A Modest Solution to Health Care Financing

Washington Post, “What Would a Health Overhaul Cost? All Eyes on the CBO“:

[CBO Director Doug] Elmendorf, 47, faces the toughest task of his brief tenure: attaching a price to a monumental overhaul of the nation’s health-care system, which holds out the promise of delivering care to millions of uninsured Americans, cutting costs for an overburdened federal government and sealing the political legacy of a popular new president.

Washington Post, “Senate Passes Bill to Let FDA Regulate Tobacco“:

The legislation creates a new tobacco center within the FDA that will be funded by fees from the industry. Those fees are estimated to reach more than $500 million annually by 2013, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Forbes.com, “Health Organizations Cheer Senate Vote on Tobacco Control“:

“While we celebrate this notable victory, we recognized that we have yet to win the war,” added Charles D. Connor, the lung association president and CEO. “As the FDA tobacco legislation continues its way to the President’s desk for signature, we will also continue our work for higher tobacco taxes, smoke-free laws and funding of tobacco control and prevention programs at the state level to reduce tobacco use and save lives.”

From Americans for Tax Reform, “Louisiana Tobacco Tax Hike Passes Committee”:

HB 889 would cause Pelican State tobacco consumers to see taxes to rise 50% on cigars, 50% on smokeless tobacco, and the price of a pack of cigarettes rise by 50 cents per pack – a whopping 138% tax increase. This adds insult to injury for taxpayers as it will be levied on top of a new 61-cent hike in the federal cigarette tax passed in Congress earlier this year.

Etc.

Why not just raise the tax on cigarettes to $1 billion a pack? Sell a thousand packs, financing problem solved!

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