generally has agreed to reauthorize SCHIP for five years with a $35 billion expansion funded by an increase in the federal tobacco tax by 61 cents per pack.
While a tobacco tax is a politically popular funding source, it has several significant shortcomings:
* A tobacco tax disproportionately burdens low-income Americans, lacks long-term stability, and ultimately results in significant shifting of health care costs onto others. * With the number of smokers already declining, a tobacco tax would further reduce the number of smokers, thereby eroding the funding source. * To produce the revenues that Congress needs to fund SCHIP expansion through such a tax would require 22.4 million new smokers by 2017."[/i]..excerpt from article.
Having gone thru a massive tax increase in California in 2000 (on tobacco products for this exact reason), I can say that all this does is create monies which will be diverted to other interests. The “children” will still go wanting.
Current plans to fund SCHIP expansions with an increase in the tobacco tax would move more Americans further away from stable, affordable coverage. Fortunately, alternatives exist that focus on low-income children, empower families to own their health insurance, and make affordable private coverage a reality for all. Congress should recognize the long-term advantages to these alternatives and the detriments of the proposed SCHIP expansions.[/i][/b]"
Ain’t gonna happen. Tobacco is a favorite whipping-boy and cash cow for do-gooder politicos…Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)