Monday, August 3, 2009

What Do You Think About This?

This article is about a week old but it is a good topic to discuss.

Tough love for fat people: Tax their food to pay for healthcare

Key among the "interventions" the report weighs is that of imposing an excise or sales tax on fattening foods. That, says the report, could be expected to lower consumption of those foods. But it would also generate revenues that could be used to extend health insurance coverage to the uninsured and under-insured, and perhaps to fund campaigns intended to make healthy foods more widely available to, say, low-income Americans and to encourage exercise and healthy eating habits.

Continue reading

So, what are your thoughts?

Is this okay?

What exactly is a fattening food?

Should we have the federal government dictating our eating habits?

Studies have indicated that the poor may have a higher risk of this behavior. Isn't this really a regressive tax on the poor and middle class?

Do you think Teddy Kennedy will vote for or against it?


FairestWitness said...

Oh for the love of Pete! How ridiculous these tax-and-spenders are. Do any of them look in the frigging mirror? Congress has overweight folks in it, just like the rest of America.

Look, I feel bad that there are folks who are struggling to get medical care, but demanding it as a right and confiscating productive citizens' wealth to fund something you should be providing for yourself and your dependents is just plain UNAMERICAN.

We should start a tax-deductible charity to fund health insurance for the poor. Let those who are so inclined contribute to that charity. The charity can purchase private insurance for them and let the free market compete for that business.

Private industry can run this, government cannot. If our government could do this job, Medicare and Medicaid would be fabulously successful programs which everyone would be clamoring for in the private sector.

To fix healthcare, get government out of it, COMPLETELY. Let the private sector go back to running the healthcare and insurance industries. Governmnent has wreaked havoc since Medicare's inception.

cube said...

I say that the government should stick to national security and maintaining our nation's infrastructure. Period. They should keep their dirty paws off my personal life.

FairestWitness said...

One more thing about health insurance, Chuck. We own a small business, employing 18 fulltime. We have Blue Cross Blue Shield, paying 100% for employees. We also pay a portion of the premiums if our employees add their spouses and/or children. Because of the S-Chips programs, we have several employees who don't enroll their children.

Now these employees are highly paid technicians who earn between $13 - $18 per hour. The cost of insuring their children on our program is an additional $200 dollars per month per family, the spouse is $200 per month. So a family of husband, wife and 4 children would cost them $400 in premiums, our company pays about $500 above that.

The S-Chip program was supposed to cover children of the poor. But gainfully employeed parents who have access to affordable
group health plans are NOT enrolling their children. They're letting the taxpayers pick up the tab for their children, even though they could provide this for their children themselves.

What do you think about that?

shoprat said...

Congress has never seen a tax they don't love. They will do so until the utter end.

bluepitbull said...

cube said...

I say that the government should stick to national security and maintaining our nation's infrastructure. Period. They should keep their dirty paws off my personal life.

Well said. I think many fail to realize that is ultimately what the role of government really is.

The Gray Headed Brother said...

Wake me up when your feeling better.

Leslie said...

This is how the government controls do you change living habits of the people? TAXES.

This has "Nanny State" written all over it. If someone wants to make fattening foods their main staple in life, it is their right to do so.

This is just like the cigarette taxes they are always hiking up...which goes to pay for a bunch of government programs. So taxing things that are "bad for us" in order to fund programs that are "good for us" is ironic, since the idea is to control habits...what happens when a person starts to cut back on the high taxed items? Where does the government get their money for the programs the taxes on those items was funding?

Quite simple...they find something else to tax.

Miss T.C. Shore said...

As long as you don't tax illicit sex or car accidents in which a passenger is killed, Ted Kennedy would be in favor of the tax.

LomaAlta said...

Nice post Chuck.
No, a tax on "fat food" would not be a regressive tax. There are no regressive taxes in America. Here is why.

The poor would pay the tax with wealth redistributed to them. As of now before any more "tax the rich" schemes, the top 1% of income tax payers pay over 40% of the total and more than the lowest 95% of income taxpayers.

About 1/4 of households do not pay any income tax and most of them receive a net income from taxes (welfare, unearned income tax credits, SSI, Medicaid, etc.) so they are pretty much immune to taxes of any kind. If their food is taxed, cost of living increases and redistribution schemes will more than make up for any new taxes they might have to pay.

Nowadays, all taxes in America are twisted some way or the other to be progressive to the point of being confiscatory for those who work and produce the government revenues.

Chuck said...

Fairest, thanks. Actually I'm not evenb against helping the poor with insurance but I am right with you on having the goveernment not supply it. Give vouchers for private insurance.

As far as S-Chip, I thought it was a horrible program. Again, I'm okay with insuring poor children but this does not include people making a good income, 25 year olds, and illegals

Cube, dead on. This is what a lot of states are raising a fuss about, states rights. Let the feds take care of security, international trade, and infrastructure, let the states worry about the rest.

Shoprat, they want to tax people AFTER they die.

Blueptibull, agreed

BHrother, things will be fine next November thank you very much

Leslie, this is largely the point of my post. Where do we stop? Alcohol, salt, exercise, seat belt use, minimum amount of sleep, where we choose to live? As a matter of fact, why don't we tax people in the inner city for living in high air polution and high crime areas? Both contributers to higher health care costs. Wonder how this will go over with the Dims?

Miss TC, heh heh

DaBlade said...

This used to be a joke that was poo pooed as extremist rightwing conspiracy fodder. This would be more a tax on the "poor" who sure haven't missed a meal in this country.

Chuck said...

LomaAlta, we posted at the same time, didn't catch yours. Good point actually. With our redistribution system, regression starts at the middle class.

Chuck said...

DaBlade, I can't seem to keep up with you guys tonight.

To some extent I agree but LomaAlta had a good take on it above.

MK said...

i really hate crap like this Chuck, but the way i see it, it must be done.

If we want the feds to pay for our healthcare, then we must have the federal government dictating our eating habits.

Here in Australia we have serious problems with alcohol and drugs and i firmly believe that part of the problem is because the drunks and crackheads don't have to take any responsibility for themselves. They don't care because it's the rest of us paying for their healthcare.

So if i have to pay for someone else's health care, you better believe that i need to be involved in how they live their lives.

If you won't accept responsibility, you must not be given liberty either.

Z said...

"Where do we stop?" is the crux of this, isn't it, Chuck.
It's what they refer to as the slippery slope and I hope none of America has to slide down it..because DOWN is definitely the direction with this kind of insanity.

Randy said...

I've heard two reports on the radio that these overweight people are not the ones causing health care to go up, it's the healthy people. Overweight people die young, healthy people live to a ripe old age and need knee replacements, hip replacements, etc. They need more long term care.

Always On Watch said...

Teddy will vote for it -- never mind that his nickname in this household is "His Bloatedness."

The government needs to butt out of my kitchen, my eating habits, my physical fitness, etc.

As for taxing fat people to pay for health care, that seems a contradiction in logic to me. If health care is successful, won't people change their eating habits on the advice of their doctors?

Chuck said...

MK, that's an interesting take on it. I don't agree but it is a valid point. The problem with this notion is that most people have some habit that leads to higher costs, who has to pay extra for what?

Z, aqgreed. This is the point I make with MK. I agree that it is a good idea to make the people who use the care most pay the most but which people?

Randy, that is a good point and quite possibly true. I have said the thing about helmet laws for motorcycles. Not wearing a helmet will lower costs because they die in the accident.

AOW, the true solution, as it always has been, is education and health screening. This really does work.

evilmomlady2003 said...

What did you expect? When the collective starts paying for something, it isn't just you doing something to yourself, it's you doing something against society. Before Government run health care was even a blip on the radar of most Americans, there were zealots banning smoking in private homes and cars because they know what's good for you. I'm not an advocate for doing anything that's bad for you but I am for a person having the right to make their own choices and with Obamacare you can forget it unless it happens to support a leftist point of view.

Ugly fatties, beware. Your days of going through the drive thru are numbered because now it isn't just our sight that you offend with your fat, it's our wallets. Smokers, kiss your butts goodbye. It's a crime against society now that we have to pay for expensive cancer treatments, that's out. People who have a beer after work, that can't be good for your liver and since we now pay for your liver, we think it's time you drank some quality H2O instead.

Now if you want to get 5 abortions at $300 dollars a pop, you won't hear a peep from the left. Nevermind that you can get a super duper, glow in the dark, french tickler condom at every flipping gas station for $3. Abortion is sacred. Needle sharing junkies who contract HIV, we will take care of you till you die, but if Granny get's cancer or ALS, it's better to just put her down.

Chuck said...

Evil Mom, thanks for stopping by. I guess once the gov owns you, this is what happens.

kensington and chelsea said...

Seems a tough idea.