Number one, the funding isn’t there. Right now, Beth Edmonds is promoting a tax increase of 50¢ per pack. Of course, Baldacci, who claimed he was against raising taxes to balance the budget, is all over the increase. Is it a smart move to balance the future of Dirigo on cigarette taxes? Not hardly. On the one hand, a lot of people smoke, I’m one of them, and get sick from smoking. I bet there is a lot more to a person getting sick than simply smoking though. Look at this old geezers that smoke until they’re in their nineties and have never been sick a day in their lives. So should they pay for their own health insurance? Yes we should. But not through taxes. That just leads to a greater need to rely on the government. Cradle to the grave, baby. You remember that tune?
But the state is going to increase taxes on tobacco. That’s going to fund the program? Well, think of this. The whole concept of higher taxes on cigarettes is supposed to reduce smoking, right? Well, it’s working. So that means less revenue from cigarettes. And on top of it, we want to prevent kids from picking up the habit, good idea by the way, so they don’t smoke in the future. So the bottom line is, the state wants to rely on a diminishing source of revenues to pay for something with a rapidly increasing cost. U-huh. Makes a lot of sense to me. Example; my bills come to eight hundred dollars a week, so I’m going to go out and get a job that pays me seven hundred, but my pay is going to be cut every year instead of getting a raise. Sounds like a great plan.
There are a lot of problems with the entire concept of the program, the first and foremost is that it ushers in the concept of universal health care. Universal health care is a mantra of the socialist left in the world. It curbs the sense of free market economy and drives quality down, while driving costs up. Another problem I have with the program is that it isn’t actually controlled by one state agency, but many. You know the old saying about too many cooks in the kitchen. Good idea if you’re having thumb soup, but otherwise, no.
The real cause of high costs in the medical industry is that for too long, medical care providers have been allowed to work in a business environment that stifles competition, while reaping huge rewards for operating inefficient businesses. There is a lot of waste in the industry as far as operations go, and the taxpayer is footing the bill for it. I’d like to see someone come up with a bill that regulates how a hospital spends its money. Next time you are in a hospital and you see twelve people standing around the nurses’ station talking about Susie’s baby shower, while patients are ringing bells for assistance go unanswered, think about it. If the medical industry was required to behave like a business we’d see better care, at a lower cost. Think about it.
Cigarette taxes for the future is not something we should be looking forward to……
Improving upon a healthy generation….
First we pass a law prohibiting compliance with Real ID, and now we’re stuck having to comply in spite of the law? What were they thinking in Augusta?
So how come, as a state, we get to be number one in the number two spot all the time?