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Soda Tax Weighed to Pay for Health Care

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by sacase, May 12, 2009.

  1. sacase

    sacase Well-Known Member

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    Soda Tax Weighed to Pay for Health Care

    Senate leaders are considering new federal taxes on soda and other sugary drinks to help pay for an overhaul of the nation's health-care system.
    The taxes would pay for only a fraction of the cost to expand health-insurance coverage to all Americans and would face strong opposition from the beverage industry. They also could spark a backlash from consumers who would have to pay several cents more for a soft drink.

    On Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee is set to hear proposals from about a dozen experts about how to pay for the comprehensive health-care overhaul that President Barack Obama wants to enact this year. Early estimates put the cost of the plan at around $1.2 trillion. The administration has so far only earmarked funds for about half of that amount.

    The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a Washington-based watchdog group that pressures food companies to make healthier products, plans to propose a federal excise tax on soda, certain fruit drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks and ready-to-drink teas. It would not include most diet beverages. Excise taxes are levied on goods and manufacturers typically pass them on to consumers.

    Senior staff members for some Democratic senators at the center of the effort to craft health-care legislation are weighing the idea behind closed doors, Senate aides said.

    The Congressional Budget Office, which is providing lawmakers with cost estimates for each potential change in the health overhaul, included the option in a broad report on health-system financing in December. The office estimated that adding a tax of three cents per 12-ounce serving to these types of sweetened drinks would generate $24 billion over the next four years. So far, lawmakers have not indicated how big a tax they are considering.

    Proponents of the tax cite research showing that consuming sugar-sweetened drinks can lead to obesity, diabetes and other ailments. They say the tax would lower consumption, reduce health problems and save medical costs. At least a dozen states already have some type of taxes on sugary beverages, said Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

    "Soda is clearly one of the most harmful products in the food supply, and it's something government should discourage the consumption of," Mr. Jacobson said.

    The main beverage lobby that represents Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo Inc., Kraft Foods Inc. and other companies said such a tax would unfairly hit lower-income Americans and wouldn't deter consumption.

    "Taxes are not going to teach our children how to have a healthy lifestyle," said Susan Neely, president of the American Beverage Association. Instead, the association says it's backing programs that limit sugary beverage consumption in schools.

    Some recent state proposals along the same lines have met stiff opposition. New York Gov. David Paterson recently agreed to drop a proposal for an 18% tax on sugary drinks after facing an outcry from the beverage industry and New Yorkers.

    The beverage-tax proposal would apply to drinks that many Americans don't consider unhealthy -- such as PepsiCo's Gatorade and Kraft's Capri Sun -- based on their calorie content.

    Health advocates are floating other so-called sin tax proposals and food regulations as part of the government's health-care overhaul. Mr. Jacobson also plans to propose Tuesday that the government sharply raise taxes on alcohol, move to largely eliminate artificial trans fat from food and move to reduce the sodium content in packaged and restaurant food.
    The beverage tax is just one of hundreds of ideas that lawmakers are weighing to finance the health-care plans. They're expected to narrow the list in coming weeks.

    The White House, meanwhile, is pulling together private health groups to identify cost savings that will help fund the health overhaul. Mr. Obama on Monday held a White House meeting with groups that represent doctors, hospitals, insurers, pharmaceutical companies and medical-device makers. They pledged to help restrain cost increases in the health-care system in an effort to save $2 trillion over the next decade.

    "When it comes to health-care spending, we are on an unsustainable course that threatens the financial stability of families, businesses and government itself," Mr. Obama told reporters.

    Ok its crap like this that pisses me off. It is not the governments job to tell people what they should and should not eat. Nor is its the governments job to provide healthcare to everyone. I hope America gets some brains and gets all of these idiots out of office (democrats and republicans) and gets people in who understand what the Federal Governents duties are.

    What really bothers me about this, the government is passing all of this legislation so they can control more and more of your life. I do not like the road the government is going down.
  2. PosterChild

    PosterChild New Member

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    Here we go. This is a preview of what we'll see in the hc plan whose primary focus is on so called preventive care. Since there isn't enough money to fund the plan creative new revenue streams must be tapped, and this one is predictable. Big govt will provide "free" care for all but also has the authority, inclination, and means of imposing its control over your personal behavior in return. It's for your own good, you see, and anyway govt is in the best position to make that very determination on your behalf. Anyone who opposes this is demonstrably in need of mental health care and should schedule an interview w a govt shrink pronto. You many be hearing something very much like allarm bells.:bang2: I know the Libertarian in me recoils at what's coming!

    (Oh, BTW, I bid yall a good morning... I trust you didn't partake of any high cholesterol sustenance with your breakfast. HMM?)
  3. Yeagermeister

    Yeagermeister Active Member

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  4. Bach

    Bach Benched

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    Jimmy Carter eagerly awaits moving up a notch.
  5. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    Dems still do not want to address tort reform, before looking at any other nations health care and holding it up to this country we better be looking at tort reform that has lead to higher medical cost. You are not going to reduce the cost of health care by taxing soda.
  6. iceberg

    iceberg detoxed...part 2 Zone Supporter

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    well, we need to be looking at ways to cut spending, not find more and more to tax because *someone* feels it's unhealthy.
  7. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    I agree. If the goal is to reduce the cost of medical care I don't see how raising the tax on soda reduces anything it only raises the cost of the soda. US doctors are being nailed to the wall with extremely high malpractice insurance doctors all toll pay out over $10Billion yearly on malpractice and it is about to get higher we also live in a society where we sue each other at the drop of a hat and this is all passed on to the consumers yet the Dems do not ever want to talk about this in large part because they get a lot of funding from the trial lawyers groups.
  8. PosterChild

    PosterChild New Member

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    That's just one method that will be used,of which there are several. And as for tort reform, that's not gonna happen. But Docs and other HC providers will see their income slashed(beyond the redcutions they "volunteered" earlier this wk in an effort to forestall greatter cuts) and that savings will be redistributed to help fund the prgm. This actually started a couple of yrs ago but most ppl weren't interested in it unless they were in the industry. Oh, and the cost of their practice is going too, thru govt-imposed stds, including electronic medical records and and rigorous documentation requirements forcing a consolidation on medical care in general, and simply put many out of business-- some of their own volition. We'll see really long waits for services as result and that will save money as well. I think it's the most complex issue we're facing and there are no easy answers. Every plan I've seen can be easily attacked because they are so obviously flawed. I know some docs already on a cash basis only and are doing fine but govt may quash that like they've done elsewhere.Socialism seems so wonderful until someone gets hurt.
  9. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    Based on what I have seen the over 1 trillion needed is not showing up in the figures in the mean time unless we get this sue happy nation to back off these doc. will be paying major cost. Fact is the Dems love saying how much more we pay than the rest of the world for medical care already so if we are looking at cutting cost start with massive law suites that are constantly being filed
  10. ShiningStar

    ShiningStar Well-Known Member

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    That would save a lot of cash. I agree 100 percent.
  11. PosterChild

    PosterChild New Member

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    If/When this becomes fully controlled by govt and pvt enterprise and pvt ins becomes folded into the system that matter may go away.
  12. ConcordCowboy

    ConcordCowboy Mr. Buckeye

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    If they are not going to do the right thing and legalize and tax Pot...then stay the frick away from my Diet Pepsi.

    [IMG]...Just Say NO to Taxing Me!

    Well any more than you already do.
  13. Royal Laegotti

    Royal Laegotti Dyin' ain't much of a livin', boy!

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    This tax is just a start. Folks can't even imagine how far they really want to take this. Government NEVER quits!
  14. TheCount

    TheCount Pixel Pusher

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    They tried to tax it in NY and there was a lot of blow back, it's not going to happen nationally anytime soon but the "Fat Tax" has been bounced around for years and years now.
  15. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    How about people stop buying soda and save the money for their eventual healthcare?
  16. PosterChild

    PosterChild New Member

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    You mean like a Health Savings Account? Why, that's novel.

    FWIW, I'm not against healthy living and good choices but the prospect of Big Bro proscribng certain of those to me is not acceptable. The ends don't justify the means.

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    They came to my Neighbors door down the street and I said nothing.

    They came to my Neighbors door across the street and I said nothing.

    They came to my Neighbors door next door to me and I said nothing.

    When they came to my door, there was nobody left to say anything for me.

  18. ConcordCowboy

    ConcordCowboy Mr. Buckeye

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    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.
  20. ninja

    ninja Numbnuts

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    Why all the anger over a soda tax? There are so many other worse taxes out there, and taxed at higher rates. We're talking small potatoes here. Say, even 10 cents/can. One can a day would cost $36 in taxes for the year. Whoop-di-doo.

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